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Differentiation through Aesthetics in Supermarkets
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Business Administration.
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Background:This thesis strives to analyze aesthetic services used in supermarkets. Supermarkets facefierce competition and varied marketing dilemmas such as traditional marketing versusservice marketing. Nevertheless, encompassing elements from both traditionalmarketing, such as physical products, and service marketing, such as relationshipbuilding, supermarket management is challenging. Thus, it is crucial to understandconsumers’ perceptions for both services and products in order to satisfy their needs andwants and succeed in the market place. Therefore, this thesis offers a betterunderstanding of aesthetic elements used in supermarkets from customers’ perspective.Aim:The main purpose of this thesis is to investigate the applications of aesthetics insupermarkets. It intends to examine and theorize the consumer perceptions regardingaesthetic elements applied in supermarkets; to test the differentiation strategy insupermarkets, through the usage of aesthetic elements, from consumers’ perspective.Definitions:Aestheticization of daily life: it can be seen as the extension of art or the appreciation ofart on daily life. It suggests ‘the collapse of the distinction between high art and massculture, leveling out of symbolic hierarchies and cultural declassification’ (Featherstone,2007). It reflects onto business through its emphasis on beauty, sensory appeals,pleasure consumption etc. Analyzing aesthetic applications in supermarkets from acustomer perspective, this thesis finds out that from both companies’ and consumers’perspective, these applications are based on aestheticization of daily life.Completion and Results:Aesthetic elements used in supermarkets are identified in the content analysis anddiscussed in the empirical study through focus group interviews. It is found out thataesthetic services indeed improve customer satisfaction. However, the fierce pricecompetition limits supermarkets’ services to instrumental rather than expressiveperformance. Moreover, utilized aesthetic services in supermarkets tend to bestandardized, due to benchmarking processes, in consumers’ eyes, causing theseservices to lose their value to be differentiated.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 111 p.
Keyword [en]
Aesthetics, Service Marketing, Art, Fashion, Supermarkets
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-71158ISRN: LIU-IEI-FIL-A--11/01039--SEOAI: diva2:445358
Subject / course
Master's Programme in Business Administration – Strategic
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2011-10-04 Created: 2011-10-03 Last updated: 2011-10-05Bibliographically approved

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