Japan Marketing Journal
Online ISSN : 2188-1669
Print ISSN : 0389-7265
Special Issue / Invited Peer-Reviewed Article
Various Consumer Needs for “Facial” Product Designs:
Exploring New Customization Systems for Anthropomorphized Products
Akinori Ono
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2019 Volume 38 Issue 4 Pages 6-19

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Abstract

Some manufacturers anthropomorphize their products to strengthen the personal relationship between the products and their customers. For anthropomorphized products, the “face” is the most important part in terms of consumer evaluation of their “personality.” Previous research has found that consumers prefer automobiles with headlights that resemble slanted (vs. arched) eyes and a front grille that looks like an upturned (vs. downturned) mouth. In contrast, this research considers 4 (slanted, arched, squared, and round eyes) × 3 (upturned, downturned, and horizontal mouths) product designs, as well as congruities between the product image and the self-images. The results showed that each of the twelve patterns of anthropomorphized product design is related to a particular combination of personalities, which is preferred by consumers whose ideal image has close congruity to the product image. This implies that there is no single “face” preferred by all consumers. Therefore, manufacturers of anthropomorphized products should use a customization system.

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