research@hec - Issue #13 - (Page II)

Trailing a Scent research hec Gilles Laurent Does Age Affect Perfume Brand Loyalty? Gilles Laurent and Raphaëlle Lambert-Pandraud (professor at ESCP Europe), specialists in consumer behavior and the statistical analysis of marketing problems, have been studying the impact of consumers’ age on their purchasing decisions for several years now. They have looked at the importance of this issue in various sectors, including new car purchases, choice of radio station, and voting in elections. Why study the perfume market in particular? The coexistence of perfumes that are decades old with the launch of hundreds of new perfumes each year on a single market makes it an excellent testing ground to study consumers’ brand fidelity as a function of their age. What impact does a person’s age have on her purchasing habits? Gilles Laurent and Raphaëlle Lambert-Pandraud offer the beginnings older, women remain loyal to their perfumes for a longer time, while BIOGRAPHY Gilles Laurent is professor in the marketing department of HEC Paris, where he teaches in the MBA, grande école, and doctoral programs. His other research bears on consumer behavior (brand fidelity, price memorization, luxury, etc.) and on various aspects of marketing (the impact of sales, stockouts in big-box stores, etc.) He is a graduate of HEC Paris (1970) and holds a Ph.D from MIT (1978). BETWEEN NOSTALGIA AND THE QUEST FOR NOVELTY The two authors used two studies that examined French women’s perfume habits. The first relies on an Acxiom-Consodata database relating to the purchasing habits of the French population, which supplied information about the preferences of of an answer with their studies on women’s choice of perfume. As they grow younger women’s search for novelty makes them a less stable clientele. A RELATIONSHIP THAT STABILIZES WITH TIME The two researchers observed that as women increase in age so does their preference for older perfume brands. Another important element of Laurent and Lamber-Pantraud’s findings is that young women tend to change perfumes often, whereas older consu- 130,500 perfume consumers. The second study was an analysis of the responses to a questionnaire given to 260 women as they exited a Nocibé perfume and beauty supplies store. The study’s goal was to understand women’s relationship to their perfume, and how it changes over time. The women were asked to indicate their approval or disagreement with statements such as “I like to try new perfumes” (taste for novelty), “I’m faithful to the perfumes I wore when I first started to go out” (nostalgia), and “I’d like to wind back the clock a few years” (regret about the past). The researchers set out to investigate the hypothetical importance of three factors: brand attachment, the quest for novelty, and nostalgia. II research@hec • February-March 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of research@hec - Issue #13

Cover & Contents
Trailing a Scent: Does Age Affect Perfume Brand Loyalty?
When the Going Gets Tough,Who Can You Trust?
Major Risks and PublicManagement
Excellence in Finance Research at HEC Paris

research@hec - Issue #13