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The visual ecology of product packaging and its effects on consumer attention


Orquin, Jacob L; Bagger, Martin P; Lahm, Erik S; Grunert, Klaus G; Scholderer, Joachim (2020). The visual ecology of product packaging and its effects on consumer attention. Journal of Business Research, 111:187-195.

Abstract

Visual ecology is the study of how different species perceive their visual surroundings. We introduce the concept to consumer research and show that the micro-ecology of product packaging has a predictable visual ecology. Analyzing images of 158 consumer products, we show that brand-related packaging elements are visually conspicuous in terms of visual salience, surface size, and distance to center, while elements related to credence characteristics like sustainability and nutrition are visually inconspicuous. We show that the visual ecology of product packaging is a strong driver of consumer attention independently of consumer goals. Our findings suggest that the reason consumers regularly ignore sustainability and nutrition information is not lack of motivation, but because their visual environment acts as a barrier to attending this information. We conclude with a prediction for consumer attention given a policy intervention to increase the conspicuity of sustainability and nutrition information.

Abstract

Visual ecology is the study of how different species perceive their visual surroundings. We introduce the concept to consumer research and show that the micro-ecology of product packaging has a predictable visual ecology. Analyzing images of 158 consumer products, we show that brand-related packaging elements are visually conspicuous in terms of visual salience, surface size, and distance to center, while elements related to credence characteristics like sustainability and nutrition are visually inconspicuous. We show that the visual ecology of product packaging is a strong driver of consumer attention independently of consumer goals. Our findings suggest that the reason consumers regularly ignore sustainability and nutrition information is not lack of motivation, but because their visual environment acts as a barrier to attending this information. We conclude with a prediction for consumer attention given a policy intervention to increase the conspicuity of sustainability and nutrition information.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Informatics
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Marketing
Language:English
Date:8 February 2020
Deposited On:25 Nov 2020 11:23
Last Modified:26 Nov 2020 21:00
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0148-2963
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.01.043
Related URLs:https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0148296319300360?via%3Dihub
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:20054

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