The global credit crunch has caused many financial institutions to reduce their lending activity due to volatility in capital markets and high default risk among borrowers. Commerzbank AG, one of Germany's major banks, has taken a brave step to offer a new product during the tough economic times: Visa and MasterCard branded credit cards with aroma. The plastics will be also visually pleasing, with 44 designs to choose from.
Regardless of the current financial uncertainty, Commerzbank goes on to develop new offers for its customers. The German bank launched a range of scented credit cards that will make their users more concentrated and energized. The plastics come in four aromas - coffee, mint, cinnamon or orange. These scents appeal equally to men and women.
From an aromatherapy standpoint, orange fragrance is strengthening, stimulating and enlivening. Mint is considered to be relaxing and uplifting. Coffee and cinnamon are warming, stimulating and comforting. All these scents will decrease your level of debt stress, soothe irritable nerves and generally encourage a better state of mind.
Coffee, mint, cinnamon and orange are a safe choice from a fragrance design point of view because the scents are all food related and well-known. You will certainly like at least one aroma out of four! These fragrances will make you feel positive when you are signing your credit card or opening your wallet.
Marketing gurus have long known that smell is a powerful persuader. Odor is inescapable - you can't close your nose! New technology makes it easy to transmit scents. Advertisers have loaded magazines with perfume and chocolate fragrances. Rolls-Royce put the aroma of its leather upholstery on a scent strip in Architectural Digest in July, and now three million readers know what $150,000 smells like.
Newsagents that sell magazines, candies and coffee use the smell of bakery outside the store to attract customers. Holiday firm pumps out a coconut aroma in their stores - it evokes the positive feelings of past holidays and puts consumers in the mood to book another getaway. Why can't lenders follow suit? Scented plastic has always been popular. Do you remember Strawberry Shortcake dolls?
Issuing scented credit cards is an excellent way to draw attention to the Commerzbank plastic money and snag new customers. The scented credit cards will definitely become a conversation opener at the checkout. "What a nice smell! Is it really a plastic with aroma?"
According to psychologists, fragrances are extraordinarily memorable and evocative. It can take you to distant and past memories, feelings and experiences within seconds. This effect is called "instant nostalgia." For example, when you smell coffee-scented credit cards, you will recollect a steaming cup of coffee in the warm and comfortable atmosphere of a cafe or your own home. Vice versa, a cup of coffee will remind you of your coffee-scented plastic.
Scientists have found that smell is the sense which most directly connected to emotion and memory. Smell can make us salivate, change our heart rate or recollect the pleasurable times in our lives. Memories that are queued by an aroma are stronger than visual, taste or touch. So you will remember your credit card with aroma much longer than plastics with a nice design.
Commerzbank is not the first bank that launched scented credit cards. Two years ago, Tokyo-based JCB, the largest credit company in Japan, introduced the LINDA Sweet card for women. It comes with a lemon, grapefruit and mandarin fragrance. The bank launched the plastic with the intention to make its women-customer's life more beautiful. JCB estimates that LINDA will retain its aroma for three years.