Influences of product design on consumer behavior : an exploratory study
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- Master Thesis 
In recent years the world has been witnessing a tremendous change in the sportswear industry when it comes to product design. In the sportswear market today, product design is considered an important strategic tool for creating product differentiation and customer value. It is no longer enough for a sportswear brand to be either fashionable or functional, it needs to be both! Superior design draws customer’s attention and makes the products stand out from others. Thus, organizations should use resources on designers due to how they believe that good design improves financial performance. A highly competitive market calls for products that offers designs with both functional, aesthetic and symbolic value that offers contextually congruent design and fits with the preferences and tastes of the consumer. However, there exists limited empirical research on product design and design issues. This thesis aims to provide a better understanding of how and what managers should think of when producing and promoting sportswear to consumers. The model in this thesis draws from established frameworks in the product design literature, where the core of the model is based on the product design scale of Homburg et al. (2015). The model further adds relevant extension based on findings in existing product design literature of contextually congruent design and centrality of visual product aesthetics. The conceptual model is tested based on an online questionnaire (N=225). The results reveal that consumers mainly form purchase intentions and word of mouth communication of sportswear based on brand attitude. Moreover, the social context plays a major role in shaping purchase intentions. Furthermore, only the aesthetic dimension of product design has a significant influence on brand attitude. In addition, it shows a positive influence on the functional dimension of product design. Overall, the constructs investigated in this thesis explain a high degree of the variance in purchase intention (66,4%) and word of mouth (37,7%). The thesis concludes with theoretical and managerial implications in addition to suggestions for future research.