Integrating self-determined needs into the relationship among product

Faheem Gul Gilal,1 Jian Zhang,1 Naeem Gul Gilal,2 Rukhsana Gul Gilal3

1Donlinks School of Economics and Management, University of Science and Technology Beijing, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 2School of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, Hubei, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Business Administration, Sukkur IBA University, Sindh, Pakistan

Background: The present study integrates self-determined needs satisfaction into a relationship between product design (eg, aesthetic, functional, and symbolic design) and consumer behavior (eg, willingness-to-pay [WTP] a premium and negative word-of-mouth [WOM]) and to explore whether gender can differentiate the effects of aesthetic, functional, and symbolic product designs on self-determined needs satisfaction.
Methods: To this end, participants from Pakistan and China were recruited, and the hypotheses for this study were tested using structural equation modeling and SPSS-PROCESS.
Results: The effects of three product designs on self-determined needs satisfaction were significantly positive across samples. The results further show that self-determined needs satisfaction had the strongest positive effect on WTP a premium and the strongest negative effect on vindictive WOM for Pakistanis. Self-determined needs frustration had the strongest negative effect on the WTP a premium for Chinese participants and an equivalent magnitude effect on vindictive WOM for Pakistani and Chinese participants. The cross-cultural gender-specific findings revealed that Pakistani men are more aesthetic and hedonic than women in Pakistan. Surprisingly, Chinese women resemble Pakistani men in the sense that they prefer aesthetically pleasing products. Chinese men resemble Pakistani women in terms of little interest in symbolic products, whereas Chinese women and Pakistani men respond similarly regarding their decisions to choose symbolic products.
Conclusion: To the best of the authors’ knowledge, the present study is one of the initial attempts to integrate self-determined needs into the relationship between product design and consumer WTP a premium and WOM, and further explore cross-cultural gender-specific differences across Pakistan and China. The findings of the present study may help international marketers in terms of segmenting, targeting, and positioning their markets.

Keywords: product design, self-determined needs satisfaction, self-determined needs frustration, willingness-to-pay a premium, word-of-mouth, Pakistan and China


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