7. 7. The Making of the Sensuous Consumer

Pascale Desroches and Jean-Sébastien Marcoux

in Inside Marketing

Published in print February 2011 | ISBN: 9780199576746
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191724916 | DOI:
7. 7. The Making of the Sensuous Consumer

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Drawing on the work of Latour and Woolgar, that opens up the “black box” of the laboratory, as well as on David Howes' contemporary reflections in sensual anthropology, this chapter seeks to examine critically, and reflexively, the making of the sensuous consumers in the contemporary “hypersensual marketplace.” Based on the ethnography of the Direction Marketing Internationale (DMI) of L'Oréal at the company's headquarters in Paris, it analyzes how sensuous consumers are described, represented, and objectified by managers. This ethnography takes us beyond the science and technology studies, however. It shows how the “hypersensual marketplace” that is taking shape in a firm like L'Oréal, as sensory products continue to be developed and tests are repeated lies at the junction between the practical science described and an elusive sensual culture. It also demonstrates the need to delve into the material and sensory dimensions of products in a way that remains unexplored by most interpretive researchers. In other words, this chapter points to the need for us, researchers, to broaden our understanding of the consumer.

Keywords: sensuous consumer; hypersensual marketplace; sensory products; ethnography

Chapter.  9408 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Marketing

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