Special Session at Product Development Management Conference

The Product Development and Management Association (PDMA), host of the Journal of Product Innovation Management (JPIM), organizes a special session on scent scent development on the occasion of its annual research forum in Chicago.

The JPIM Research Forum, powered by PDMA, is a premier research conference and proud to highlight JPIM, the leading academic journal for research on new product development (NPD) and innovation management. This is the context for a special session:


Specifying the Intangible in an Experience Economy: Insights from Scent Development in Artistic Perfumery

In an experience economy the development of a new fragrance is an extraordinarily challenging process: It is not only the consumer who is tongue-tied when trying to describe a scent or making preferences explicit. Moreover, in the growing segment of artistic perfumery new scents are based on original, often unconventional ideas such as making a perfume that smells like melancholy. While this can sound promising to potential consumers, the experiential nature of the product poses a real challenge: How can an intangible quality be specified? And how is it translated into a chemical formula? Product developers, designers and perfumers need to organize their work in such a way that the immaterial, often deeply personal emotion can materialize into a concrete product.

This special session presents data from longitudinal, qualitative research on perfume making in artistic perfumery. Using olfactory material the interactive workshop involves the participants in a multi-sensory mode. Moreover, the session draws attention to the intricacies of the mostly hidden sense of smell – a topic that is relevant beyond the world of perfumery. In China’s growing car market for example smell currently attracts management attention as the customers’ top concern ahead of engine issues, road noise or fuel consumption. What used to be the magic of the new car scent seriously challenges product developers today. Smell is an increasingly significant factor in the experience economy.

Session Organizer: Claus Noppeney, University of Applied Sciences Bern

Thanks a lot to the conference co-chairs Sebastian Gurtner and Haisu Zhang for making this possible.

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