Date of Original Version

12-2011

Type

Working Paper

Abstract or Table of Contents

There is little to no research specifically studying whether aesthetically appealing packaging (AAP) plays a role in the evaluation and experience of products. Do products truly benefit from AAP? Do all types of products benefit equally? In this paper, we firstly provide empirical evidence demonstrating the influence of AAP on product valuation and product attitude. We also propose and test a conceptual model of packaging. We find that AAP positively impacts product valuation and attitude for hedonic products but offers no such benefits for utilitarian products. We propose a dual cognitive-affective process of how AAP may positively impact product attitude and valuation, which produces differential effects for utilitarian and hedonic products. We further find that for familiar brands, affective reactions play a greater role than cognitive reactions in mediating the impact of packaging on product attitude, suggesting that the influence of AAP may be at a more nonconscious automatic level. We present this work as a significant first step toward a fuller understanding of the conceptual role of packaging in the entire product experience.

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