DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2017.01113

Acta Psychologica Sinica (心理学报) 2017/49:8 PP.1113-1124

Consumer self-construal, need of uniqueness and preference of brand logo shape

There are a variety of brand logos in the market and it has become a marketing way to attract consumers. However, how to design a reasonable and effective brand logo and what kind of brand logos is preferred by the target consumers, are questions for marketers and researchers. Based on the horizontal dimension of Individualism-Collectivism Framework by Triandis and Gelfand (1998), this research found the mechanism between consumer self-construct and preference of brand logo shape:need for uniqueness. Findings from four experiments demonstrated that consumers with independent (vs. interdependent) self-construal had a higher (vs. lower) need for uniqueness and preferred angle-(vs. rounded-) shaped brand logos. Consumers' need for uniqueness played a mediation role in the relationship of self-construal and preference of brand logo shape, and that product type (private products vs. public products) played a moderation role in this relationship.
We conducted four experiments to examine our hypotheses. The data of study 1 was collected from 63 undergraduates who were activated either an independent or interdependent self-construal, following which both groups responded to questionnaire items on the manipulation check of self-construal and Need for Uniqueness Scale. At last, they were showed two brand logos:an angle and a rounded one, and then gave their preference to these two logos. Study 2 investigated the boundary effect of product type (private products vs. public products). Study 3 manipulated self-construal in another different method by asking participants to describe the differences or similarities between themselves and their family or friends, and changed product categories to further test our hypotheses. The data in study 2 and 3 were collected from 129 undergraduates and 156 consumers through online survey. In study 4, we adopted the brand logo shape in the graphic form, different from the brand logo shape in the text form from Study 1 to 3, and thus expanded the application of this study. All four experiments showed that individuals of independent (vs. interdependent) self-construct had a higher (vs. lower) need for uniqueness, and preferred angled (vs. rounded) brand logo only when consuming public products (vs. private products).
This research has theoretical contributions in four aspects. First, this study proved that "need for uniqueness" played a mediation role in the relationship of self-concept and brand logo shape preference. This is a significant advancement of the previous research, which found "conflict resolution style" as a mediator. Second, this study have theoretical impetus on the relationship of self-construal and need for uniqueness. Unlike the existing research, which either adopted only one method to prime self-construal or measured it using continuous variable, our present research adopted two methods to prime self-construal and the results got replicated perfectly. Third, this study enriched the researches about brand logo shape (angle or rounded). Totally, this research adopted two forms to represent the shape of brand logo, graphic and text. Fourth, this study advanced sensory marketing (especially visual marketing) researches. Moreover, it provides rich strategic implications for marketers and firms in designing and adjusting brand logos, and also developing corresponding marketing strategies.

Key words:self-construal,need for uniqueness,brand logo shape,individualism-collectivism,product category

ReleaseDate:2017-08-31 10:09:57

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