Customer Sense

How the 5 Senses Influence Buying Behavior

By Aradhna Krishna
(Palgrave Macmillan, Hardcover, 9780230341739, 208pp.)

Publication Date: April 9, 2013

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For years, marketers have been experimenting with the senses and sensory experiences to create better perceptions of their products. Even with a product as simple as a potato chip, there are many factors that go into the experience of interacting with the chip. How it tastes, how it smells, the sound that eating it makes, and the appearance of its packaging can all influence our perception of the potato chip itself. As scientists and managers begin to recognize the importance of the senses in product design and marketing, more and more products and advertisements have become sensory in nature.
Accepting the importance of the senses brings about a change in how a manager views his or her products. What changes can be made in the packaging, branding, and advertising to captivate the consumer's senses? What changes can be made to the product itself? Dr. Krishna helps managers to understand how customers relate to products on a sensory level, detailing the specific interactions unique to each sense and showing them how small sensory changes can make a huge impact. Customer Sense allows managers to unlock the secret world of sensory appeal and to craft unique products and advertisements for their businesses.

About the Author

Aradhna Krishna is the Dwight F. Benton Professor of Marketing at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. Dr. Krishna received her Ph.D. from New York University in 1989, her MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad in 1984, and her BA in economics from Delhi University in 1979. Besides the Ross school, she has also spent time at Columbia University, New York University, and the National University of Singapore.

She is considered the pioneer of the field of sensory marketing. She defines Sensory marketing as "marketing that engages the consumers' senses and affects their behaviors." Her research explores ways in which a product's look, feel, taste, sound, and smell contribute to how it is perceived, and how people respond to it. She has been working on sensory marketing since 1989 and has published several research papers on the topic. She organized the first Sensory Marketing conference, which was held in Ann Arbor in June 2008 and attended by academics from marketing and psychology and by practitioners. She also has an edited a book on the topic, 'Sensory Marketing: Research on the Sensuality of products,' a compendium of academic research, released by Routledge in December 2009.

Besides the book, Prof. Krishna has also written an academic review paper on the subject, 'An integrative review of sensory marketing: Engaging the senses to affect perception, judgment and behavior," published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology. In addition to holding conferences and writing books and articles on sensory marketing, she has a research laboratory ( where many of the ideas presented in this book have evolved.

Prof. Krishna is among the fifty most productive researchers in marketing having published more than sixty articles in the most prestigious outlets including the Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Marketing, and Harvard Business Review. Her work has been cited in various media such as New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, LA Times, NPR, Economic Times India, Globe and Mail, and Telegraph UK. She is a lead Area Editor for the Journal of Consumer Psychology, an area editor for Management Science and serves on the editorial boards of Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Consumer Research, and Marketing Science.

She teaches sensory marketing to undergraduate business majors, MBAs and executives across the world. She also consults with numerous firms on issues of product design, package design, advertising and communication, and customer experience design. She has served on the Board of Directors of Northern Technology International Corporation, a consistent Forbes best 200 small company, and has consulted with several firms and served as an expert witness.

She is also a sensuist who enjoys drinking second flush Darjeeling tea in porcelain cups, collecting figurative art prints, listening to a-tonal jazz, cooking foods with strong aromas, and gardening without gloves.

Praise For Customer Sense

"A sophisticated, easy-handed elucidation of the practice of marketing to our senses." - Kirkus

"Marketers have been using sensory experiences to help promote brands for many years to varying degrees of success. It seems to be a hit or miss proposition. In this groundbreaking book, Customer Sense, Aradhna Krishna shows how the science of senses works and how marketers can effectively use smell, taste, touch, vision, and sound to develop and promote any brand or product. This book should be on every marketer's and product developer's shelf." - Jennifer Aaker, Professor of Marketing, Stanford University

"The sense of smell is our most evocative and emotional sense. Scents can trigger memories and emotions that are deeply meaningful and inspiring - your favorite childhood toy, the moment you fell in love - and can change our behaviors and alter our moods. In Customer Sense, Dr. Krishna explores how smell and the other four senses interact with consumers to influence our attitudes and opinions about a product. This book is for anyone who is looking to connect with customers at a multisensory level and where their most fundamental motivations lie." - Rachel Herz, PhD, Author of The Scent of Desire, Adjunct Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown University Medical School

"Customer Sense opens up new windows into the many ways we perceive brands at the deepest, most fundamental levels. It will increase your marketing insight fivefold, one sense at a time, with practical ways to maximize the full range of customer experience." - Douglas Van Praet, author of Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing

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