Product Scent and Memory

11 Pages Posted: 21 Jan 2015

See all articles by Aradhna Krishna

Aradhna Krishna

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

M Lwin

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Maureen Morrin

Temple University - Fox School of Business and Management; Temple University - Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management

Abstract

Scent research has focused primarily on the effects of ambient scent on consumer evaluations. We focus instead on the effects of product scent on consumer memories. For instance, if a pencil or a facial tissue is imbued with scent (vs. not), recall for the brand’s other attributes increases significantly — with the effects lasting as much as 2 weeks after exposure. We also find that product scent is more effective than ambient scent at enhancing memory for product information. We suggest that this may be because, with product (ambient) scent, scent-related associations are focused on a single object (are diffused across multiple objects) in the environment. In support, we find that the memory effects are driven by the number of product/scent-related associations stored in long-term memory. The results suggest that, although ambient scent has received the bulk of attention from researchers and managers in recent years, greater focus on product scent is warranted.

Suggested Citation

Krishna, Aradhna and Lwin, M and Morrin, Maureen, Product Scent and Memory. Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 37, June 2010, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2552127

Aradhna Krishna (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI MI 48109
United States

M Lwin

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) ( email )

S3 B2-A28 Nanyang Avenue
Singapore, 639798
Singapore

Maureen Morrin

Temple University - Fox School of Business and Management ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

Temple University - Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

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