Monday, November 24, 2008

Olfactory Route to the Consumer's Heart

The Economist predicts that in 2009 the world will see the sense of smell integrated into the browsing and buying experiences for consumers. See the article "Led by the Nose" here. The article quotes:

"Simon Harrop, chief executive of BRAND sense agency, reckons the power of scents comes from their close association with emotion and memory. Get the smell right and you can bypass rational thought."

I believe perhaps for the first time purchase the average buyer "may" go for an evaluation that involves obvious or discrete methods of olfactory indulgence (or insurgency) yet the mainstream consumer, for example a mother does not on average have the time for extrapolation or exploration unless it comes in the form of a free trial, coupon, etc. and is usually a repeat buyer of tried and proven products.

The article ends with:

"But retailers and their marketers are treading a path full of pitfalls. What are the ethics, for instance, of enticing obese people to buy snacks by wafting the smell of popcorn at them?"

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