Consumer Response to Aesthetic Mass Customization

33 Pages Posted: 25 Oct 2012  

Ruth Mugge

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Frederic F. Brunel

Boston University

Jan Schoormans

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: October 16, 2012

Abstract

Although recent research has explored consumers’ reactions towards mass customization (MC) in general, these studies have considered aesthetic and functional MC as one and the same. In the present article, we focus specifically on consumer response to aesthetic MC because there are some unique factors that influence this type of MC. Providing insights in these factors can help firms in order to more successfully implement aesthetic MC strategies in products. In our research, hypothetical MC configurators were presented to respondents. The configurators were varied and allowed for different extents of aesthetic MC. In addition, the visibility of the mass-customized product elements to others was manipulated. Our findings suggest that customizing a product’s aesthetic features enhances its self-expressive value, which on its turn positively affects consumers’ evaluations of MC and the behavioural intentions (e.g., purchase intention). Furthermore, a greater extent of aesthetic MC increases the perceived complexity of the MC task, which negatively affects evaluation. Finally, visibility of the mass-customized product elements to others enhances the self-expressive value of aesthetically customized products. The article concludes with the implications of these findings for firms interested in pursuing MC strategies.

Keywords: mass customization, product design, eesthetics, self-identity

Suggested Citation

Mugge, Ruth and Brunel, Frederic F. and Schoormans, Jan, Consumer Response to Aesthetic Mass Customization (October 16, 2012). Boston U. School of Management Research Paper No. 2012-27. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2162280 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2162280

Ruth Mugge

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Frederic F. Brunel (Contact Author)

Boston University ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617 353 4609 (Phone)
617 353 4098 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://smgnet.bu.edu/mgmt_new/profiles/BrunelFrederic.html

Jan Schoormans

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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