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Interaction of Design and Brand. A literature review and analysis

Seminararbeit 2012 48 Seiten

BWL - Offline-Marketing und Online-Marketing

Leseprobe

1. Introduction.......................................................................................................................... 1

1.1 Motivation, Structure and Goals................................................................................................................. 1

1.2 Role of Design and Brand in Marketing.................................................................................................. 2

2. Theoretical Foundations...................................................................................................... 3

2.1 Definitions................................................................................................................................................................. 3

2.2 Underlying Theories........................................................................................................................................... 4

3. Interaction of Design and Brand and Its Effects on Product Evaluation....................... 6

3.1 Interaction of Design and Brand.................................................................................................................. 6

3.1.1 Interaction of Corporate Design and Brand...................................................................................... 7

3.1.2 Interaction of Package Design and Brand....................................................................................... 10

3.1.3 Interaction of Product Design and Brand........................................................................................ 14

3.2 Influence of Design and Brand on Product Evaluation and Purchase Intention............. 21

4. Conclusion.......................................................................................................................... 28

4.1 Discussion of Central Results...................................................................................................................... 28

4.2 Implications for Theory and Practice.................................................................................................... 29

Literature Overview of Empirical Research....................................................................... 31

Bibliography........................................................................................................................... 39

“Building brand equity calls for a higher position of brand managers and a strategic vision of design in marketing strategy” (Jean Léon Bouchenoire, brand management consultant). With today’s increasing product proliferation, many basic needs of consumers satisfied (Karjalainen and Snelders 2010; Underwood 2003) and an increase of innovate products that have to be branded (Esch 2012, p. 215), both design and brand start playing a key role for most companies (Reimann et al. 2010). According to Henderson et al. (2003, p. 297) “visual stimuli are a critical part of any branding strategy” and serve to differentiate products, stand out from competitors and increase loyalty. Thus far, little research has been done on the interaction of design and brand, which constitutes the motivation for this seminar paper. Because this is a very recent research topic only few articles have been published in high-ranked journals so far. Part of the research has been released in psychology and specific design rather than marketing journals. To create the following literature overview journals from all the aforementioned fields have been integrated to obtain a holistic perspective.

Following the introduction, which relates the present research topic to the area of marketing, this seminar paper introduces definitions for design and brand on which to base this research. Next, the brand personality concept and important Gestalt principles will be outlined to serve as a theoretic foundation for the literature overview. This main chapter is divided into two sub points: the first dealing with the interaction of design and brand, examining separately the interaction of brand with corporate, packaging and product design respectively; and the second treating the influence of these interactions on product evaluation and purchase intention. In the conclusion central results of the paper will be discussed and implications for further research and practitioners will be depicted.

Based on the review of the relevant literature the goal of this seminar paper is to create an overview of the status quo of the research on the subject area. The aim is to shed further light on the interaction of design and brand and on how these interactions ultimately influence consumers’ product evaluation and purchase intention. A discussion of central results as well implications for managers and further research are targeted at producing further interest in the topic.

According to Homburg (2012, p. 23) design and brand are part of the instrumental marketing perspective, which comprises the four Ps of marketing. As figure 1 illustrates Homburg, Kuester, and Krohmer (2009, p. 109) see both design and brand as part of the product. Design is the main additional feature that creates customer benefit apart from the core features of the product (Homburg 2012, p. 547).

Similarly Borja de Mozota (2003) describes design and brand as supplementary values added to the product, whereas Keller and Lehmann (2006) propose that brands are based on the product and reveal “the complete experience that customers have with products” (p. 740). From the marketing perspective, design can be described as a strategic tool to build and maintain competitive advantage by differentiating products (e.g., Bloch 1995; Kotler and Rath 1984; Noble and Kumar 2010). It “completes the product styling and graphic elements of branding” therefore supplementing the four Ps by visually implementing marketing strategy (Kristensen, Gabrielsen, and Zaichkowsky 2011, p. 44). Most marketers perceive the brand as basic foundation of value, and design as adding the differentiation touch (Kristensen, Gabrielsen, and Zaichkowsky 2011). Similar to the increasing interest in brands over decades, recently also design has become a significantly more important topic. This is greatly due to the proven success of consistent design strategies implemented by many consumer goods companies (Herrmann and Moeller 2010, p. 231; Hoeffler and Keller 2003). But as mentioned above, hitherto little research has been done on the interaction of design and brand. A question that research has tried to answer only recently is if there is an image transfer from the aesthetics of a product or product packaging to the brand itself (Reimann et al. 2010), and how design and brand interact when products are evaluated and purchasing decisions made (e.g., Landwehr, Wentzel, and Herrmann 2012; Page and Herr 2002).

Defining design is challenging because there is no consensus on one particular definition (Ulrich 2011). Furthermore most research does not explicitly state how design is defined for their study (Luchs and Swan 2011). This is what makes it difficult to compare research in the field. Most authors define product aesthetics and product function as two distinct design components (e.g., Hoegg and Alba 2011; Kotler and Rath 1984; Page and Herr 2002). Creusen and Schoormans (2005) find that design additionally, but less strongly, conveys symbolic value and ergonomic information. Other authors differentiate between the design process (i.e., intangible component) and its final result (i.e., tangible component; Borja de Mozota 2003; Creusen 2011). In accordance with most current research that relates design to consumer evaluation and choice, Bloch (2011) defines as follows: “Design refers to the form characteristics of a product that provide utilitarian, hedonic, and semiotic benefits to the user” (p. 378). Here, form is used extensively, thus not limited to tangible attributes. The utilitarian component refers to functionality, whereas the hedonic value comprises aesthetics and pleasure attained from product use. Semiotics refers to the interpretation of design by customers and to the communication of certain values and traits (Bloch 2011). This paper shall be based on Bloch’s definition.

Kotler (1991) defines brand as “a name, term, sign, symbol, or design, or combination of them which is intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competitors” (p. 442). Homburg highlights that these formal elements by themselves cannot define a brand, but that additionally, a perspective related to branding effects is necessary because the brand originates in the customers’ minds. He therefore defines a brand as an image established in the consumer’s mind, which differentiates the offer of a company from that of its competitors (Homburg 2012, p. 609). Mohammad (2012) similarly focuses on the interaction of tangible and intangible brand elements, which leads to the establishment of a brand image. The following research overview is based on Homburg’s broader definition of brand looking at both formal aspects for differentiating products, and more importantly, the effects of brand images in consumers’ heads on product evaluation and purchase intention.

As mentioned previously this chapter exposes two important theories that form the basis for most brand and design literature: brand personality and Gestalt theory. Brand personality is a concept that describes the human traits associated with a brand. These associations can occur directly, e.g., due to user imagery (traits of the typical user are conferred to the brand), and indirectly, e.g., due to specific features, brand name or logo (Aaker 1997). In contrast to utilitarian product attributes brand personality serves to convey symbolic value (Keller 1993). Aaker (1997) develops a generalizable framework that differentiates five brand personality dimensions and a scale with which to measure these. As shown in figure 2, the author distinguishes: Sincerity, Excitement, Competence, Sophistication, and Ruggedness, each of which is measured by two to four facets. These in turn are each constituted by two or three personality traits, which represent them best (not shown in graphic), e.g., to measure cheerfulness, traits such as sentiment and friendliness are evaluated, or to determine reliability, qualities like hard work and security are used. This 42-item-scale was found to be valid and reliable across product categories.

Aaker (1997) claims that brands are evaluated more positively when possessing positive characteristics, such as those contained in the brand personality dimensions. She states that people might prefer a certain brand because it communicates the values they associate with themselves (i.e., Sincerity, Excitement, Competence) or would like to possess (i.e., Sophistication, Ruggedness).

The limitations of the framework are that it does not look at how the perceived brand personality differs from the intended one (Malär et al. 2011), and that it does not hold across cultures. In their studies comparing brand personality in the United States, Japan and Spain Aaker, Benet-Martínez and Garolera (2001) find that Sincerity, Excitement and Sophistication remain the same over all countries, but that for Japan, Peacefulness substitutes Ruggedness and for Spain, Peacefulness and Passion replace Ruggedness and Competence from the original framework.Therefore, brands might contain universal and culture specific symbolism. Despite these restrictions, the five dimensions constitute an important tool to categorize and compare brands according to their personality traits and to understand the symbolic value of brands over different product types (Aaker 1997). Managers can use this concept for brand positioning and differentiation (Orth and Malkewitz 2008). One way to turn abstract human traits into part of a brand is to materialize concrete attributes through design features (Noble and Kumar 2010). Basic design principles that should be taken into account will be discussed next.

Gestalt theory originated in psychology, but besides being a method for creating order in behavior and thinking it also includes perception (Koffka 1922), and has therefore reached importance also in other research areas such as design. Wertheimer (1923) brings forward the law of “good Gestalt” (or law of prägnanz), which states that people have a tendency to organize elements of an object into groups if they perceive a simple, regular and orderly pattern (pp. 328). This in turn has a positive influence on recognition (p. 329), and enables people to create meaning usually by evaluating the overall form rather than parts (pp. 328, pp. 349). Consequently, the whole differs from the sum of its parts (Koffka). Conciseness is an important factor on which the law of “good Gestalt” and Gestalt theory in general are based. Wertheimer (1923) further elaborates on this law defining several grouping principles, e.g., the principle of proximity, continuity, similarity, and symmetry. Proximity states that elements close to each other are easier to interpret and group than elements with great distance between them (p. 308). Continuity predicts that lines are seen to continue the smoothest path instead of being broken up into single lines (p. 324). Similarity denotes that equal elements will be joined to one whole, leaving out distinct elements (p. 309). Symmetry is therefore not simply similarity of elements because it can only be seen when looking at the whole object (p. 325). These basic Gestalt principles help understand what patterns are perceived as attractive, e.g., simple and harmonious shapes are preferred to complex designs because they are perceived as more natural. Therefore, obeying Gestalt principles in product design should lead to higher preference for the object.

Furthermore, Gestalt theory emphasizes the significance of proportion. The Golden Section, which is a concept that stems from the Classical Greeks, has been proven to be a favorably evaluated proportion, most likely due to its repeated occurrence in nature (Bloch 1995). It is obtained when a line divides an object in a way that the smaller part has the same proportion to the large segment as this to the whole. Veryzer (1993) discovers that positive responses to Gestalt principles are not learned over time but innate and unconscious. Furthermore, he finds empirical evidence that customers evaluate product design more positively if it follows the general Gestalt principles of unity and proportion. Therefore it is helpful if managers that are involved with design acquire basic knowledge of the most important principles (Bloch 1995).

Veryzer (1999) states that design often unconsciously affects product evaluations, which in turn influence brand choice, and Noble and Kumar (2010) find that it is an important instrument for developing a strong brand. Once a brand has been established the relation is not one-sided from design elements to brand values, but is bidirectional. This means that not only can design features convey specific brand values, but also brand values and their associations can influence the interpretation of design elements (Karjalainen and Snelders 2010). Further on, this paper will individually examine the interaction between corporate, packaging and product design, and the brand in order to emphasize the characteristics of each design element. However, one should be aware that there are interactions between these three elements and that all of them have to be treated in a holistic approach to guarantee a consistent overall brand image (Esch 2012, p. 216) and to convey symbolic meaning through the brand (van Rompay, Pruyn, and Tieke 2009). The Gestalt principle that the whole differs from the sum of the separate design elements is therefore also true for the brand elements (Esch 2012, p. 217). Packaging and product design are generally seen to have a greater influence on brand evaluations than corporate design because of their greater influence on perception (Esch 2012, p. 250; Kroeber-Riel 1993, p. 254), but this does not mean that the influence of corporate design on brand evaluation can be neglected. Contrarily, Henderson and Cote (1998) even view the logo as the principal medium for communicating brand image.

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Details

Seiten
48
Jahr
2012
ISBN (eBook)
9783656875598
ISBN (Buch)
9783656875604
Dateigröße
2.3 MB
Sprache
Englisch
Katalognummer
v286805
Institution / Hochschule
Universität Mannheim
Note
1,0
Schlagworte
interaction design brand

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Titel: Interaction of Design and Brand. A literature review and analysis