Scent and Sales II: The Effect of Scent on Consumers' Product Perceptions

Friday, 13 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Gillian M. Baker, Lancaster, OH
The purpose of this experiment was to identify the relationship between scent and consumer behavior.  It was hypothesized that scent would influence people’s perceptions of a product’s characteristics, and it was separately hypothesized that scent would affect the perception of the product’s value.   Three different conditions were arranged with a between-subjects design, with each subject being asked to evaluate the product on a questionnaire. Condition one featured a white t-shirt scented with PINK “Sunny and Happy”; condition two featured a white t-shirt scented with Axe “Phoenix”; and condition three featured an unscented white t-shirt as a control.  The data was entered into SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) and initially analyzed via an ANOVA.  There was no significant difference between the two separate scented conditions when they were compared and therefore the conditions were collapsed.  The sampling of men and women was unequal with 46 women and 21 men participating, and the relationship between gender and scent preference or perception was not analyzed due to a low n value.  However, when responses to both the scented conditions were combined and compared to the control condition in an independent sample T-test, several differences appeared.  There was evidence of scent influencing people’s willingness to wear, buy, or give a product leading to the conclusion that scented clothing is more valued than unscented clothing, as predicted in hypothesis two.