Today’s in-person retail is all about the experience, and Educators Credit Union employs a unique strategy to improve the member experience throughout its 18 branches.

The $1.7 billion asset credit union in Mount Pleasant, Wis., has installed ambient scenting in its branches to enhance the environment for staff and members.

Richard Weening, CEO of Prolitec, whose company provides Educators’ ambient scenting, says there’s no “weird science” involved in this practice. It’s a simple appeal to the senses.

“People are simply more comfortable in a pleasant environment, and that’s important in a retail setting,” he says. “People are more likely to find an environment that smells better a more appealing place to do business.”

The concept has been successful in other retail environments, Weening says. A study in Sweden found that a point-of-sale display of shampoo that emitted a pleasing odor increased sales at that location by 36.9%, according to Lightspeed.

At Educators, a technology called AirQ diffuses the scent. It disperses particles that are much smaller than those in aerosol sprays, so they float longer and leave no residue.

Sarah Jamison, graphics and web designer at Educators, says the credit union went “light and simple” with its first step into the ambient scenting world.

“It’s a clean, fresh, citrus smell,” she says.

So far, she has only heard positive comments, and the credit union is evaluating other scents as it explores the benefits of scent marketing, Jamison says.

From the print edition of Credit Union Magazine‘s August, 2017 issue.

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