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DBS Bank Will Even Smell Different Now

January 2008

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To impart a more “Asian” brand supporting a recent strategic brand repositioning, DBS Bank has introduced a fragrancing and music styling solution developed by environmental brand consultant Equal Strategy. The solution will initially run as a pilot scheme in DBS Bank’s Shenton Way Branch at DBS Building Tower One in Singapore.

DBS Bank had taken the decision to emotionally communicate the brand’s Asian heritage and specialisation as part of its overall brand positioning.

The Bank’s Shenton Way Branch was recently renovated to reflect a distinctly Asian aspect – table corners are curved to represent Asian warmth rather than the cold “right angles” characteristic of western designs. Instead a bi-sensory Asian experience, the branch now incorporates a quad/Quattro-sensory approach.

To complement the Asian theme, Equal Strategy proposed an integrated approach which embraced both fragrance and music styling. An Asian themed fragrance was selected together with a remotely managed play list of music with subtle Asian elements to suit both the time and day of the week.

The environmental branding solution achieved two key objectives simultaneously – to reinforce the DBS brand image and to create the right environment and set the mood for DBS customers. The main priority was to turn the archetypically passive customer experience of being in a bank into both a pleasurable and memorable one.

The pilot service by Equal Strategy will run for a period of 3 months. The fragrancing and music styling (otherwise known as Location Media Management) have been installed on the first floor (at the bank entrance) and also at the main banking hall in basement 1.

The fragrance recommended for DBS by Faure-Field was Ginger Flower, a floral fragrance with top notes of ginger flower, green floral and citrus, middle notes of jasmine, violet, rose and muguet (Lilly of the Valley), and a vanilla bottom note.

Said Simon A. Faure-Field, CEO of Equal Strategy, “Banks have begun looking beyond simply products and service to differentiate themselves, they are now exploring ways to make the actual experience of banking pleasurable for their customers. What DBS has succeeded in doing through this pilot scheme at their Shenton Way branch is to show that time spent waiting for service or attention can be pleasant and enjoyable rather than a necessary chore.”

“At the same time our choice of both music and scent serves to reinforce the brand proposition of DBS Bank which is of a distinctly Asian flavour, so strategic objectives are also met as well” said Mr. Faure-Field.

Equal Strategy has consulted numerous retail brands and hotel chains including OCBC Malaysia, Courts Singapore, Mercedes-Benz, Westin Hotels, Starwood Hotels and Pan Pacific.

Since 1999, Mr Faure-Field has been the only consultant in Asia specializing in combining music with fragrance to synergise a consistent brand experience for customers. His work is grounded in behavioural science research and draws extensively upon research into the effects of background music and atmosphere on retail environments.

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