University of Twente Student Theses


Enhancing consumers’ buy-intention by matching product’s symbolic values to people’s cultural values

Uhrich, A. (2011) Enhancing consumers’ buy-intention by matching product’s symbolic values to people’s cultural values.

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Abstract:The purpose of this paper was to examine whether it is possible to manipulate product shapes that are matching cultural values. The goal was to enhance product’s appeal and consumers’ buy-intention. Literature reviews in product aesthetics demonstrated that people tend to favour products that match their values on a symbolic level. Since it is widely accepted that products carry symbolic values, such as impressiveness or modesty, it was hypothesized that these symbolic values can be designed through product shape manipulation. Values of a masculine (Germany) and a feminine (The Netherlands) culture were used to establish a guideline on which a product shape was manipulated. Size and form of a smart phone were altered and resulted in four smart phone versions; big-angular, small-angular, big-round and small-round. This stimulus material was used to communicate masculine and feminine symbolic values to 121 Dutch and 108 participants. Results indicated no differences between Dutch and German participants. However, there were significant differences between high and low masculine condition defined by a median split. Big stimulus material was perceived more appealing and enhanced participants’ buy intention in the high masculine condition. Furthermore an three way interaction effect on buy-intention was found and indicated that the big-angular version was significantly more favoured by the high masculine condition in contrast to the low masculine one, whereas the small-angular version was significantly more preferred by the low masculine condition than in high masculine one.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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