Product Familiarity: The nose knows...

Sure, the picture at left looks nice - but that's only because I couldn't find a photo of anyone smelling a textbook. That's right - as reported by Reuters, a recent poll showed that "43 percent of students identified smell... as the quality they most liked about books as physical objects." Who would be interested in such a strange (leading) polling question? Why, electronic-textbook company CafeScribe of course, who's wondering why people are so reluctant to abandon physical books for their bits-and-bytes equivalents. Their solution: ship a scratch-and-sniff sticker which smells like a book to every student purchasing an e-textbook. Scratch'n'study? Yeaaaah.

But seriously now, this is interesting: the notion of encouraging new product adoption by slowly weaning the user off of the familiar - but irrelevant - trappings of an old product. We as users like to think we're above this kind of condescending trickery - and in this relatively ridiculous example, we're probably right. But the general notion may have legs - so old dogs don't have to learn quite as many new tricks!

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