Consumer Behavior – Marketing Research Paper
For marketers the term “aesthetics” relate to consumers five senses of vision, hearing, touch, taste, and smell in response to an object. Marketers to incorporate pleasing attributes to differentiate their product and to feed into consumer’s emotions when making purchasing decisions use these five elements. Vision is the most important one of these senses because marketers know a consumer’s visual perception is the first introduction and this can highly influence whether a consumer will even consider the purchase of the product. This includes color, shape, pattern, movement and scale of the product.
The next sense is hearing, in some cases this is very important in product decision-making especially in the electronic industry. Touch, taste, and smell is usually in the food industry. In the food industry this will make a large impact on their product. It doesn’t matter how good something might smell if it does not taste good consumers are not willing to purchase the product no matter what the cost. Marketer must find out what their consumers are looking for when they are in the first stages of development to determine which senses are they going to emphasize to their potential consumers.
Finding the right elements will determine how a company will market their product to ensure that the consumers will be drawn in to at least try their product. For example for a company that puts out potato chips the marketers would probably want to convey that their product is visual pleasing by having them the right oval shape with the right amount of seasoning, hearing the chip crunch, the chip feels crispy, it has a great taste with the right amount of ingredients, and it smells pleasant. This example uses all of the senses to attract to consumers of potato chip buyer and marketers must use all of this to set their product above their competitors who are using the same technique.
Marketers must also find consumers opinions on products so they can find out how they are going to influence consumers by assocating attributes that will affect their purchasing behavior.
In Luc Ferry’s article “The Origins of Aesthetics”, he argues that as humans we have evolved to appreciate and demand more than basic design but a more sophisticated one as he states “aesthetics proper is a recent discipline, born of a real revolution in our perception of the phenomenon of beauty”. Visual aesthetics has a huge impact on marketers and the consumers. Marketers know that the first thing a consumer reacts to is the visual of a product. This first introduction can either offend the consumer or it could lead to a connection with that potential buyer for that product. No matter what class that potential consumer belongs to that person judgment will make a large impact whether that person will make that initial purchase. This measure of purchasing decision rides hard on marketers, as “it is important to understand and measure these individual differences relating to design for several reasons First, individual differences in responsiveness to visual aesthetics may underlie a number of other well-established consumer behavior variables such as product involvement, brand loyalty, materialism, innovativeness, self image congruence, choice, and usage behavior”(Bloch; Brunel; Arnold). These implications for product design can decide whether which product aesthetics are assessed and used in making a purchase decision. This is also why marketers have done so much to differentiate products from existing competitors because this can be the difference between thousands in sales to millions.
An example of ongoing aesthetic design is promenant in the car design manufacturers and portable devices such as cell phones and electronics. Car manufactures have taken product design to a very important part of deign as it states, “While manufacturing costs always decline with the use of commonality, the firm’s overall profits may decline because of reduced differentiation.” (Desai, Kekre, Radhakrishnan, Srinivasan) Portable electronics such as cell phones, digital camera, and computer notebooks are just the number of items that have to stay on top of product differentiation to stay on top of the growing market. As consumers get more sophisticated they want more from these devices from new functions to new sleek designs. Cell phones companies such as Nokia, which started out with just a black plastic bag of a phone that served one purpose to provide the user with phone mobility in the early 1990s. Now Nokia and other cellular phone companies offer continuous functions and attributes such as cameras and text messaging for their customers “recognizing that, system makers are constantly searching for innovative ways to make their products stand out in the market”. (Tarnowski)