Employee Profile

Maria Sääksjärvi

Associate Professor - Department of Marketing


Sääksjärvi, Maria (2023)

From mental pictures to mental movies: a new approach to positioning of innovations

International Journal of Innovation Science Doi: 10.1108/IJIS-03-2023-0061

Purpose As innovations introduce novel benefits to customers, they would need to be positioned in a way that sets them apart in the market. The purpose of this paper is to propose a novel approach for the positioning of innovations with the use of the customer imagination and, specifically, mental movies. Design/methodology/approach Using the schema approach as this study’s theoretical framework, the author proposes that innovations could be positioned using moving pictures (i.e. mental movies) instead of mental pictures (the approach traditionally taken). Findings A new conceptual framework for the positioning of innovations using mental movies is presented. In the framework, this study outlines how innovations can be positioned with the use of mental movies, and why such an approach would be beneficial. The framework outlines mixed reality, i.e. augmented reality, augmented virtuality and virtuality, as well as the metaverse and gaming as avenues for positioning innovations using mental movies. On the benefit side, the framework identifies successful market introductions, engagement and stickiness, memorability and positive emotions, uniqueness and differentiation and market share as the concrete benefits that can be achieved with this type of positioning. Originality/value The framework provides a novel approach for the positioning of innovations. It departs from existing literature by proposing that innovations can be positioned using mental movies. The framework also identifies why this approach would be beneficial for marketers and managers and provides concrete guidelines for how such a positioning can be achieved in the market.

Koller, Monika; Salzberger, Thomas, Floh, Arne, Zauner, Alexander, Sääksjärvi, Maria & Schifferstein, Hendrik N.J. (2023)

Measuring individual differences in active smelling to evaluate products – The ENFAS-Instrument

Food Quality and Preference, 110 Doi: 10.1016/j.foodqual.2023.104925 - Full text in research archive

Consumers evaluate products with all their senses but exhibit considerable variability in the extent to which they actively use and rely on a specific sense. We know little about the variability in consumers’ propensity to actively engage their sense of smell in the context of product evaluation in purchase decision making. This research provides insights into this issue by conceptualizing the need for smell construct, detailing the development of the ENFAS scale, and providing state-of-the-art psychometric evidence of its validity. Ten studies contributed to a two-dimensional 11-item instrument, supporting the scale’s external and cross-national validity, and establishing the position of need for smell in its nomological net. The results yield insight into how smell perception affects consumer choices and may help optimize product presentations for the retail context.

Academic Degrees
Year Academic Department Degree
2004 Hanken Business School PhD
Work Experience
Year Employer Job Title
2020 - Present BI Norwegian Business School Associate professor