A couple of years ago, I helped to create the World’s first truly multi-sensory Bank. In fact it was probably the world’s first truly multi-sensory retail space. Directly derived from the re-branded Bank’s brand values, Helm Bank in Colombia has signature brand fragrance, generative brand soundscapes, signature flavours in bottled water and sweets, a brand-driven interior design with colours, textures and shapes all congruent with the core brand values. Because each element was driven from these values the overall sensory design was holistically aligned, compelling and very, very successful.
I am very proud of this project and here is a video of the finished branches:
As a direct result of this project, customer satisfaction leapt by 20% points, new account openings nearly doubled as did branch revenues and profit. Below is a video testimonial of the Head of Brand on the project.
Jump forward a couple of years and Helm bank has been bought out by a larger, regional bank delivering huge shareholder returns. The CEO of Helm attributes the multi-sensory retail rebrand as one of the key drivers of the business success.
So what can we learn from this success story?
Firstly, it is vital that a sensory approach to your brand is firmly anchored and driven from your brand values and that it communicates the emotions, personality and positioning of your brand. I see far too much poorly planned and executed ‘sensory branding’ which amounts to little more than musak for the nose or visual wallpaper over the brand cracks.
The second lesson is that the most effective sensory brand strategies are based on the integration of more than one sensory expression of the brand. By this I mean that it’s no good planning individual sensory attributes one sensory modality at a time and in isolation. If you work holistically across multiple senses, you get a synergistic emotional impact which multiplies the effectiveness of your investment in the brand (see a previous post on super additivity here). The multi-sensory effect really is 1+1=3!
Please contact me if you would like to find out any more about the Helm Bank project and how you too can benefit from multiplying the positive emotional response to your brand.