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Publication Title

Journal of Marketing





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American Marketing Association


Marketers are increasingly allowing consumers to sample sensory-rich experiential products before making purchase decisions. The results of seven experimental studies (two conducted in field settings, three conducted in a laboratory, and two conducted online) demonstrate that the order in which consumers sample products and the level of (dis)similarity between the sensory cues of the products influence choices. In the absence of any moderators, when sampling a sequence of sensory-rich experiential products (e.g., fragrances, chocolates, flavored beverages, music) with similar sensory cues (e.g., smell, taste, color, sound), consumers prefer the first product in the sequence. However, when sampling a sequence of products with dissimilar sensory cues, consumers prefer the last product. These findings (1) contribute to a better understanding of the role of sequential sensory cues on consumer choice formation, (2) have implications for effects related to sensory habituation and sensory trace fading, and (3) help resolve apparent inconsistencies in prior research on order effects in the context of choices for sequentially sampled experiential products.




Author Posting. © American Marketing Association, 2014. This article is posted here by permission of American Marketing Association for personal use, not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Journal of Marketing, Vol. 78, (2014)

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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

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