Design Benefits, Emotional Responses, and Brand Engagement

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The objective of this paper is to develop a better understanding of brand engagement by examining two of its antecedents: design benefits and consumer emotions. The authors explore the relationship between design and brand engagement and advance a model with emotional responses as mediator.

Abstract

Purpose
– The objective of this paper is to develop a better understanding of brand engagement by examining two of its antecedents: design benefits and consumer emotions. The authors explore the relationship between design and brand engagement and advance a model with emotional responses as mediator.

Design/methodology/approach
– This paper integrates a range of theoretical works across design and marketing, including concepts of product design, types of design benefits, brand engagement, and brand communities.

Findings
– The authors propose a conceptual model where emotional arousal, which differs across design benefits, mediates the relationship between design benefits and brand engagement. Brand engagement intensifies with emotional arousal as design benefits change from functional, to hedonic, to symbolic.

Research limitations/implications
– The conceptual model proposed in this paper can have significant applications in the areas of product design, branding strategies, and brand communications. However, it has not been tested empirically.

Practical implications
– The resulting model improves understanding of how marketers can use design to elicit different forms of brand engagement. Implications for marketers include planning brand engagement outcomes early in the product or service development process; involving consumers in that process, clearly communicating the benefits of the design; and supporting venues where brand engagement of different types can be practiced.

Originality/value
– Brand engagement is unique brand-related behavior that has received limited attention in the design and marketing literatures. The proposed model offers a look at brand engagement from a design perspective, while emphasizing the role of consumers’ emotional responses to design benefits.