Five Ideal Scents For Aroma Branding Banks & Financial Institutions

Scent marketing is increasing sales and boosting brand identities in almost every industry under the sun. It’s no surprise than even very conservative industries such a banks and financial institutions are getting on the signature scent bandwagon by embracing aroma, the new frontier in branding and customer communication. Should a bank smell like money? If so, what notes would such a signature essence de bank scent contain?  Or should the bank smell like its brand, whatever that may be? These and other questions must be addressed before the scent selection process can occur.

Selecting a signature scent for banks and financial institutions

According to Jennifer Dublino, vice president of development for Scent World Events, “A bank smell all depends on their branding. It might depend on where they’re located, what their colors are; for example, a bank that has orange in its logo might use an orange as part of its scent. If you have cooler colors, like yellow and blue, you might want fresher scents.” The proper bank scent is in some ways like all other signature fragrances in the sense that the main purpose is to elicit specific emotions with its customers.

General scents that work well in banks

Banks have adopted a scent strategy based on accumulated research. The proper signature fragrance in any bank or financial institution must be pleasant and contribute to comfort, peace of mind and relaxation. Money, whether a lot or a little, is a source of stress in the lives of people. Customer satisfaction is dependant on scents that recall a warm and cozy environment.

Scent branding has the power to keep customers calm while they wait in lines at the bank; and hopefully will help to create a satisfied and positive impression. Some scents that can work well in banks include: leather and tobacco which evoke luxury and trust; rosemary and peppermint which make people feel more alert and sharp and improve cognition and problem solving.

Some examples of signature scents adopted by banks

According to research, some high-end banks and financial institutions use signature scents because they lend a sense of luxury to their elitist clientele. Ocean Bank selected “a premium fragrance that begins with mouthwatering mandarin, fresh watery ozone, and green cardamom notes, supported by black pepper and musk.”

The signature fragrance for Helm’s Bank, L’essence, includes hints of chocolate and evolved as part of a complete olfactory branding strategy.  Specific reportings show that the specific Helm branches that added the signature scent and in addition, updated their logos, colors and sound branding, actually doubled their revenue and the number of new account openings. In addition, the rate of customer satisfaction skyrocketed some 20% to 99%.

In 2012, National Australia Bank of Melbourne was the very first to enhance the banking experience by scenting their new branches with lime and grapefruit. Standard Chartered Bank in Hong Kong, opted for a specially created fragrance for their Lan Kwai Fong branch. The signature scent combined oriental, citrus, woody and spicy notes blended with white musk. The selection symbolized the bank’s brand’s heritage, which is a combination of African and Indian influences.

Air Scent, Banks and Signature Scent Branding

Air Scent specializes in commercial scent branding for all types of industries including but not limited to: retail, health & wellness, hospitality and real estate. Whatever the business, whether big or small, Air Scent can promise complete satisfaction with the creation of your specific signature brand. Creating an effective bank or financial institution scent may well improve current customer retention numbers. If you own or manage a bank or financial institution, here are some thoughts about scents that might work well for your clientele.

1. Lavender-Lime

Dealing with one’s own money or even someone else’s can be stressful, especially if numbers don’t come out as expected for any reason. The combination of citrus with lavender and a finishing note of vanilla create a unique fragrance that is clean, light and calming. Lavender is known for its relaxing and balancing qualities, both physically and emotionally. The citrus elements of tangerine, lemon and lime are mood-elevating and energizing. The inclusion of lime oil adds to a sense of perceived cleanliness and to a renewal of both energy and spirit.

2. Lemongrass-Sage

Both male and female customers will respond to this clean, crisp fragrance. Top notes

of lemongrass offer wonderful spurts of energy. The scent is purifying, energizing and refreshing. Lemongrass is also known to be a very effective stimulant for revitalizing both the body and the mind. Making financial investments require clear thinking and judgment and this scent, aided by the addition of warm and woody dry sage, improves mental clarity and the powers of concentration necessary to conduct transactions. Bank customers too, will appreciate this fragrance when dealing with banking issues and questions for busy tellers and customer service personnel.

3. White Citrus Blossom 

This invigorating floral-citrus blend features top notes of citron, grapefruit, tangerine and apricot nectar, middle-notes of water lily and freesia, and a soft musk and clean-woody base-note. The power of citrus is bright and revitalizing; tangerine and grapefruit add a dash of sweetness tempered by the floral nuances of water lily. This middle note combines with the pleasing and elusive freescia and musk, which offers the perfect balance by adding a sense of warmth to the fragrance’s overall effect. The clean woody base note gives the scent its intense holding power. This helps to create the perception of a homey, comfortable atmosphere, and in the long run, customer satisfaction.

4. Lavender Orchard

This complex crisp-green, herbaceous, fruity, floral fragrance is comprised of a fresh juicy apple top-note, a sweet, lavender-like middle note and a musky, woody base-note. The fresh and crisp top note initiates an apple scent that blends into a strong and sweet floral blend of lavender and the earthy metallic base note of musk. Lavender is known to calm, soothe and relax, and the apple and the musk recall pleasant past autumns and fresh apple pie straight out of the oven. Cozy, warm and homey works well in banks, where customers need to feel both trusted and taken care of.

5. Fresh Water Mist

This scent contains top notes of grapefruit, melon and wisps of lush, clean fresh air that subtly meld with middle notes of watercress, green lily and newly-cut grass. The scent concludes with a woody and warm base note. This fragrance with its subtle watery tinges suggests a sense of luxury, which would appeal to those involved with investments in diverse financial institutions. The grapefruit and melon are summery scents consistent with that of freshly cut grass. The warm woody base note evokes warmth and comfort and can help to keep customers calm as they wait in line at a bank and most important, can result in a satisfied customer experience.

So the next time you walk into a bank, whether you are the manager or a customer, take a long whiff and learn a fragrant lesson. Beautiful and calming smells improve business and create emotional bonding and customer loyalty. Develop a signature scent that works well for your bank and see (or in this case, just smell) the difference.

We have decades of experience with every commercial air care need, and through our in-house fragrance division have mixed unique, fragrant blends to please the olfactory senses of clientele across every industry. Speak with our team to hear more about how aroma branding is attracting more customers for business worldwide, increase sales, enhancing brand impression and more.

Final thoughts on banks:

Money is like a sixth sense – and you can’t make use of the other five without it. ~ William Somerset Maugham


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