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Ambient scent and consumer exploratory behaviour: A causal analysis

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Stimulating consumers to explore ‘new' wines constitutes a major marketing challenge. This paper investigates the potential of retail atmospherics, namely ambient scent, for supporting consumer exploratory behaviour. Scents pretested to vary in pleasantness were diffused in a laboratory setting. Data were collected on consumer actual and optimum stimulation level, exploratory tendencies, and behaviour. It was determined that the pleasantness of a scent moderated effects of optimum and actual stimulation on risk taking, variety seeking, and curiosity-motivated behaviour. Downstream effects extended onto the importance of label colour, text, and grape variety in the preference development process. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: College of Business, Oregon State University, Bexell Hall 330, Corvallis, OR, 97331-2603, USA 2: Institut supérieur d'agriculture (ISARA), Lyon, 31 Place Bellecour, 69288, Lyon, France

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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