The Role of Sensory Marketing in Product InnovationProceeding: 5th International Conference on Innovation Management, Entrepreneurship and Sustainability (IMES)
Publication Date: 2017-05-22
Authors : Adriana Starostová;
Page : 963-973
Keywords : Sensory marketing; Product portfolio; Product innovation; Scent; Olfaction; Multi-modality of senses;
The recently established field of sensory marketing attributes its existence to customer demand for sensational experiences, among other things. Consequently, scent is acknowledged as an effective form of communication of the brand. This study focuses on olfaction, comparing consumer behaviour between scented and odourless products, aiming to address the question of how scent impacts the consumers’ experience, offering recommendations to companies with regards to scented products. The study is relevant to all the enterprises that manufacture or develop their own product. The SME´s can benefit through understanding the importance of scent and empirical insights about how scent impacts consumer´s experience.Design/methodology/approach: A Qualitative study has been conducted through the collection of primary data using two types of questionnaires, a-priori and posteriori of a tested product distributed to 100 participants with 89 % response rate which provides a sufficient basis for a good overview of many possible effects of scent. A subsequent stage of the investigation involved ten in-depth interviews which expanded on the subject. The study has been conducted over two months (March to May) at the University of South Wales in 2015. The participants were randomly selected students and staff of the university. All age categories and ethnicities were represented.Findings: The results indicate enhanced (a) quality perception when the product is scented, (b) semantic associations with the scented product, (c) multi-modality of senses e.g. scent increases the desire to touch, (d) impact of scent on preference where the decision is not impaired by other factors such as availability or price and e) perceived favourability towards a hypothetical brand behind the scented product in some cases. However, where price was a parameter, the scent did not have an effect; presumably as aspects such as price and brand loyalty overshadow sensory aspects.Research/practical implications: It is preferable to increase the range of products that stimulate consumers’ senses. On the contrary, the cost is a determinant factor to consider before launching the product on the market as the price sensitivity can be quite high. The recommendation for companies is to diversify the portfolio and position scented products as more luxurious. Moreover, other sensory characteristics such as colour could be used in order to differentiate the purpose of the same product and facilitate multiple purchases. Other themes emerged such as the role of environmental aspects might be in some cases more important than the functional aspects.Originality/value: This paper offers comprehensive overview of possible effects of scent on consumer experience. The study further indicates how scented products should be positioned and incorporated in brand portfolio.
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