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Multisensory marketing: Julius Buchholz - Nose in front

2022-03-15 The Corona pandemic has turned the home office from the exception to the rule. For his Bachelor's thesis, the 22-year-old investigated whether scents make people more productive at home. The research results are to be published.

"Little is known about the influence of room scents on work behaviour in one's own home," explains Julius Buchholz. ©Julius Buchholz
"Little is known about the influence of room scents on work behaviour in one's own home," explains Julius Buchholz.

Julius Buchholz spent the last two semesters of his Bachelor's degree largely alone at his desk at home: "When things started up again after the lockdown, I liked to do something special in my Bachelor's thesis." Consumer behaviour and the psychology behind it had interested the business administration student for quite some time. "I had already taken part in a teaching research project and got to know many methods there." Julius Buchholz wanted to build on this knowledge with an experimental project. He had already taken some seminars with Dr. Monika Imschloß, Professor of Marketing, where he dealt with multisensory marketing. In perfumeries, fashion chains or hotels, for example, fragrances are supposed to ensure a likeable brand image. "However, little is known about the influence of room scents on work behaviour in one's own home," explains Julius Buchholz.

When he wrote to the marketing professor to apply for a Bachelor's thesis topic, she responded immediately: "Monika Imschloß was able to remember me right away and took an hour to answer my questions," says Julius Buchholz. The supervision was also close-meshed during the Bachelor's thesis: "I think that's one of the great advantages of Leuphana. The study groups are small and you are not just a number."

Julius Buchholz had a big project to tackle: He investigated the influence of scenting devices on perceived productivity and well-being in the home office and first had to bring almost 140 electric scent cubes to the study participants. "A professional scent agency provided the scenting devices and we researched their effect in the home office", explains Julius Buchholz. He found test persons via social media, among other things. The scenting company also organised part of it. For four days, the student drove through Lüneburg and the surrounding area in his father's car and distributed the devices. Then the data collection began. "We wanted to know how the room scent affects the productivity and satisfaction of the participants. The results of the six-week questionnaire study are so exciting that they are to be published. "That's why we have to hold back the contents for now," explains the Leuphana alumnus.

The Bachelor's thesis was very work-intensive for him, but just as enriching: "I learned a lot and experienced how research works."

Support came from many sides. At lunchtime in the canteen, his fellow students not only asked how his project was going, but also offered to help. After all, the scenting devices had to be collected again at the end: "It's great that there's so much support at Leuphana."

Julius Buchholz is now studying at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster and would like to found a start-up later.