So when I received an email out of the blue from an undergraduate student there, my ears pricked up:
"My Name is Nina Meier and I am currently writing my bachelor thesis at University of St. Gallen (HSG, Switzerland) about 'the influence of blogs on the perfume market'. In course of my thesis I am now looking for qualified interview partners who are willing to answer a few questions regarding this specific topic."
Nina's degree is in business administration, and her professor, Claus Noppeney, has a special interest in scent. Nina drew my attention to an interesting post on the Scent Culture Institute within the university, which I see counts Andy Tauer as one of its collaborators. Here is an excerpt from the About page of the Institute's website, explaining the olfactory tie up in more detail.
"The sense of smell has long been disregarded as one of the lower senses. More recently, however, the cultural and social relevance of the sense of smell is increasingly recognized. The formation of the Scent Culture Institute reflects this development. It is involved in different kinds of projects focusing on the sense of smell in culture, business and society. Projects vary in orientation: research, consulting, education, scent design, etc. The growing number of projects show how olfaction, scent and smell are increasingly the focus of cultural studies, art and design practice, as well as management research."
|Me in St Gallen - wearing my sample scoring coat!|
Well, as a market researcher myself, I am always happy to help out where I can - I am often excluded from surveys by virtue of being a professional 'insider' - but no such criteria applied here. So Nina sent me - along with a whole clatter of other bloggers, many of them familiar names on the scene - her survey questions, and I plan to post my own answers on Bonkers shortly. I am holding off from doing so for a while longer though, so as not to bias any readers who wish to take part in a short online survey Nina has also devised.
"Furthermore my current research design is also intending a qualitative part, in which course I would also like to make an online survey with the followers/readers of your blog."
The aim of this parallel line of inquiry is to see what sources of information about fragrance are consulted by the perfume wearing public, and how relatively influential they are in shaping people's views of brands or individual scents. So clearly my saying whether I think Bonkers about Perfume has any part to play in all of that might prejudice the results of this related 'consumer' research.
So without further ado, here is the link to Nina's online survey. It only takes a few minutes - no, really, I did a dummy run myself to see! - and your participation would be very helpful for her thesis.
Online survey link
My answers to the bloggers' survey to follow...