Bleh and the Aroma of Fresh Baking

Last week was a rather hectic as I commuted daily between Ottawa and Montreal (200Km each way or 1600Km in total or 120L of gas) because Sofia was in Brazil and that left me to take care of the kids (same thing happens next week when she goes to Panama). So opportunities to blog were rather scarce. This week, I have to play catch up at work on hours missed last week.

I am not out of ideas, just out of energy to blog. bleh.

Anyway ...

I was in Chapters this past Monday and went to the magazine rack to look at magazines. I picked a glossy one (Circuit Cellar) and it was warm. It felt very nice in my hands and evoked a very pleasant emotional rsponse. I didn't have my infrared pyrometer with me (even if I did, I would have felt self conscious pulling it out to measure the temperature of the magazines, the shelving and lights), but I would estimate it at having been somewhere between 30C and 35C (based on measuring the temperature of my hands later on and remembering that the magazine felt "alive" warm and not "heated" warm).

It got me wondering if this was done on purpose or simply an artefact of the lights crammed into the shelving to make the magazine bright and attractive. I think it is an artefact.

However, it got me thinking about other thinks that evoke strong positive emotional responses in us and can be used to manipulate us to buy things. I've looked at homes where the sales agent has brought in a bread machine and baked bread to give it that nice smell.

I then wondered if other goods could be sold by warming them. Towels came to mind. Imagine walking into your favourite department store, you are browsing, your eye is caught by some display in the towel section, you walk over and pick up a warm towel from the shelf. You could optionally waft in a fresh scent, maybe vanilla, maybe lily-of-the-valley (muguet in French). I think, stores could sell more towels if they were soft and warm when customers picked them up (but it has to be a living warm, close to body temperature, not a heated warm, because then it is artificial).

Of course, maybe this would only work in climates where it is cold or cool. I can't imagine it working in Singapore where it is hot all the time (a blogger described it once to me as the land of perpetual Spring and Summer) - forecast to be between high 20s and low 30s (with rain) for the next few days.

For the curious, I did buy the magazine (along with a few others and a book).


Sweetiepie said…
kekeke!ya what a good idea to sell warm pleasant aroma towels.Geee!for sure you can find warm towels in tropical country all year round :)Take care
Barbara said…
Giving out samples seems to make products sell well in the store where I buy most of my groceries. That small taste just whets your appetite. Appealing to any one of our 5 senses is a great marketing technique.
b said…
I hear you on the blogging. It isn't that I am out of ideas (on the contrary, I've been scribbling down ideas on post-it notes which are now taking over a good portion of my desk!), just out of time and in those few minutes here and there that I do have, I find myself wanting to catch up on other blogs. Also, blogging has to be a leisure activity for me. When I feel pressed to quickly post something, it no longer becomes enjoyable.

Anyway, this experience is very interesting... the warm magazine. I do like the towel idea as well but yes, as you mentioned, it would have to be body warm natural and not that dry, artificial heat. No doubt that those sensory experiences really do enhance our desire to purchase. And marketing companies know and manipulate this all too well!
carra said…
The idea of picking up a warm, lavender scented towel sound too good to be true, but really lovely. I certainly would try to apply this in my store if I was selling towels. Smell for me is the decision making tool in the shopping activity. I will always buy apples if they smell sweet, even if they don't look sweet. I've never been wrong. Also I totally rely on smell when buying cheese, if it stinks like week old socks and makes me want to be sick, I know my husband will love it, this technique also never failed me. However I'm carried away with those towels now!
Richard said…
sweetiepie: it is all about making things appealing. Marketing often talks about selling the experience, not the product.

barbara: do those samples actually make you want to buy the product? I always thought people took the product or coupon out of politeness and then abandoned in another aisle.

mattbg: I will have to see if it is available from the library.

breal: didn't you used to have an avatar? There is definitely the desire to post a somewhat coherent thought. Also, I try to be concise because I can ramble if I am not careful.

carra: my parents like that kind of cheese too. The most offensive was one they called "hauskeisa" (the Silesian name for it) or "Ser Sma┼╝ony Domowy" (in Polish). It smells like a very fresh and very full diaper. It is gelatinous and my mother says it is ripe when it walks on its own. shudder. I remember buying this old Stilton cheese for my dad, it really looked well past its prime, what with all the mould and fuzziness on it. It is hard to believe that this stuff has a best before date - I mean, how can it get any worse?

The only senses you can engage with your online store is sight and possibly sound.

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