ERSTE BANK – THE SOUND OF RETAIL

MUSIC AND SOUNDSCAPES FOR
CUSTOMER'S WELL-BEING

Erste Bank is opening large consulting centers with a new design: Consulting centers that herald the modernization of the branch office network.
By creating the Erste Bank Music Library and the Soundscape Stories, amp developed a sound and music concept that changed the perception of the bank, making customers the protagonists.
Erste Bank’s brand experience was effectively enhanced and its brand loyalty intensified. The aural identity and audible brand space not only leave a lasting impression on customers, but also become an integral part of the employees’ daily work.
 

ABOUT THE CLIENT

Erste Group Bank AG was founded in 1819 and has its headquarters in Vienna. Its 47,000 employees work in more than 2,800 branches and serve approx. 16.6 million customers in seven countries. Erste Group is one of the biggest financial service providers in Central and Eastern Europe.

IN DETAIL

Austria's biggest bank, Erste Bank, was founded on the premise that all people deserve access to financial services. For its flagship branch, new elements in interior design were implemented, inviting customers to stay.
The "Brand Wall" not only supports the value-campaign "What counts" and the claim "What counts are the people", but also highlights Erste Bank's brand values: accessibility, simplicity, pioneering spirit and independency. Customers can now experience banking from an inspiringly fresh perspective. 

THE APPROACH: CUSTOMERS' RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE BANK AT THE AUDIble CORE

Since 2015, amp has served as Erste Bank's consultant and specialist in musical matters. 
The question How does the banking center of the future sound? is now followed by the question How does the Erste Bank brand sound? The quote below provides a fitting approach to the answer:

The branch was built around the customers: The customer occupies center stage. Consultants are able to move around freely, thanks to notebook and tablet, and the rooms are designed to be friendly and bright, with coffee bars, sofas and children’s corners. As such, it was only logical for us to put the customer’s personal relationship with the bank, at the center of the auditory concept.
— Peter Bosek, executive officer of private clients

DEFINING AND CREATING THE SOUND FOR ERSTE BANK

amp has worked to accentuate the visual appearance of Erste Bank's new consulting center with a generous music library and specially composed soundscapes suited to the brand environment of Austria's Erste Bank. 

EXTENSIVE MUSIC LIBRARY

amp compiled an extensive music library to fill all public rooms of the consulting center with music.
Taking into account the needs of the bank’s customers and employees, amp gave the brand an aural personality and an acoustic expression emphasizing Erste Bank’s brand valuesbrand presence and target groups. 
amp developed four main musical themes, which the music library effectively reveals, to present the various facets of Erste Bank’s brand personality.
These musical themes are used throughout the entire area of Erste Bank’s new branch office. Depending on the time of day, these themes are either heard alone or in combination with each other. The following themes build the cornerstone of the music library:

CAREFREE: "People are what counts" – this brand claim inspired amp to compose specific themes for the music library. All people have dreams, visions, and ideas, what counts however, is that these ideas keep us happy and make us independent. This resulted in the target attribute "carefree" (lighthearted, easygoing, positive).

CLOSENESS: An analysis of a previous Erste Bank campaign helped amp identify "more time for the important things" as a main theme among customers. Most of the wide variety of customer responses to this campaign were categorized under the theme of personal "closeness" (personal, empathetic, organic). This not only correlates with Erste Bank’s brand attributes, but also represents an important foundation for customer relationships built on trust.

SUCCESS: Since one of the bank’s many purposes is to help customers reach certain financial goals, another theme in the music library is devoted to personal "success" (inspiring, great, ambitious). As a theme, this represents a sense of motivation and ambition, as well as an open-mindedness and desire for innovation.

AFTER WORK: This particular branch also hosts events and employee meetings, separate from its normal customer business, to promote creative solutions and networking. Since this usually takes place outside normal office hours, the fourth theme of Erste Bank’s music library is labeled "After work" (energetic, pulsating, loosening up).

Listen to Erste Bank's Music Library by clicking on on "Spotify" icon

Listen to Erste Bank's Music Library by clicking on on "Spotify" icon

 

SOUNDSCAPE STORIES FOR THE BRAND WALL


Along with brand music, the brand wall is a central element of the new design.
To accompany the pictorial world of the brand wall, amp composed a fitting soundscape for each subject. These aural stories represent prototypical realms of existence, accompanying the pictorial worlds displayed on the brand wall. This combination provides a deeper insight into the customers’ world and brings the customers’ real life into the branch office.
amp created 2-minute soundscapes for these real life stories: a runner, organic food shopkeeper and a sophisticated couple. In accordance with the brand claim "What counts are the people", the soundscapes contain acoustic elements of progress and success. amp used sound as a subtle but effective storytelling-medium to discuss the successes of the dynamic customer's life. Each story is put together from individual scenes, intended to remind the listener of their own subjective world. Furthermore, each story contains audible elements of progress and success.
The brand wall displays its subjects – in large-scale, highlighted images – and runs vertically through all three floors of the consulting center.
The brand wall focuses on Erste Bank's customers and their needs, allowing us to see and hear the Erste Bank brand!

 

THE RESULT AND ITS POTENTIAL

By creating the Erste Bank Music Library and the Soundscape Stories, amp has effectively enhanced the brand experience and intensified brand loyalty. Customers and their needs were at the center of making Erste Bank's brand visible and audible. 
The aural identity and audible brand space not only leaves a lasting impression on customers, but also becomes an integral part of the employees’ daily work.
With efficient collaboration from Erste Bank, amp has laid the foundation for the transfer of this sound concept to the next consulting centers.