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EMAC 2022 Annual

How ensembles affect consumer preferences – The role of aesthetic consistency

Published: May 24, 2022


Saskia Walz, Technische Universität Berlin; Katrin Talke, TU Berlin


Consumers regularly encounter products in constellations rather than as isolated objects. However, it remains unclear how such ensembles should be aesthetically arranged to increase consumer preference. Drawing from Gestalt literature, we propose that the evaluation of a product ensemble depends on the aesthetic consistency among its elements. In two experiments, we demonstrate that aesthetic consistency can increase consumer preference and that the relationship is mediated by processing fluency. We thereby extend the marketing literature on Gestalt based influences of product design on consumer preferences by analyzing those effects in the context of product ensembles. Our findings are also highly relevant for marketers concerned with managing product assortments or arranging constellations in stores and online shops.