Beauty and Aesthetics : A study of the Professional Hair Care Industry in Sweden
Background: Beauty is a subject which is not easy to grasp especially as it is perceived differently. In advertising it is expressed through aesthetic messages and images which we relate to symbolic and social meanings. The professional hair care industry in Sweden serves as a good example where the creation of aesthetic experience influences consumer purchasing behaviour.
Purpose: The purpose of our thesis is to study how consumers´ subjective view on beauty and aesthetics can be influenced by the professional hair care industry and how a market is created for products which mainly satisfy emotional needs rather than fulfil utilitarian function.
Research Method: In our study we have applied an abductive research method approach. The empirical findings were based on 3 interviews with P&G Salon Professional representatives and 15 end consumers combined with a survey, conducted in 25 hair salons in the city of Linköping.
Conclusion: Consumers act in a socially constructed world in which products are shaped around impulse and feeling rather than their rationality. When buying a professional hair care product people receive much more than the actual product itself. People improve not only physical appearance but they also feel beautiful from within. While the utilitarian function is basically the same in both professional hair care and retail products, the former contributes to higher degree of satisfaction.
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