The Senses in Anthropological and Marketing Research: Investigating a Consumer-Brand Ritual Holistically
Keywords:Anthropology of the senses, brand, consumer behavior, ritual, sensory marketing
AbstractThe study of the senses encompasses a range of approaches from the social sciences and humanities. Anthropology, in particular, turns our attention away from previous considerations of the senses as biologically determined and universally fixed, to more interactive, adaptable and fluid concepts of the senses that are continuously shaped by culture, geography and history. Alternately, business marketers increasingly explore the senses and consumer’s sensory response to brands as a means of eliciting deeper, more personal experiences with products and services. While anthropologists regard the senses as a form of social interaction, marketers seek to maximize consumer-brand relations by targeting specific sensory responses to consumption. This study integrates both views in an ethnographic investigation of a brand ritual. It examines the sensorial dimensions and symbolic associations of a shaving ritual that foster skills and reformulate time, which inform culturally situated notions of self-presentation and identity. This study advances a more holistic sensory approach to brand rituals as a means of enhancing consumer brand relationships and experiential consumption studies.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).