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By Alicia Disantis, Marketing Program Manager
A recent article from CUES caught my interest. Working in credit union marketing for the past 5 and a half years (a Millennial world record for length of employment at a single company!), I've read a lot of credit union marketing articles. Somehow, I totally missed the "scent marketing" trend until now, but am absolutely fascinated.
For those who aren’t familiar, it involves the psychology of scent to provide the member with certain emotions, memories and feelings when in your branch. This could be calmness, alertness, a summery scent like coconut, or a cinnamon scent around the holidays. Scent is the most powerful of all the human senses by a landslide, so it’s no surprise that this marketing trend is taking off.
Providing scents throughout the branch is nothing new, however. I’m told of a tiny credit union on the Western Slope in Colorado that was acquired many years ago. They would bake cookies at the branch every afternoon. Members positively raved about “their credit union that smelled like cookies.” It didn’t save them from getting merged, but…you see the point.
Anyway, I found a comprehensive list of scents you can use at your branch to make your members feel a certain way. You don’t need to hire a scent marketer to take advantage of this. Just buy a couple of $20 scent diffusers on Amazon and some essentials oils. Take a look at the list below to see how different scents work:
Scents to Relieve Anger: Chamomile, Jasmine, Patchouli, Rose and Ylang-ylang.
Scents to Relieve Anxiety: Bergamot, Cedarwood, Cypress, Frankincense, Hyssop, Lavender, Marjoram, Myrrh, Neroli, Orange, Peach, Rose, Rose Geranium and Violet Leaf.
Scents to Increase Confidence: Frankincense, Jasmine, Patchouli and Sandalwood.
Scents to Ease Depression: Bergamot, Clary Sage, Grapefruit, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon, Lemon Balm, Lemon Verbena, Neroli, Orange, Petitgrain, Rose Geranium, Sandalwood, Tangerine and Ylang-ylang.
Scents to Improve Memory: Bay Laurel, Jasmine, Lavender, Lemon and Rosemary.
Scents to Ease Sorrow: Clary Sage, Cypress, Fir, Marjoram, Rosemary and Sage.
Scents to Invigorate and Overcome Fatigue: Angelica, Benzoin, Camphor, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Clove Basil, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Lemon, Peppermint, Pine, Sage and Spiced Apple.
Scents to Deal with Stress, Nervous Tension and Insomnia: Bergamot, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cloves, Frankincense, Lavender, Lemon, Marjoram, Myrrh, Neroli, Nutmeg, Orange, Petitgrain, Rose, Sandalwood, Sweet Melissa, Valerian, Vanilla, Violet, and Ylang-ylang.
Scents to Calm Irritability: Chamomile, Neroli, Rose, and Rose Geranium.
Armed with this information, you can now go forth and make your branch smell like whatever you please! Good luck!