Often a consumer's perception of various visual stimuli in a servicescape is subjective and holistic in nature, which can be best captured through subjective dimensions rather than objective dimensions such as colour, form, etc., of individual objects that form a servicescape. Based on a comprehensive review of aesthetics studies in marketing, servicescapes and environmental psychology, this paper identifies a critical gap in marketing literature - that of the understanding of visual servicescape aesthetics from a consumer's point of view. This paper explores the role of aesthetics in services marketing and proposes a set of subjective dimensions for appraising visual aesthetics of servicescapes, based on guiding theories from environmental psychology. Research to date looking at visual aesthetics in servicescapes is limited to objective aspects of visual stimuli; this paper identifies seven subjective indicators which emerged from an extensive review of literature in environmental psychology, and proposes their relationships to affect, cognition, preference and behavioural outcomes. The findings of this paper may help managers in evaluating visual designs of servicescape alternatives and choosing servicescapes to have a desired aesthetic response from consumers, leading to better preference.
Dr. Deepak S. Kumar, Purani, K., and Sahadev, S., “Conceptualising visual servicescape aesthetics: An application of environmental psychology”, The Marketing Review, vol. 13, pp. 347–376, 2013.