Capturing sensory experiences through semi-structured elicitation questions
Tapping into the consumers' mind is essential when designing tourism and leisure experiences and creating effective marketing tools to promote them. However, capturing perceptions and/or memories of experiences is far from easy. Much of consumers' thinking occurs in their unconscious and only surfaces through metaphors and stories; yet, most research practices wrongly assume that consumers have easy access to memories or attitudes and can readily explain their thinking and behaviors (Zaltman, 2003). The challenge of capturing perceptions and memories of experiences is especially apparent for sensory aspects of experiences, as a lot of sensory information is unconsciously processed. Sensory descriptions or depictions of experiences are critical in the context of experiential marketing but are difficult to formulate if the sensory essence of experiences as perceived by the consumers is unknown and cannot be easily captured through traditional research approaches.