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How do consumers express their appreciation of wood surfaces?: Norway spruce floors in Germany as an example
University of Freiburg.
University of Freiburg, Institute of Psychology, University of Freiburg, Department of Social Psychology and Methodology, University of Freiburg, Breisgau.
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Engineering Sciences and Mathematics, Wood Science and Engineering.
Institute of Forest Sciences, University of Freiburg.
2016 (English)In: Annals of Forest Science, ISSN 1286-4560, E-ISSN 1297-966X, Vol. 73, no 3, 703-712 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Key Message: A variety of visually different floor sam- ples are presented online to consumers. Based on their individual verbal judgements of appreciation for visual surface characteristics, four distinct groups of floor sur- faces were identified. This allows directing design and marketing efforts more precisely towards consumers’ expectations.Context: For high-end wood products, appearance is a key factor. Traditionally, manufacturers grade wood considering technical parameters and industrial customers’ requirements. In contrast, knowing the consumers’ verbal items would be of advantage for both producers and buyers.Aims: Three research questions are identified exploring pos- sibilities to utilize consumers’ appreciations. (1) Is it possible to establish a consistent characterization with verbal items? (2) Can appreciation be linked to visual wood properties? (3) Can the great natural variety of wood surfaces be assigned to de- sirable product groups?Methods: Out of 57 spruce logs, 810 floor boards were pro- duced and sorted into 15 ‘visual classes’ (VC). Images were retrieved and virtual floors composed from each VC. Consumers evaluated selected floor samples in an online sur- vey using a set of 7 items. Hierarchical cluster analysis and discriminant analysis are applied to analyze the answers.Results: Only 4 out of the 7 items (‘vividness’, ‘evenness’, ‘contrast’ and ‘stripes’) were sufficient to allocate the VCs to four groups which represent different consumer appreciations. Inverse assessments of different product groups support a more differentiated marketing.Conclusion: The results indicate that verbal judgements of high-end wood surfaces can hold advantages directing production and marketing efforts more towards consumers’ preferences and thus increasing satisfaction and added value

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 73, no 3, 703-712 p.
Keyword [en]
Forestry, agricultural sciences and landscape planning - Wood fibre and forest products
Keyword [sv]
Skogs- och jordbruksvetenskap samt landskapsplanering - Träfiber- och virkeslära
Research subject
Wood Technology
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-8159DOI: 10.1007/s13595-016-0558-1Local ID: 6a0d4ab1-0b0f-4619-93a8-b8b4d6017012OAI: diva2:981050
Validerad; 2016; Nivå 2; Bibliografisk uppgift: Cite this article as: Manuel, A., Leonhart, R., Broman, O. et al. Annals of Forest Science (2016) 73: 703. doi:10.1007/s13595-016-0558-1; 20160608 (olof)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29Bibliographically approved

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