Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Product Design for the Long Run: Consumer Responses to Typical and Atypical Designs at Different Stages of Exposure

Wentzel, Daniel
Herrmann, Andreas
Volume: 77
Number: 5
Pages: 92 - 107
Month: September
ISSN-Print: 0022-2429
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2013
Keywords: Product design; Aesthetic liking; Design typicality; Processing fluency; Mere exposure; Car sales

Extant research on product design has suggested that a design''s typicality is an important determinant of consumers'' aesthetic liking. Yet most studies to date have measured consumers'' reactions to designs of varied typicality after a single exposure. In reality, however, consumers usually have multiple opportunities to observe a product before making a decision. Against this background, the authors perform three studies in the automobile domain that examine whether the positive effect of design typicality is moderated by the level of exposure. Study 1 indicates that aesthetic liking of typical car designs is greater at lower exposure levels, whereas people like atypical car designs better at higher exposure levels. Study 2 uses real sales data and indicates that the interaction between design typicality and exposure also affects sales, suggesting that atypical cars may be more successful in the long run. Using experimental manipulations of the key constructs, Study 3 provides evidence for the underlying process and finds renewed support for the notion that design typicality and exposure interact to affect aesthetic liking.