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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Why Do Shoppers Choose your Pack? The Impact of Product Package Design on Consumers’ Brand Stereotypes and Purchase Intention

Published: May 27, 2020


Tsunwai Wesley Yuen, Lincoln International Business School, University of Lincoln, UK; Elle Perschke, Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester, UK; Hongwei He, Alliance Manchester Business School, The University of Manchester; Gary Davies, University of Chester, UK


Product package design; brand stereotypes; Centrality of Visual Product Aesthetics (CVPA)


Given the pivotal role of product package design in the visual representation of brands, we argue that its associated aesthetic, functional and symbolic values may affect brand stereotypes, i.e. warmth and competence, hence consumer purchase intention. We also argue that such effects are conditional on consumers’ centrality of visual product aesthetics (CVPA), representing consumers’ aesthetical sensitivity and dominance when evaluating the product’s presentation. Through a survey (n=661) examining consumers’ reactions toward new packaging designs, we find that only symbolic and functional dimensions positively influence brand warmth and competence. Only brand warmth significantly affects and mediates these effects on purchase intention. CVPA elevates the effect of symbolism on brand warmth while negatively moderating the effect of aesthetics on brand warmth. The results contribute to the product package design literature and the practical implications of these findings are discussed.