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Personalizing Product Appearance: The Effect on Product Attachment

Ruth Mugge , Hendrik N.J. Schifferstein , Jan P.L. Schoormans

This research examines the effect of personalizing a product's appearance on the degree of attachment a person experiences towards this product. We present a conceptual model for the relationships between the process of product personalization, self-expression, and product attachment. Data from a questionnaire study in which respondents (n = 149) filled out questions concerning their bicycle support our expectations. By personalizing the product's appearance, a person invests energy in the product, and the product is used to express his/her self. The degree of self-expression, in turn, positively affects the experienced degree of attachment to the product. The implications of these findings for design practice are discussed.


Product attachment, product personalization, self-expression, emotional bonding