Chocolate Package Design Combined with Price Setting

Chocolate Package Design Combined with Price Setting

Chocolate package design combined with price setting: A consumer purchase intention and overall impression investigation Cao Youjia, Wang Yicheng, Li Simei, Gao Junhong Abstract In our experiments, the research sheds light on consumers’ purchase intention and overall impression towards six types of combination of chocolate package and price: 1. aesthetic package with a relatively high price, 2. aesthetic package with an intermediate price, 3. aesthetic package with a relatively low price, 4. plain package with a relatively high price, 5. lain package with an intermediate price, 6. plain package with a relatively low price. After the six between-subject experiments, we find that package design and price setting do have influence on customers’ preference to purchase, but not as strong as our perception. On the other hand, the packaging has significance influence on the customers’ overall impression towards the product. The aesthetic package with the highest price leaves the customer the best impression. Implications for future application for businesses are discussed in the final part.

Key words: Package design, price setting, analysis of variance, purchase intention. Introduction “Man shows that he is affected by appearance, by something that causes him pleasure over and above the immediate utility of the object” (Clay, 1908). Designing aesthetic products to satisfy the consumers’ need is of growing importance in marketing. As core attributes of product, such as quality and functionality, become increasingly homogeneous (Reimann, Schilke, & Thomas, 2010), firms are shifting their efforts from concrete product characteristics towards less concrete ones such as package designing.

This trend towards aesthetics in product differentiation may be based on the insight that aesthetic designs seem to trigger certain positive responses in consumers such as an immediate desire to own the product (Norman, 2004); an increased inclination to show off and care for that product (Bloch, 1995); and a higher willingness to pay for it (Bloch, Brunel, & Arnold, 2003). More importantly, products with aesthetic qualities may be treasured long fter their functional value fades (Martin, 1998). However, little is known about the preference of purchasing and the impression when consumers experience different designed packages with certain prices. Although packaging, as an integral design element, has recently been investigated by Orth and Malkewitz (2008), they comment that there is no good psychological theory when it comes to packaging aesthetics as well as the related prices and further research is necessary.

In summary, we propose that the combination of the package and the price will shed light on the consumer purchase intentions and overall impression, therefore, may enlighten the businesses to wisely appropriate the capital on packaging with a certain price. One fundamental problem limiting work in the area involves the meaning of the concepts: packaging aesthetic is indistinct and elusive construct that often is mistaken for imprecise adjectives like “goodness, or luxury, or shininess, or weight” (Crosby 1979).

Because definition is difficult, researchers often depend on one-dimensional self-report measures to capture the concepts (Jacoby, Olson, and Haddock 1973; McConnell 1968; Shapiro 1973) and thus must assume shared meanings among consumers. In experiments 1a, we attempt to differentiate aesthetic from plain package design by measuring scores given by participants between differently packaged chocolate. In experiment 1b, we attempt to figure out buyers’ subjective perceptions of price.

Finally, applying the data from experiment 1a and 1b, experiment 2 uses 2*3 matrixes to shed light on the underlying correlation impact with packaging and price on buyers’ preference of purchasing as well as the overall impression, which helps explain consumers behavior and gives suggestion to the domestic chocolate businesses. Furthermore, we slightly investigated the utility differentiation when the price and packaging is taken into consideration. Conceptual background and hypotheses H1.

Given a certain product, when refer to the purchase intention, people are more likely to choose one with aesthetic package and relative low price, though package design and price setting have little influence on customers’ purchase intention of chocolate. Packaging is often important to the customer’s first impression of a brand, its quality, or its value (Harckham 1989). Price, the extrinsic cue receiving the most research attention (see Olson 1977 for a complete review of this literature), appears to function as a surrogate for quality when the consumer has inadequate information about intrinsic attributes.

H2. Package design has significance influence on the customers’ overall impression towards the chocolate product. Aesthetic package with a relatively high price owns the best evaluation. Considerable empirical research has investigated the relationship between price and quality (see Olson 1977 for a review of this literature in marketing) and has shown that consumers use price to infer quality when it is the only available cue. Experiment 1a Overview and method In our first experiment, we attempt to differentiate aesthetic from plain packages through the scores that participant given.

Our between-subjects, repeated measure experimental design included two different conditions: in the aesthetic condition, we presented chocolate packages that were pre-selected according to important visual aspects of aesthetic package design such as beauty, unity, and prototypically (Orth & Malkewitz, 2008; Veryzer & Hutchinson, 1998). In the plain condition, we presented the other package that was pre-selected based on their functionality and practical utility. Each trial started with a brief preparation phase show the chocolate, followed by the packaging to hold the chocolate.

Picture stimuli were pretested among 32 undergraduate students, which were given aesthetics versus plain product packaging. Participants were then asked to assess the picture given as being plain or aesthetic (scale from 1 to 6). Randomly eight boys and eight girls were kept for aesthetic packaging and another eight boys and eight girls were exposed to plain packaging. The questionnaires of the experiment are attached to the report as appendix 1. Result We simply counted the number of choices in both conditions and found that participants in the aesthetics condition give higher scores than the plain condition[pic].

Sex has no effects on the given scores[pic] and[pic]. Discussion In experiment 1a, when the visual product stimuli were richer in their aesthetic appeal, participants have the inherent perception of which should get higher marks. Experiment 1b Overview and method We intended to get the acceptable price range of the given image of chocolate and then figure out the relative high price, intermediate price and the low price, which will contribute to accuracy and efficiency of experiment 2.

We show the same image of chocolate without packaging (the same image of the first phase of experiment 1) to 32 randomly chosen undergraduates (16 girls and 16 boys). Then ask them how much they would pay for that kind of chocolate (x/500g). As we usually don’t have a clear mind of how much the chocolate usually worth the money, we give the price of Dove chocolate as the reference point (53/500g). The questionnaires of the experiment are attached to the report as appendix 2. Result We collected the data and draw the graph as follows: [pic] And sex has no effects on the given scores[pic].

Discussion After experiment 1b, we decided to use the relative low price as ? 20/500g (minimum), intermediate price as ? 53/500g (median) and relative high price as ? 100/500g (maximum). Experiment 2 Overview and method This is our main experiment. Problem Formulation 1. aesthetic package with a relatively high price, 2. aesthetic package with an intermediate price, 3. aesthetic package with a relatively low price, 4. plain package with a relatively high price, 5. plain package with an intermediate price, 6. plain package with a relatively low price.

Which Combination does the consumer most likely to buy? And which combination can get the best evaluation from customers? Determination of Sources of Information Sources of information are from text books, literature About package theory as well as information comes from experiment 1a and 1b. IV and DV The independent variables— there are two pairs of Independent Variables of our research: 1) Package: aesthetic and plain. 2) Prices: high, intermediate and low. The dependent variables 1) The intensity of consumers’ purchase intentions. 2) Customers’ overall impression towards the chocolate product.

Sample We chose our schoolmates as our research participants. Forty subjects were selected from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and were randomly assigned to four treatment groups. As a total of 40 respondents participated, resulting in a data set of 40 different product choices. Procedure During the experiment, there was no evidence to suggest that subjects were aware of the different sets of experimental material provided and the subjects showed little concern in the experimental materials of others. All above has showed that our experiment is a between-subject experiment.

Design of Data Collection Method and Data Collection forms We use a combination of PPT auto play and the questionnaire to carry out our experiment We separate our PPT display to 4 parts: 1. Product category and product image presentation, which lasts 4 seconds. 2. Chocolate presentation, which lasts 4 seconds 3. Package image presentation, which lasts 4 seconds. 4. Price presentation (price appear on top of the picture of the package), which lasts 4 second. Follow on, the participants are asked to answer a questionnaire about their purchase. The PPT is shown as following: PPT: pic] [pic] The questionnaires of the experiment are attached to the report as appendix 3. Result After collecting the data, we get the following result, |sources of |DF |SS |MS |F |P | |variation | | | | | | |packaging |1 |1. 35 |1. 35 |0. 77 |0. 383 | |price |2 |2. 8 |1. 4 |0. 8 |0. 454 | |interaction |2 |1. 2 |0. 6 |0. 34 |0. 711 | |Error |54 |94. 3 |1. 7463 |? |? | |Total |59 |99. 65 |? |? |? |

FIGURE 1 THE IMPACT ON CONSUMERS’ PURCHASE INTENSION Judging from the data above, though we may draw the conclusion that packaging and price has no significant influence on the purchase intention as we expected. There do exist some influence when we have a glance at the following graphs, we can find that customer tend to choose the one with the aesthetic packaging and low price. EXHIBIT 1 [pic][pic] FIGURE 2 THE IMPACT ON OVERALL IMPRESSION |sources of |DF |SS |MS |F |P | |variation | | | | | | |packaging |1 |10. 167 |10. 4167 |7. 69 |0. 008 | |price |2 |3. 7333 |1. 8667 |1. 38 |0. 261 | |interaction |2 |5. 7333 |2. 8667 |2. 12 |0. 13 | |Error |54 |73. 1 |1. 3537 |? |? | |Total |59 |92. 9833 |? |? |? | We can easily find that packaging has significant influence on the overall impression. EXHIBIT 2 [pic] [pic] Another interesting discovery is that given the aesthetic packaging, when the price is higher, the overall impression improves. Discussion

The purchase intention doesn’t fluctuate a lot with the change of package and price, which is quite reasonable when the attributes of chocolate is taken into consideration. We just try to sell the same chocolate and chocolate is a certain kind of food, that intensity to purchase will not have an abrupt change with the extrinsic variation. The result of the experiment also shed light on the information as follows: People are more likely to purchase what is not only cheap, but also packaged well. But a better packaging and higher price will contribute to better impression among the customers. Application

Along with the research above, we also investigated other factors to influence the purchase behavior and get some useful data. Chinese people’s preferences towards chocolate, according to our experiment results, are relatively high. The index turns out to be 4. 5/6, females enjoys an even higher 4. 7/6. Therefore, there exists potential Chinese market for daily chocolate consumers. We suggest chocolate producers to provide customers with a fair price (lower than that of imported chocolate) and a plain package. What we want to stress is that in that circumstance, consumers’ experience is needed.

Relatively plain and casual package can choose a relatively low price to gain bigger sales. As we can see from our data, the majority of Chinese consume chocolate only when holidays such as on the Valentine’s Day. Therefore, we suggest chocolate companies focusing on the “festivals and holiday” market. We emphasize that the design of the chocolate should be aesthetic. As we can see from our results, high-end chocolate may choose relatively high prices in order to give consumers a deep impression for the benefit of building a good brands reputation.

Moreover, people are more likely to consider that kind of chocolate as gifts for others. Acknowledgments The authors thank Dr. Wang Liangyan for helpful comments and suggestions on earlier version of the manuscript. The research was supported by Antai College of Economics & Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Reference T Aharon, I. , Etcoff, N. , Ariely, D. , Chabris, C. F. , O’Connor, E. , & Breiter, H. C. (2001). Beautiful faces have variable reward value: fMRI and behavioral evidence. Neuron, 32(3), 537? 551. Arnheim, R. (1974).

Art and visual perception: A psychology of the creative eye. Berkeley, California: University of California Press. Bechara, A. , Damasio, H. , Tranel, D. , & Damasio, A. R. (1997). Deciding advantageously before knowing the advantageous strategy. Science, 275 (5304), 1293? 1295. Berlyne, D. E. (1974). Studies in the new experimental aesthetics: Steps toward an objective psychology of aesthetic appreciation. Washington, DC: Hemisphere Publishing. Bettman, J. R. , Luce, M. F. , & Payne, J. W. (1998). Constructive consumer choice processes.

Journal of Consumer Research, 25(3), 187? 217. Bloch, P. H. (1995). Seeking the ideal form: Product design and consumer response. Journal of Marketing, 59(3), 16? 29. Appendix Questionnaire for experiment 1a: Hi, we are now carrying out a survey of consumer behavior. Please choose the answer and fill in the blanks according to your OWN conceptions. Your time and kindness are highly appreciated, thank you! NOTE: This survey is carried out anonymously, please feel free to answer. A1? Please score the chocolate package on the slide

PLAIN 1 2 3 4 5 6 YES AESTHETIC Questionnaire for experiment 1b: Hi, we are now carrying out a survey of consumer behavior. Please choose the answer and fill in the blanks according to your OWN conceptions. Your time and kindness are highly appreciated, thank you! NOTE: This survey is carried out anonymously, please feel free to answer. A1? How much would you like to pay for the chocolate on the slide, just write down the number in the blank. /500g Questionnaire for experiment 2: Hi, we are now carrying out a survey of consumer behavior.

Please choose the answer and fill in the blanks according to your OWN conceptions. Your time and kindness are highly appreciated, thank you! NOTE: This survey is carried out anonymously, please feel free to answer. A1? Purchase intention NO 1 2 3 4 5 6 YES A2? Overall impression BAD 1 2 3 4 5 6 GOOD A3? usage SELF USE 1 2 3 4 5 6 AS GIFTS GENDER Male Female YOUR AGE__________________________________________________ B1? Do you like chocolate NO 1 2 3 4 5 6 YES B2? How often do you buy chocolate

A Seldom B On holidays C Once-twice per month D Three times or more per month ———————– ?100/500g (high price) ?53/500g (intermediate price) ?20/500g (low price) ?100/500g (high price) ?53/500g (intermediate price) ?20/500g (low price) Dove chocolate? 55/500g Price Presentation (4 seconds) Package Presentation (4 seconds) Choc? 20/500g (low price) Dove chocolate? 55/500g Price Presentation (4 seconds) Package Presentation (4 seconds) Chocolate itself Presentation (4 seconds) Product category Presentation (4 seconds)