The effects of products' aesthetic design on demand and marketing-mix effectiveness: The role of segment prototypicality and brand consistency

Yan Liu, Krista J. Li, Haipeng Allan Chen, Subramanian Balachander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations

Abstract

A product's physical appearance is difficult to quantify, and the impact of product appearance on demand has rarely been studied using market data. The authors adopt a recently developed morphing technique to measure a product's aesthetic design and investigate its effect on consumer preference. Drawing upon categorization theory, the authors consider the effects of three dimensions of aesthetic design-segment prototypicality (SP), brand consistency (BC), and cross-segment mimicry (CSM)-and their moderating effects on marketing mix effectiveness in a unified framework. The empirical analysis uses a unique, large data set consisting of 202 car models from 33 brands sold in the United States from 2003 to 2010. The authors find that consumer preference peaks at moderate levels of SP and BC and that economy-segment products benefit from CSM of luxury products. Moreover, SP intensifies price sensitivity, and BC muffles price sensitivity while increasing advertising effectiveness. Two what-if studies illustrate how managers can use the empirical model to evaluate alternative aesthetic design choices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-102
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Marketing
Volume81
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, American Marketing Association.

Keywords

  • Brand consistency
  • Categorization
  • Marketing-mix effects
  • Product design
  • Segment prototypicality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing

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