Where does product attachment come from? The effects of sight, hearing, and smell in the automobile market

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Sensory marketing is advantageous because it can help reduce the amount invested to yield such a high effect. However, the existing literature in this area is limited to services (restaurants, hotels, retail, tourism, etc.) and foods for which it is easy to have sensitive sensory experiences. This study aimed to clarify the influence of sensory stimuli on attachment in the Japanese and American automobile markets. An online survey was distributed through a Japanese research company to 1,000 car owners in their 20s to 60s (500 people from each country). The results of applying structural modeling to the survey data confirm the significant effect of sight (β = 0.336, p-value < 0.000), which consists of styling and colors in the exterior and interior, and hearing (β = 0.379, p-value < 0.000), which consists of driving sound, door sound, and startup sound. In contrast, the results indicate no effect of smell (β = –0.031, p-value = 0.663). In addition, comparing the two countries, sight (β = 0.721, p-value < 0.000) was effective in Japan, and hearing (β = 0.741, p-value < 0.000) was effective in the United States. Practitioners should comprehensively evaluate sensory stimuli, understand their priorities, and deliver sensory experiences in multiple functions. This consistent embodiment can strengthen the consumer’s attachment to the product.

Acknowledgment
This work was supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science KAKENHI Grant Number JP23K12567.

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    • Figure 1. Hypothetical model
    • Table 1. Distribution of respondent attributes in each country
    • Table 2. Question list
    • Table 3. Exploratory factor analysis
    • Table 4. Structural equation modeling results
    • Table 5. Multiple group structural equation modeling results
    • Conceptualization
      Takumi Kato
    • Data curation
      Takumi Kato
    • Formal Analysis
      Takumi Kato
    • Funding acquisition
      Takumi Kato
    • Investigation
      Takumi Kato
    • Methodology
      Takumi Kato
    • Project administration
      Takumi Kato
    • Resources
      Takumi Kato
    • Software
      Takumi Kato
    • Supervision
      Takumi Kato
    • Validation
      Takumi Kato
    • Visualization
      Takumi Kato
    • Writing – original draft
      Takumi Kato
    • Writing – review & editing
      Takumi Kato