Pheromones Proven to Influence Purchase Intent

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by: Alain Thys

While I've been hearing about sensory marketing since the 80s, the number of research reports actually confirming that it works have remained very limited. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to read in the New Scientist that researchers from the universities of Ulster and Vienna have been able to connect the impact of using pheromones on products on "purchase intent".

In this, it appeared that men who were exposed to the androstenol (a pheromone found in the male underarm transpiration), declared a significantly higher intent to purchase the typical men's magazine Men's Health than any of the other groups. Women appeared completely uninfluenced by the presence of the pheromone. Now before you run off to the perfume houses to work on your products a word of warning.

The study has been conducted in laboratory conditions, so there's no guarantee the same effect will appear in a retail environment. Also, what would happen if all publishers would suddenly go on the fragrancing tour is highly unpredictable (though it may do wonders for Wall-Mart's single shopping night 😉 If you're into this sort of thing, also check out Psychology & Marketing , it's a bit of a heavy read, yet full of interesting titbits.

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