Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Marketing



First Advisor

Ritesh Saini


While a rich collection of literature demonstrates the influence of packaging color on consumer decision making, little is known about how packaging color affects consumer behavior for bundled products. Bundled products are defined as two or more items in a single package for a special price. Often bundles consist of items with varying hierarchy: a higher-hierarchical product paired with a lower-hierarchical product (e.g., a fabric detergent and a fabric softener). I argue and show that there is a universal association between color lightness of the products’ packages and the perceived inter-item hierarchy, with darker packaging signifying a higher hierarchical product (e.g., a fabric detergent) and a lighter packaging signifying a lower hierarchical one (e.g., a fabric softener). I also posit that there is a positive congruence effect when color lightness of the products in bundle matches this inter-item hierarchy. The aim of this research is not only to establish this congruence effect, but also to investigate its key drivers and moderators. Across six studies, I demonstrate that consumers prefer congruent (vs. incongruent) product bundles where a higher hierarchical product is in darker packaging and a lower hierarchical product is in lighter packaging. Delving deeper into the process, I argue that structure-seeking tendency induces greater preference toward congruent bundles. Consumers who are situationally provoked to structure-seek, or those who are chronically high in need-for-structure display greater color congruency effects.


Color lightness, Need for structure, Bundle items, Inter-item hierarchy


Business | Marketing


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington

Included in

Marketing Commons