Kiselev V., Krasiuk I., Pljushcheva L.

Chair of marketing & advertising

The Russian state university of trade and economic. Kemerovo branch.

kisselev.vm@mail.ru; irina_krasuk@mail.ru; larisapv@rambler.ru


Reference: Kiselev, V. Methods of change of buyers' involvement in goods purchase     / V.M. Kiselev, I.N. Krasyuk, R.R. Gayfulina      //         Achieving Commodity & Service Excellence in the Age of Digital Convergence.- The 16th Symposium of IGWT.- Korea: Suwon, 2008.- Proceeding Vol.2.- P. 926-928



The article describes the hypothesis that through changing the atmosphere at the point of sale by using various smells it is possible to significantly influence the consumer perception of the goods’ value. To prove the hypothesis put forward, the authors carried out a field experiment using grape juice and wine as examples. The results of the experiment confirmed the validity of the hypothesis.

Consumer Value of Goods, Management of Consumer Value Perception, Selling Proposition, Method of Forming the Value of Goods.



Using the olfactory channel for marketing communication at the point of sale is the area that has been receiving little attention so far. Smells are not tangible although they are material. They are subjective in the perception and therefore it is difficult, if at all possible, to describe them specifically in verbal terms. For this reason, the role of smells as stimulate influencing a person’s emotions has been very little researched [1]. This makes it possible to suggest that using olfactory channels may increase the competitive advantages of goods in the non-cost competition form and improve the ability to influence the decision-making process related to purchases.


Creating controlled emotional states by using olfactory merchandising raises the consumer perception of the goods’ value. Different emotional states lead to different kinds of value perception.


We created a set of methods to raise the value of goods in the minds of customers at the point of sale by using olfactory channel for marketing communication [2].


To test the created method, we carried out an experiment to prove the above hypothesis of controlled usage of olfactory emotional modules [3].

Using a monosmell (a distinct smell of an object, phenomenon etc) does not always lead to an increase in the consumer perception of the products’ value, as the same smell may form principally different emotional states. For example, ilang-ilang causes such states as jealousy or love appeal. Besides, personal intolerance of certain smells occurs sometimes, which we also see as a communication barrier.

To eliminate such incidences, we suggest applying the modality principle that presupposes using a well thought-through mixture of smells forming an olfactory emotional module (OEM) that creates a controlled emotional state, which is viewed by the authors as a conceptual peculiarity.

The modality principle is based on the fact that all smells are very specific both in terms of their chemical nature and by the affective reactions they cause. It assumes that different individuals may not react to certain smells as expected due to various factors that we will address below. In connection with this, it makes sense to use simultaneously several differently directed smells that may bring about the affective reactions in the consumers which will facilitate forming the desired perception of the sale proposition being promoted.

In the course of this experiment, we used OEM (a specially designed mixture of smells for controlled influence of the consumer behavior) that the customers were subjected to. At the same time, the consumer behavior was studied from the point of view of their perception of the value of the selling proposition.


The experiment presupposed concealed influence on consumers at the point of sale though the olfactory channel of marketing communication using the smells being tested. In the process, the customers were subjected to the influence of only one variable being studied while the influence of the factors was eliminated. The experiment was accompanied by sociological survey and observation.

  The results of the experiments using white grape juice are shown in Figure 1., dry white grape wine — in Figure 2.

In this experiment (white grape juice — Figure 1), OEM «Joy-Cheerfulness» was created by the coffee aroma, it raised the perception of the product’s value by 18.9%. OEM „Tenderness“ was created by the cold and fresh smell of melissa, it brought the value perception up by 10.9%. OEM „Attraction-Excitement“ created by the aphrodisiac patchuly raised the value perception by 8.1%. This aroma expresses the emotional module and corresponds to the functional purpose of the product and its perception to a lesser degree than „Joy-Cheerfulness“ or „Tenderness“. OEM „Calmness-Peace“ formed by the smell of geranium did not meet the right response among the consumers – it lowered the perception by 2%.

In order to investigate the possibilities provided by this method, we carried out an experiment with a different product category – dry white grape wine (Figure 2).

Such OEMs as «Excitement» and „Cheerfulness“ raised the perceived value of the product by 33% and 32.1% respectively. While OEM „Romantic Mood“ – by 27%. OEM „Celebratory mood“ created by the smell of orange lifts the wine’s perceived value by 23%.

Therefore, the results of the experiment prove the hypothesis put forward. We would like to note that grape juice is associated with love, attraction and excitement in the customers’ minds to a lesser degree than, for example, grape wine. Let us also note that white grape juice and dry white grape wine differ significantly in the value perception (more than double). This can be explained by the functional and emotional qualities of the products shown in the diagram of the products’ emotional positioning.


The creation of controlled emotional states using OEMs significantly (by 20-30%) raises the consumer perception of the products’ value. Different emotional states lead to different perceptions. The olfactory channel of communication with the consumer at the point of sale can be finely tuned for different product categories and the target consumer audience.



  1. Киселев В. М., Красюк И. Н., Плющева Л. В. Шестое чувство в маркетинге /       //Вестник Российского государственного торгово-экономического университета, 2007.- №2 (18).- С.119-122.
  2. Киселев В. М., Красюк И. Н., Плющева Л. В. Инновационный канал маркетинговых коммуникаций – обонятельный мерчандайзинг // Маркетинговые коммуникации, 2008. - № 2. — С. 98-107.
  3. Киселев В. М., Красюк И. Н., Плющева Л. В. Моделирование процесса обонятельных маркетинговых коммуникаций // Маркетинг, 2008. — №2. — С. 50-68.



Киселев Владимир