Being Jean-Baptiste Grenouille: on the trail of consumers' olfactory perceptions


QUALITATIVE RESEARCH JOURNAL, vol.20, no.2, pp.188-204, 2020 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1108/qrj-09-2019-0066
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, ABI/INFORM
  • Page Numbers: pp.188-204
  • Keywords: Smell, Sensory marketing, Olfaction, Scent, Smell marketing, ZMET, Perception, AMBIENT SCENT, MENTAL MODELS, METAPHOR, ENVIRONMENT, CUSTOMER
  • Akdeniz University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose This research aims to uncover consumers' deeply hidden thoughts and feelings about store scent and its effects on shopping experiences. Design/methodology/approach Following a qualitative approach, this research uses Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique (ZMET). All the steps of the ZMET have been performed, and important constructs and contents have been explored. Findings Ultimately, a hierarchical value map was presented. Accordingly, the naturalness and intensity of the scent played a prominent part in its effectiveness. The pleasantness and complexity of the scent, the malodor, congruity and incongruity of the scent, as well as nostalgia, were seen as the predominant originator constructs that resulted in approach or avoidance reactions. Originality/value Using ZMET as an innovative research method makes the study significant. By doing so, the metaphors of consumption are extended to the sensory marketing field to provide a more comprehensive understanding on the effects of store scent. Moreover, the study contributes to the existing literature of smell marketing.