ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

Acta Psychologica Sinica ›› 2022, Vol. 54 ›› Issue (3): 313-330.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2022.00313

• Reports of Empirical Studies • Previous Articles    

Kawai vs. Whimsical: The influence of cuteness types of luxury brands on consumers' preferences

FENG Wenting1, XU Yuanping2, HUANG Hai2, WANG Tao3()   

  1. 1Gemmological Institute, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Wuhan 430074, China
    2Center for Psychological Science and Health, Educational Research Institute, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan), Wuhan 430074, China
    3Research Center for Organizational Marketing, Economics and Management School, Wuhan University, Wuhan 430072, China
  • Received:2020-09-25 Published:2022-03-25 Online:2022-01-25
  • Contact: WANG Tao
  • Supported by:
    General Program of NSFC(72172107);youth program of NSFC(71702177);key program of NSFC(71532011)


Luxury brands are keen to use cuteness styles to interact with consumers. Based on the theory of ideal self, this paper explores the mechanism and boundary conditions of cuteness style types’ influence on consumers’ preferences for luxury brands through four experiments. Experiment 1 showed that the cuteness styles of luxury brands (kindchenschema/whimsicality) could significantly affect consumers’ brand preferences, and verified the causal chain model of the main effect. Experiment 2 further clarified the boundary of the main effect, and the results showed that the influence of brand cuteness styles on consumers’ preferences only existed in the context of luxury brands. Experiment 3 explored the moderating effect of self-monitoring level on the main effect and found that for individuals with a low level of self-monitoring, the cuteness styles of luxury brands could hardly affect brand preferences in an effective way. Experiment 4 analyzed the moderating effect of individual development stages on the main effect. The results showed that for individuals in adulthood, the whimsical cuteness style could improve the individual’s preferences for luxury brands more than the kindchenschema cuteness style, and for individuals in childhood, the kindchenschema cuteness style was more likely to be favored than the whimsical cuteness style.

Key words: luxury brands, cuteness styles, ideal self-expression