From sensory marketing to cross-cultural sustainability, Professor Aradhna Krishna continues to break new ground
Professor Aradhna Krishna, from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, has been a marketing pioneer for many years. She is a behavioral scientist who focuses on persuasion. Krishna studies how different product and communication design aspects impact people’s perceptions and behavior. Her work has looked at decisions related to health and nutrition, sensory and non-conscious marketing, food marketing, corporate social responsibility, and political decision-making.
Krishna is the leading voice in sensory marketing. Harvard Business Review acknowledged her as “the foremost expert in the field.”
“I define sensory marketing as marketing that engages the consumers' senses and affects their perception, judgment, and behavior,” says Krishna. “Given the gamut of explicit marketing appeals made to consumers daily, subconscious triggers which appeal to the basic senses may be a more efficient way to engage consumers.”
As part of Krishna’s program to grow the field, she runs a Sensory Marketing Lab that guides other scholars. It focuses on understanding how sensory aspects of products affect consumer emotions, memories, perceptions, preferences, choices, and consumption of these products.
Krishna has more than 100 published articles in journals like the Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing Science, Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Marketing, Harvard Business Review, Journal of Economic Theory, and others. She is an associate editor for the Journal of Consumer Research and the Journal of Marketing Research. Her work has been cited in various media such as New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Huffington Post, LA Times, NPR, Economic Times India, Globe and Mail, and Telegraph UK. Krishna has done a TED talk on the power of mental imagery, and she was named a Fellow of the Society of Consumer Psychology, the organization’s highest honor, in recognition of her contributions to consumer psychology.
Krishna's latest work explores ways to share sustainability practices across different cultures.
“I started thinking about this during a water shortage in New York,” says Krishna. “I was talking with a colleague, and they mentioned that they’ve been switching off the water when they soap themselves in the shower. I was taken aback because I had always been doing that – that’s what you are taught to do when you grow up in India. Just as you are also taught to switch off lights in rooms that you are not using at that moment. It got me thinking about how people approach sustainability across cultures; and how we can learn from each other.”
Dr. Krishna received her PhD from New York University, her MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and her BA in Economics from Delhi University. Besides the Ross School, she has also spent time at Columbia University, New York University, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the National University of Singapore.