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Design awareness and purchase intention: an item response theory approach

Ana M. Arboleda (Marketing and International Business, Icesi University, Cali, Colombia)
Julio C. Alonso (Economics, Icesi University, Cali, Colombia)

Academia Revista Latinoamericana de Administración

ISSN: 1012-8255

Article publication date: 27 May 2014



The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the effect of design awareness on consumers’ purchase intention.


The experiment consisted of showing a new beer package design to 185 participants who evaluated it using a self‐administered questionnaire.


Using an Item Response Theory approach, results show that there are two dimensions of consumer design awareness: basic design and differential design. These findings are, to some extent, consistent with the theoretical discussion within design literature. Moreover, a multiple regression model estimates the effect of both dimensions on consumers’ purchase intention, and the paper concludes that both dimensions have a similar effect (p<0.05). The sign of the effects are consistent with the theoretical discussion.

Practical implications

The design of new products must consider attributes associated to the basic and practical use of a product as well as those attributes that mark a comparative difference in the product category.


This paper conceptually and empirically combines two different areas of knowledge (design and consumer behavior) under the design awareness construct. This concept evaluates consumers’ perceptions about new products, facilitating more accurate decisions in cases of innovation.



Arboleda, A.M. and Alonso, J.C. (2014), "Design awareness and purchase intention: an item response theory approach", Academia Revista Latinoamericana de Administración, Vol. 27 No. 1, pp. 138-155.



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