Marketing Research; Product Conceptualisation

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					The impact of scents on product perceptions

           2 illustrations in notebook and
                 underwear categories

                          Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
        Maître de Conférences en Sciences de Gestion
       IUT GEA Toulon - Université du Sud Toulon Var

                             Barcelone, le 21 octobre 2008
                  Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
        Sequences of communication

1. Research context
2. Problematic and research questions
3. Conceptual framework of the research
4. Experimental design
5. Results and analysis
6. Conclusion



                  Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
           1. All perfumed ? A phenomena …
                         … debatable


• Applications : the choice to perfume a product only
  because « It smells good » …
• Theories : no scientific evidence to prove the
  impact of scents on attitude and consumers
  behaviour

    Does it make sense to use scents in a
              marketing context ?
    Role of scents in positioning product ?
                     Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
                   Positioning product

• Product definition
   – A set of tangible attributes
   – A promise delivered to consumer
• Product is not what it is but what it does for
  consumer
   – Consumer perception approach
   – Perception as the way the consumer combine and
     organise technical attributes in a pertinent and
     meaningfull way for him/her

                  Product benefit
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                 Product Process perception

Product : set
                    Sensory receptors
of structured
      data
  •Tangibles
   attributes                                     •Selective attention
 •Intagibles            Attention /
   attributes           Selection                 •Perceptual defense


                                                  •Thought schemas
   Product :         Interpretation /
                      Organisation
reorganisation                                    •Abilities and
   of data in                                     motivation to process
  •Fonctional
    benefit
   •Hedonist         Signification /
    benefit         Conceptualisatio              •Expectations
                        Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
                            n
               Perception singularities &
                Marketing implications

• Features caracteristics of perception :
   – selective
   – Subjective and personal
   – simpliflying & distorting
• Marketing implications in positioning :
   – Various representations
   – The task of the marketer is then to identify signals which
     catch the attention and which converge together towards a
     single representation of the product, precisely that the
     marketer intended to develop

                          Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
             2. Problematic and research
                      questions

• Is the olfactory data playing a significant role in
  perception process, or to a lesser degree ?

• If yes, how scents would contribute to this process of
  attribution of significance to the product ?

• Can they encourage the consumer to perceive product
  precisely the way marketer anticipated to be ?

• Can they assist marketer in positioning product ?

                        Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
     2. Problematic and research
              questions

Persuasive role of scent in the perception
         process of the product


       Bases of this postulate :
 Richness of associations of the odor
         Salience of scent
    Ability to catch the attention
  Odor like inductive element, even
     coordinator of the message?

               Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
   2. Problematic and research
            questions

       Objectives of research :


1. Changing perception of the product
induced by the perception of the odor
2. Two mechanisms of persuasion
according to the orientation given by the
smell and its apprehension mode
(emotional or cognitive)
            Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
                    3. Conceptual framework of
                            research
Possibilities of associations of scent with one specific
feature of the product, tangible (fonctional) or intangible
(symbolic)

 Product X                   Utility                         utility    Product
                             beliefs                        benefit     attitude
 Scent (2)

   Smell 1
  (tangible
  charact.)
                                                                        Hedonist /
    Smell 2                Product                          Symbolic
  (intangible
                                                                         image
                           attitude                          beliefs
   charact. )                                                            benefit


                Psychological profil of consumer :
                Involvement, Familiarity, Need of cognition, affective intensity,
                optimal level of stimulation
                                  Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
                              4. Methodology research
                                 Selection of materials


   Choice of tested                 4 categories selected : Notebook,
      products                       inderwear, paper towel, bag dustbin
     Desk research                  Larger variety of the subjective
                                     impressions for the books and
  Qualitative study (17              scented underclothing
semi-directives interviews)


                                    Selection on the basis of what the
Choice of tested scents              odors must bring to the product.
                                                           Underware (SG)   Notebook
   Focus group with
        experts                     Functional               Washing          Wood
    (Quinte & Sens)                                           liquid
                                     symbolic                Cuddly            Tea
                                 Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
                  4. Methodology research
             Study and measurement of perceptions of the
                      scented product

Product-odor couples              Variation of perceptions
                                   according to the conditions of
Exploratory qualitative
         study                     smell
    (32 interviews)               Formulation of assumptions
                                  Construction of measuring
   Pretests scales
                                   scales

Test of assumptions                Random assignment with a
  Quantitative causal               situation of odor
        study                      Variance analyzis between
   (264 U ; 255 NB)                 group
  Quantitative study               Study of dimensions of the
       odors                        odor
                          Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
                     5. Results and analysis
                          Test of assumptions

    2 scents
    situations       Pleasant to
                     Resistance           comfort/main
                                             Solidity
/ 1 non-scented     carry (p=,000)
                         book                tenance
                                            /function          Attitude
                       (p=,002)              (p=,001)
                                             (p=,014)
NOTEBOOK (nb)
    1- Wood
     2- Tea
                                     Pleasant to
                                     Development         Pleasure with
                                                             Image
                    Attitude
 UNDERWEAR                               write
                                         chest            the writing
                                                           femininity
                    (p=,000)
  1- Washing                           (p=,005)
                                          (ns)                (ns)
  2- « Cuddly »


                   Level of Excitation (Emotional Intensity)
                               (scent X OSL p=,024)

• Absence of constancy or balance in the results
      No systematic positive effect on perceptions
                      Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
                       5. Results and analysis
                               Lessons learned


 In support of a credible belief (Pleasant to carry, Resistance
book, Pleasure of writing)
but not creation of any beliefs of its own (Image)
In reinforcement of a belief difficult to evaluate (Comfort,
Pleasure of writing)
but not useful in the contrary case (Image, Attracted Book)

The odor, as a key of interpretation, must be easy to
evaluate
in which case (cuddly), unfavourable evaluation of the
components which it is intended to support (Image, Attitude)

                          Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
                            5. Results and Analysis
                 What make the choice of a scent more effective
                              than another one?
    Product-odor couple
                                     Clear and convincing configuration
    Complexity degree

•Accessibles
                           •Important believes                      •Uncredible belief
 •Pertinentes
                             •Hard to estimate                        •Easy to treat
•Easy to treat


                 Smell
                 Liquid
                 Wood              •Accessible                     Product
                  Tea              •Pertinente                       Cuddl
                                    •Complex                           y
             Product


       •All signals lead to the                    •Interference in signals
       same position                                      •Defective
       •Clear argumentation                             argumentation
                                  Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
                  6. Conceptual gain

• Consider scents in the register of the
  representations
   – Semiotic function of scent
   – Prevalence of symbolic and semantic qualities on
     hedonist nature of the odor

• Articulation of two modes of action of the odor
  in regard to sensitive profile

                     Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
                  6. Methodology gain


• Possibility of control and measurement of the
  olfactive phenomena
   – Complementarity of the modes of reading of the
     odor : naive and experts
   – Complementarity of collect methods : qualitative
     and quantitative, comparative and monadic
   – Indirect measurement of the role of the odor : multi-
     sensory approach
                       Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
                    6. Operational gain

• Effective and measured role in promoting expected
  benefit
• Tool of assistance on the three levels of positioning :
  aimed, built and perceived
       Marketer                                        Consumer
 To state a clear benefit,
       convincing                                 To perceive reliable
                                                        indices
   Odor = Argument
    To maximize the                       Odor = Reference mark
 persuasive force of the                  To simplify the treatment
        message
                        Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
              Conclusion – Prudence !

• Limits to any research
• Scent could not influence attitude formation :
  attempt of manipulation ?
• It’s not possible to change the reality of product
  thanks to the odor. We will be able only to
   – consolidate the representation that the consumer
     made of it
   – support credibility, the importance and the
     clearness of a real promise through the odor.

                      Laure Jacquemier-Paquin
Thank you for your attention




           Laure Jacquemier-Paquin

				
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