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What to Diffuse in a Gender-Specific Store? The Effect of Male and Female Scents on Customer Value and Behavior

Journal Contribution - Journal Article

Sensory marketing can be an efficient way to involve consumers in the store environment. Diffusing a pleasant ambient scent that matches with the store setting is often used to create pleasant shopping experiences. The aim of this study is to extend scent marketing research: (1) by examining the effect of pleasant ambient scent on the different dimensions of customer value; and (2) by exploring whether product-scent incongruity can have a positive effect on consumer evaluations. A field experiment with 182 participants showed that a pleasant gender-incongruent ambient perfume positively influences different dimensions of customer value as compared to the absence of a perfume. Moreover, a gender-incongruent perfume also leads to a more positive evaluation of the play, product excellence, and social dimension of customer value as compared to a gender-congruent perfume. A pleasant gender-congruent ambient perfume, on the other hand, only has a positive effect on the aesthetic dimension of customer value as compared to the absence of a perfume. The observed ambient scent effects do not differ between men and women. These results are in contrast with existing literature. However, an explanation for this undocumented effect can be found in the mate attraction theory.
Journal: Journal of Consumer Behaviour
ISSN: 1472-0817
Issue: 3
Volume: 15
Pages: 271 - 280
Number of pages: 10
Publication year:2016
Keywords:ambient scent, store atmospherics, consumer psychology, (in)congruity, mating cue
BOF-publication weight:1
CSS-citation score:1
Authors from:Higher Education