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The Effect of Crossmodal Congruency Between Ambient Scent and the Store Environment on Consumer Reactions: An Abstract

Book Contribution - Book Chapter Conference Contribution

Ambient scents used by retailers should be pleasant and appropriate. This paper proposes that an ambient scent should also be crossmodally congruent with the store environment. Crossmodal congruency refers to the crossmodal correspondences (i.e., the tendency of one sensory attribute to be associated with an attribute in another sense) that are shared between the ambient scent and the store environment. In this study, a scent crossmodally congruent with the store, a scent crossmodally incongruent with the store and a no scent condition were compared. In order to determine the crossmodal congruency, an index of 11 bi-polar items (e.g., loud versus quiet) was applied to the perception of the store and of the ambient scent. The degree in which they differed resulted in either congruency or incongruency. Results revealed that crossmodal congruency between store and ambient scent leads to higher approach behavior. Furthermore, positive effects were found when comparing the congruent scent with the no scent condition on pleasure, store (environment) evaluation, and word-of-mouth. It is therefore proposed to include the crossmodal congruency between the ambient scent and the store environment as a criteria when selecting an ambient scent.
Book: Creating Marketing Magic and Innovative Future Marketing Trends. Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
Series: Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
Pages: 913 - 914
Publication year:2017
Keywords:ambient scent, crossmodal correspondences, crossmodal congruency, retail atmospherics