When consumers were asked to choose colors for seven different parts of an athletic shoe, they tended to pick identical or similar colors for nearly every element.
They usually avoided contrasting or even moderately different color combinations.
A red and yellow athletic shoe? Not going to happen. Blue and grey? That’s more like it.
This is one of the first studies to show how consumers would choose to combine colors in a realistic shopping situation, said Xiaoyan Deng, lead author of the study and assistant professor of marketing at Ohio State University’s Fisher College of Business.
The results support the theory that people like their color combinations to be relatively simple and coherent, rather than complex and distinct
“Most people like to match colors very closely,” Deng said. “The further the distance between two colors, the less likely people are to choose them together.”
However, there was one exception. A large minority of people chose to highlight a relatively small signature part of the shoe with a contrasting color far from the colors used in other elements.
Overall, though, the study showed that people prefer a simple design with few colors. While participants could choose from up to 16 colors for different parts of the shoe, the average person only used about four colors on the entire shoe they designed.
“Using a small number of colors simplifies the final design and reduces the effort it takes to design the shoe,” Deng said.
Deng conducted the study with Sam Hui of the Stern School of Business at New York University and J. Wesley Hutchison of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. It was published in a recent issue of the Journal of Consumer Psychology.
The study is important, Deng said, because it is one of the first to show, from a marketing perspective, people’s preferences for color combinations. Most other research on color preferences has taken a psychological perspective and simply asked people whether they thought two color chips would go well together.
“We had a very realistic situation in the study where consumers could clearly show how they would combine colors in real life,” Deng said.
The study involved 142 participants who agreed to go to the publicly available NIKEiD website and create a Nike “shox” shoe for themselves. At the site, they choose colors for seven elements of the shoe: the base, secondary, swoosh, accent, lace, lining and shox. For each element, they could choose between six to 12 colors.The researchers analyzed the color choices made by the participants and measured the similarity of chosen colors based on a widely accepted “color space” model.
But a large minority of people did choose to highlight one element of the shoe by making it a color that was unrelated to the others used, offering a strong contrast. Often, people chose this contrasting color for the “shox” element – columns in the heel and mid-section of the shoe that provide cushioning while running.
These shox are a unique component of athletic shoes and a signature component of this Nike product line.
“It seems that some consumers wanted this signature part of the shoe to really stand out from the rest,” Deng said. “It may be that they saw the rest of the shoe as a background for this one contrasting color. But we need to study that more.”
Deng said it was significant that consumers used only about four different colors in the shoe. The researchers calculated that they would expect consumers to use 5.48 colors per shoe, based on the conditions in this study.
“We found that consumers preferred to use just a small palette of colors in their shoe and closely matched colors within this palette,” she said.
But does this study really capture the participants’ general feelings about color combinations, or are the results only applicable to these self-designed shoes?
To test this, the researchers asked participants to rate how much they liked four Nike-designed shoes available on the website.
The researchers then created a “color coordination index” for each Nike-designed shoe that allowed them to relate the level of similarity between colors of a specific Nike-designed shoe to participants’ shoe preferences.
The results showed that there was a strong association between the color coordination index and the liking for Nike-designed shoes. This suggests the study really did reveal how participants liked to combine colors, Deng said.
Deng said the findings suggest that Nike may be offering more color combinations for each element of the shoe than consumers really need.
“If a consumer chooses a reddish color for one element of the shoe, he or she will probably only use colors closely related to red for the rest of the shoe,” she said.
“However, it is not the case that you can offer the same small palette of colors for all consumers. Each consumer may have a different idea of what color they want to emphasize. But once they make that choice, their palette tends to be restricted.”Contact: Xiaoyan Deng, (614) 292-2700; Deng_84@fisher.osu.edu
Xiaoyan Deng | EurekAlert!
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.
The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
23.03.2018 | Event News
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences
23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy