The Color of Choice: The Influence of Presenting Product Information in Color on the Compromise Effect

Jungkeun Kim (Group Author), Mark T. Spence, Roger Marshall (Group Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
308 Downloads (Pure)


Consumers often find themselves challenged by the conflicting desires to seek uniqueness versus conformity, and thus seek some degree of balance. In a series of six studies we show that presenting each options’ product-related information in a unique color, as opposed to all product-related information presented in black-on-white, partially satiates the desire for uniqueness, thus amplifying the compromise effect. Consumers facing color presentation formats choose the middle, conforming option more often, yet perceive their choice as more unique. This color effect is not realized if each option's attributes are presented in different colors, but all options use a consistent color scheme, as is often the case in on-line retailing sites such as Having to justify one's choice moderates the color effect. The practical take-away is that consumers’ choices can be influenced by using unique colors to present option-related product information, a variable that is entirely independent of the options’ performance characteristics. Two field studies confirm this finding, one using a plain background versus a colored background in a product display and the other using product containers that are either in plain white or wrapped in unique colors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)167-185
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Retailing
Issue number2
Early online date1 Feb 2018
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


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