2019 Volume 38 Issue 4 Pages 20-34
The purpose of this article is to present a review of the literature on aesthetics to shed light on how aesthetic perception can be related to consumer decision-making and purchase behavior. As the great success of design-oriented companies such as Apple and Dyson has proven, excellent design has become an imperative factor for companies in building competitive advantage and satisfying consumer needs and wants. Previous studies on new product development, industrial design, and sensory marketing have repeatedly emphasized the importance of aesthetics in creating design excellence. In this article, we review the psychological and marketing literature on aesthetics. Specifically, we examine the aesthetic perception of individual design elements (color and shape) and spatial design elements (horizontal and vertical location). As a result, we argue that aesthetic perception can broadly influence consumers’ evaluation and purchase decision-making, not only through individual design elements, but also through spatial design elements. Based on the review, we also speculate on the directions of future aesthetic research: (1) exploring the underlying psychological mechanism of aesthetic perception, (2) examining the moderating role of cultural and individual factors, (3) investigating interaction effects of different design elements on consumers’ aesthetic perception, and (4) researching unexamined sensory dimensions of aesthetic perception, such as touch, smell, and sound.