Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. A. Fuat Firat

Second Advisor

Dr. Hale Kaynak

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Minor


Experience has been accepted as a separate market offering that is increasingly being utilized by various businesses. Consequently, there is a growing need to understand the phenomenon of commercial experiences, their role in various market contexts, and the reasons of consumers’ interest in them. It is also crucial to understand the ways the consumers derive value from marketplace experiences. Yet, it would be misleading to assume that all experiences have the same significance for consumers, and consumers derive high level of value from every experience in the market. This dissertation aims to understand the experiences that consumers find to be meaningful and significant. It specifically aims to identify the characteristics of impactful experiential designs, and how these characteristics lead to certain consumer behavior, feelings, and senses in experiential market contexts. Qualitative and quantitative research methodologies were employed to accomplish the goals of this study. Qualitative research methodology was utilized to gain deep and culturally informed insights into the antecedents of experiences that contemporary consumers perceive to be superior. Qualitative data, which was collected through using different data collection techniques to assure triangulation, was analyzed in the light of the review of literature from the multidisciplinary fields, such as marketing, sociology, anthropology, museum studies, and gameplay studies. As a result of this analysis, a theoretical framework, the hypotheses, and the scale items of each measure that were employed to test the hypotheses were developed. Quantitative research methodology was utilized to assess the reliabilities and validities of the scales developed, and to test the hypotheses about the relationships between the constructs. The findings of this research reveal that consumer perceptions of the design of the experiential settings reflected by the stories and the sensory stimuli of the context are the drivers of consumer participation and immersion in the experiential setting. Presentationality, readability and appropriability are the primary dimensions of experiential setting narratives that are perceived to be meaningful and significant by consumers. Presentationality, multiple modalities, and spectacularity are the primary dimensions of sensory stimuli that are found to be significant and affective by consumers. Immersion has been found to be the key element in consumers’ intensity perceptions of the experiences they drive from the context.


Copyright 2011 Ebru Ulusoy Akgün. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American

Included in

Marketing Commons