Consumer perceptions of wine packaging design styles : the moderating role of involvement
Arnold, Rene Claus Gerhard
The influence of packaging design (PD) on consumer choice is well documented, most notably through its perceived attractiveness and the product beliefs it can generate. However, these aspects of PD’s influence have been tested only in isolation and with little attention paid to the moderating role of consumers’ personal characteristics. Drawing from theories in the fields of visual perception, information processing and response to product form and using the product category of wine, the present thesis investigates consumers’ perceptions of PD styles more holistically, incorporating the moderating role of consumer involvement. Specifically, the thesis hypothesises that consumers’ involvement levels in wine moderate their affective and cognitive responses to wine PD styles, which in turn influence their purchase intentions. The empirical investigation follows a mixed methods approach, comprising seven focus group discussions and an online survey (n = 540) of low involvement (LI) and high involvement (HI) wine consumers. The results confirm that consumers show both affective and cognitive responses to PD and that both types of response have significant effects on purchase intention. However, the study also reveals that consumers’ involvement level determines, which type of PD response is more influential. Affective responses to PD had greater impact for LI respondents’ purchase intention than for HI respondents’ purchase intention. An opposite effect was found for cognitive responses to PD. These results demonstrate the need to take account of different types of consumer response when investigating PD’s effects and they highlight the value of involvement as a factor to predict the types of response consumers may have to PD in a purchase decision.