In this Speaker’s Box, Kathryn LaTour investigates how better to engage consumers in learning synesthetically (causing multiple senses to interact) through managerial communications. She begins by defining the “ideal” mind-set for creating consumer learning and examines the use of cross-modal learning for memory retention. With results of a survey comparing synesthetic tendencies between experts and regular consumers, she demonstrates that learning can change the manner and way that consumers approach products. LaTour then uses an experiment to explain how communications can help consumers learn to appreciate hedonic products. Managers, she writes, can benefit from synesthetic approaches to directing consumer learning by setting the stage for the experience (how it should begin) as well as how it should be experienced.
Douglas C. West
Professor of Marketing, King’s College London
Contributing Editor, Journal of Advertising Research