The Effects of a Product's Aesthetic Design on Demand and Marketing Mix Effectiveness: The Role of Segment Prototypicality and Brand Consistency

Forthcoming, Journal of Marketing

Posted: 4 Jan 2017

See all articles by Yan Liu

Yan Liu

Texas A&M University, Department of Finance

Krista J. Li

Indiana University

Haipeng (Allan) Chen

University of Kentucky - Gatton College of Business and Economics

Subramanian Balachander

University of California, Riverside - School of Business Administration

Date Written: August 8, 2016

Abstract

A product’s physical appearance is difficult to quantify and therefore its impact 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 three dimensions of aesthetic design, i.e., 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 dataset consisting of 202 car models from 33 brands sold in the U.S. 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 cross-segment mimicry 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.

Keywords: Product Design, Aesthetic Design, Segment Prototypicality, Brand Consistency, Categorization, Marketing Mix Effects

JEL Classification: M31, C25

Suggested Citation

Liu, Yan and Li, Krista J. and Chen, Haipeng (Allan) and Balachander, Subramanian, The Effects of a Product's Aesthetic Design on Demand and Marketing Mix Effectiveness: The Role of Segment Prototypicality and Brand Consistency (August 8, 2016). Forthcoming, Journal of Marketing. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2892045

Yan Liu (Contact Author)

Texas A&M University, Department of Finance ( email )

Wehner 401Q, MS 4353
College Station, TX 77843-4218
United States

Krista J. Li

Indiana University ( email )

107 S Indiana Ave
100 South Woodlawn
Bloomington, IN 47405
United States

HOME PAGE: http://kelley.iu.edu/facultyglobal/directory/FacultyProfile.cfm?netID=kjli

Haipeng (Allan) Chen

University of Kentucky - Gatton College of Business and Economics ( email )

550 South Limestone
Lexington, KY 40506
United States

Subramanian Balachander

University of California, Riverside - School of Business Administration ( email )

United States

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