Skip to main content
Collapse Menu
Purple Leaf

A novel approach for predicting and understanding consumers' sense of design similarity

Schreiner, TF, Fandrich, T, Heitmann, M and K Talke (2017). A novel approach for predicting and understanding consumers' sense of design similarity, Journal of Product Innovation Management, 34(6): 790-820.

Product designers continuously emphasize how important yet difficult it is to create new products with designs similar enough for brand recognition, yet dissimilar enough for a unique positioning. Advancing the understanding of perceived design similarity would greatly help to systematically manage this balance.

Design literature typically assesses how much a new design deviates from the status quo based on consumers' holistic similarity perceptions. For management practice, however, tests of numerous design alternatives with consumers throughout the NPD process are time-consuming, costly, and threaten confidentiality. In addition, simple surveys often do not suffice to understand the role of individual design characteristics in the holistic perception of a product design. This article introduces an objective measurement approach of design similarity to overcome these drawbacks. The results of an empirical study demonstrate that consumers' perception of design similarity can be reproduced by means of this approach.

In addition, this approach makes measurement of design similarity more efficient, uncovers the design characteristics that drive holistic similarity perceptions, and enables managers to predict the positioning of alternative product designs in the perceptual space minimizing the need for consumer surveys.

Unknown Spif - $key