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Red matte and glossy blue: how color and reflectance drive consumer indulgence

Shadab Khalil (Department of International Business, National Dong Hwa University, Hualien, Taiwan)
Pubali Chatterjee (Department of Business Administration, National Central University, Taoyuan, Taiwan)
Julian Ming-Sung Cheng (Department of Business Administration, National Central University, Taoyuan, Taiwan)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Article publication date: 4 January 2023

Issue publication date: 17 January 2023

895

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the effect of color temperature on consumption. Color is one of the most powerful elements of sensory marketing. However, how warm and cool colors drive consumer indulgence and interact with other visual cues is minimally understood.

Design/methodology/approach

This research conducts six experiments to investigate the effect of eight warm and cool colors and the effect of warm/cool color’s interaction with reflectance on indulgent consumption/use in various retail environments.

Findings

Studies 1a and 1b support the contrasting effects of warm vs cool colors on consumers’ indulgent consumption. Studies 2a and 2b establish the serial mediating role of arousal and self-reward focus in the color-indulgence relationship. Study 3a demonstrates the interactive effect of warm (vs cool) colors and glossy (vs matte) reflectance on consumer indulgence, and Study 3b confirms how glossy (vs matte) reflectance moderates the serial mediating effect of arousal and self-reward focus in the color-indulgence relationship.

Research limitations/implications

This research contributes to the growing stream of research on the visual aspect of sensory marketing, especially color, and advances the theoretical knowledge of how color could be used effectively to influence consumer indulgence.

Practical implications

This research provides actionable managerial implications on the effective use of warm and cool colors and glossy and matte reflectance to influence consumer indulgence.

Originality/value

This research advances the theoretical and empirical knowledge of color’s interaction with other visual sensory cues and the underlying psychological processes shaping consumer indulgence.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the editors and the three anonymous reviewers for their constructive and insightful comments. This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan [grant number 110-2410-H-259-011].

Citation

Khalil, S., Chatterjee, P. and Cheng, J.M.-S. (2023), "Red matte and glossy blue: how color and reflectance drive consumer indulgence", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 57 No. 2, pp. 426-452. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-10-2021-0771

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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