Previous research has shown that consumer preferences have both hedonic and utilitarian dimensions, and the aesthetic aspect of a product is normally taken as a source of hedonic consumption. While researches focus on how the product aesthetic works, there’s a paradox hidden in this issue, the preferred aesthetic product might not be the ultimate product purchased, this is what we called preference reversal. However, if the product purchased is the product preferred, we call it the justification of hedonic consumption. Justification has been examined in several researches; however none of these researches has linked the ease of hedonic good consumption justification with consumer’s inner sense of beauty. Base on this point, in this research we apply the Centrality of Visual Product Aesthetics, a scale which can measure the level of product aesthetics is put in one person’s mind. And CVPA is extended by adding functional-oriented questions.
In order to examine consumers’ different purchase behavior between high/low CVPA respondents, this article conducted five trade-off decision tasks under the condition of given same price for each pair of comparable aesthetic-functional attributes. Meanwhile, we try to find out if there is any functional/ aesthetic attribute will dominate consumer choice in this kind of trade-off purchase situation.
In this research we found out the acumen dimension of CVPA is not suitable for developing functional-aesthetic contrast questions. Therefore, a new Aesthetic Preference is constructed from the other two dimensions of CVPA, and divided respondents into high/low AP, and used in our hypothesis analyzation. The result shows that high aesthetic product can easily recognize by high and low AP respondents, without requiring acumen or knowledge in product aesthetic details. As for purchase intention, high AP respondents significantly willing to purchase the more aesthetic product in the purchase occasion. AP scale shows the true preference of respondents, while a consumer is highly aesthetic preferred, it’s much easier for him/her to justify the aesthetic product that he/she preferred. And some dominant functional/aesthetic attributes are also found by analysis consumer’s choice and crucial attributes rating.