Title

Can brands deviate from their brand aesthetic? Brand luxury status as a moderator

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

5-19-2019

Publication Title

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

DOI

10.1108/JFMM-05-2018-0072

ISSN

1361-2026

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of brand design consistency (BDC) on consumers’ aesthetic judgment and purchase intention; and whether this effect of BDC is moderated by a brand’s luxury status.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed-factorial experimental design that manipulated the BDC of handbags (prototypical/high/low) and brand luxury status (luxury/non-luxury) was conducted among 311 female participants to test the proposed hypotheses.

Findings

Results obtained from t-tests and repeated measures ANCOVA demonstrate that prototypical brand designs, followed by high, and then low BDC products, evoked the most positive consumer responses. Additionally, brand luxury status moderated the effect of BDC on consumer response, such that the effect was more salient for non-luxury than luxury brands.

Practical implications

Luxury brands are able to leverage the halo effect, as perceived brand design inconsistency has a lesser impact on consumers’ purchase intentions than for non-luxury brands. Non-luxury brands have less latitude to deviate from their brand aesthetic, and maintaining BDC in new products is imperative for these brands.

Originality/value

Designers constantly navigate the thresholds of their brand’s aesthetic in design decisions; however, few studies have investigated consumer responses to deviations from brand aesthetics. To the authors’ knowledge, no studies have examined this phenomenon in relation to a brand’s luxury status, a factor that critically impacts consumers’ design expectations.

Comments

Copyright and Open Access:http://sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/search.php?issn=1361-2026

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