As the Credit Union Journal says, “Step aside, Glade PlugIns.” Credit Unions have always been a step ahead in providing superior customer service. Now, they have caught on to a unique way to better distinguish their brand and enhance the customer experience.

Credit Union Journal, one of the nation’s leading credit union news resource, interviewed two credit unions who have added ambient scent to their branches.  Cy-Fair Credit Union, headquartered in Texas, talked about how scent has enriched experiences for both their members and employees:

“More financial institutions are realizing that traditional teller lines and the old way of doing business is not working anymore,” said Cameron Dickey, president and CEO of CyFair Federal Credit Union. “There are all of these efforts to evolve and remain relevant as we see what financial services looks like in the next 10 years. We are making branches more appealing to [visit] and that’s how we can create something that is unique.”

According to the Credit Union Journal, the industry is taking note of the innovation. Paul Seibert, owner of Paul Seibert Consulting, which provides design and business planning to financial institutions, said that brand should consider scent, asking the question, “Do we need one?”

“Every time people think about evolving their branch, they should be thinking about all of the senses and tying it back to the brand,” Seibert said.  According to his clients, not only does scent add a unique brand experience to each branch, it also provides an overall comforting and pleasant atmosphere.

Doug Strickler, founder and CEO of Hot Inc., a brand strategy and communications firm, weighed in with his thoughts on ambient scenting.

“Not that banks and credit unions smell like high school locker rooms, but I would lean toward having that added scent in a branch instead of it not smelling so good,” Strickler said. “You will never find a scent that is appealing to everyone. But you want to find that experience that pleases more than it turns off.”

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