Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

The Pervasive Effect of Aesthetics on Choice: Evidence from a Field Study

Labroo, Aparna A.
Herrmann, Andreas
Volume: 36
Pages: 751 - 752
ISSN-Print: 0098-9258
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2009
Abstract: Do people think logically and carefully before buying an expensive item, or are more superficial forces such as product appearance at work? To investigate this question, six months of car sales were predicted using objective measures of a design’s typicality and complexity. The data revealed that cars conforming closely to a morph of designs of all cars outsell cars conforming less closely to the morph, but only when the design is visually complex. These design factors explain 42% of the sales variance and are independent of retail price, brand associations, technological specifications, and advertising. Subjective measures controlling for brand recognition further confirm the considerable impact of design factors on real purchases involving large financial commitments.