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Sniffing Out an Engaging Client Experience

If you’ve ever bought or sold real estate, you may agree that the way to a homebuyer’s heart is through his or her nose. Baking cookies just before a showing is a realtor’s trick of the trade, generating a warm scent that lingers and triggers feelings of joy and hominess that can potentially inspire a bidding war.

There is a lesson to be learned from this tactic. When building your financial services brand, it’s not only curb appeal that counts. While the visuals, including your logo, color palette, and imagery are critical for a strong and unified brand, the other senses should be considered as well when mapping out the client experience. 

A holistic approach to marketing appeals to all the senses, including:

Smell. According to the American Marketing Association, exposure to pleasant scents (like the smell of warm cookies) can substantially increase customer satisfaction and have a positive impact on mood, intentions and behaviors.1 In fact, some financial services organizations have introduced signature scents in their physical locations to reinforce their brand, elicit desired emotions and help them connect with customers. 

Sound. A sonic logo amplifies brand recognition and helps define who you are. For example, last year, MasterCard introduced its sonic brand, a melody played with each customer interaction. Sound has become increasingly important in today’s world of virtual communication. You can use a sonic logo to introduce webinars and podcasts, on mobile applications, and as phone hold music to set the tone for your brand.  

Touch. We email, text and tweet for efficient, speedy and convenient communication. However, sometimes a tactile experience is best. A printed piece is more likely to be noticed and deemed important. Many advisors print wealth plans for this reason, as well as to encourage clients to refer to them over and over again. 

Taste. Business professionals pitch prospects and build relationships over a meal because breaking bread with others engenders familiarity and trust. Social events (even a Zoom cocktail party) creates a more relaxing, low pressure environment, and adding food and beverages into the mix can help make you more persuasive and your listener more receptive.2

1Press Release From the Journal of Marketing: Does Smell Sell? How Ambient Scent Improves Shoppers’ Mood—and Spending, American Marketing Association, November 6, 2019.

2Five Ways Buying Lunch for a Client Makes You More Persuasive, Entrepreneur, January 27, 2017.