Does Size Really Matter?The Effect of Vanity Sizing on Product Evaluations          JoAndrea Hoegg      Maura L. Scott    ...
Marketing & ConsumerSizeTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Vanity SizingLet ‘em eat cake, but if you want to sell ‘emclothes, trick ‘em into thinking that the cake theyeat doesn’t p...
The sizes, they are a-changin’                        y           g                            Size 14                    ...
The sizes, they are a-changin’                      y           g     Waist M     W i t Measurements for Size 7/8 Pants   ...
Are you pa ts lying to you  e your pants y g you?THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
Our ResearchHow does vanity sizing affect consumers?  Evaluation of clothing and retailers                       g  Effect...
Self-Esteem and Altered SizesAppearance Self Esteem – critical to sense of self worth   • Chronic level   • Context depend...
Self-Esteem and Altered SizesHypothesis 1: When a clothing item that fits is a smaller  size than expected, consumers will...
Study 1: Fitting Room                 ExperienceVariables manipulated:   • Size on labels: smaller vs. larger than     exp...
Study 1: Fitting Room             ExperienceTwo Phase StudyPhase 1 Bolstering• Intellect:   Aptitude test (GRE Jiang et al...
Study 1: Fitting Room               ExperiencePhase 2: Evaluating a new local fashion retailerSize label manipulated on pa...
Study 1: Attitude toward         Pants5.5 5              4.82                                        4.794.5              ...
Study 1 SummaryConsumers like small sizes and dislike large sizes                                             sizes.Reacti...
How Do Consumers Cope?                                 pRequiring a larger size is a threat to appearance self   q    g   ...
Study 2: Measurement                    ExperienceVariables manipulated• Size: expected size, two sizes larger than expect...
Evaluating Custom-Made Business SuitGo into Dressing Room               gTake MeasurementsBring Sheet to Administrator    ...
Evaluating Custom-Made                      Business SuitAdministrator References  Fictitious Size Chart,  Assigns Size an...
Study 2 Results    Attitude toward suit                                             WTP6       5.49                       ...
Study 2 Results     Likelihood of Purchasing Other Items6                                             5.005    4 83     4....
Summary – Study 2                y       y• Evidence of a coping mechanism  through consumption.  • Th t    Threatened i d...
Can Consumers Protect               Themselves?Consumers’ Knowledge of Persuasion Attempts                  g             ...
Study 3 Variables Manipulated Size: smaller than expected vs. larger than expected Suspicion of marketers: yes vs. no S   ...
Study 3 Results - Attitudes6     5.325           4.78            4 784                                    3.88   Not Suspi...
Conclusions• Consumers like fitting into smaller sizes and  respond very negatively to larger sizes• Size label can act as...
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Dr. JoAndrea Hoegg - Does Size Matter? The Effect of Vanity Sizing on Product Evaluations

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  • What I find surprising is the number of researchers who think everything looks like a nail because they only have a hammer. Why haven't researchers done the work of determining whether there is such a thing as 'vanity sizing'? Is it not possible these effects are attributable to other mechanisms? Say, size inflation? I've come up with at least 16 different counter arguments to explain this phenomenon.

    By analogy, the number of Ph.Ds who built their careers on researching the connection between stress and ulcers is incalculable. It took one doctor TEN YEARS to get anyone to listen to his case that ulcers are caused by a bacteria. Once conclusively proven, over the counter 'ulcer' remedies were repackaged to reduce 'gas' etc.

    I argue this case is no different -except I lack the mechanisms to propose a counter argument because I'm not a Ph.D. Vanity Sizing is as real as Russell's teapot. The emperor is naked.
    http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/the_myth_of_vanity_sizing/
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Dr. JoAndrea Hoegg - Does Size Matter? The Effect of Vanity Sizing on Product Evaluations

  1. 1. Does Size Really Matter?The Effect of Vanity Sizing on Product Evaluations JoAndrea Hoegg Maura L. Scott Andrea C. Morales Darren W. Dahl
  2. 2. Marketing & ConsumerSizeTHE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  3. 3. Vanity SizingLet ‘em eat cake, but if you want to sell ‘emclothes, trick ‘em into thinking that the cake theyeat doesn’t put on pounds.” (Eisenberg 2009) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  4. 4. The sizes, they are a-changin’ y g Size 14 1950 and todayEven in a 10-year spa e 0 yea span….Size 8 in 1986 is equal to size 10 in 1997 (Workman & Lentz 2000) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  5. 5. The sizes, they are a-changin’ y g Waist M W i t Measurements for Size 7/8 Pants t f Si P t403836343230282624 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  6. 6. Are you pa ts lying to you e your pants y g you?THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  7. 7. Our ResearchHow does vanity sizing affect consumers? Evaluation of clothing and retailers g Effects on self esteem Effects on shopping behaviours 7 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  8. 8. Self-Esteem and Altered SizesAppearance Self Esteem – critical to sense of self worth • Chronic level • Context dependent • P People seek t attain positive boosts and avoid l k to tt i iti b t d id negative drops that deviate from their normal level self-esteem. • Clothing size may impact how we feel about ourselves. • L Lower appearance esteem people are more aware of their t l f th i size. 8 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  9. 9. Self-Esteem and Altered SizesHypothesis 1: When a clothing item that fits is a smaller size than expected, consumers will evaluate the item more positively.Hypothesis 2: When a clothing item that fits is a larger size than expected, consumers will evaluate the item more expected negatively.Hypothesis 3: When appearance esteem is bolstered, threats to self-esteem from larger size labels are mitigated iti t d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  10. 10. Study 1: Fitting Room ExperienceVariables manipulated: • Size on labels: smaller vs. larger than expected Bolstered self esteem: intellect vs. vs appearanceKey measures: • Attitude toward the pants (bad/good, dis/like, un/pleasant, un/satisfied) • Likelihood to shop at the store THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  11. 11. Study 1: Fitting Room ExperienceTwo Phase StudyPhase 1 Bolstering• Intellect: Aptitude test (GRE Jiang et al. 2010) Outcome: 89th percentile – you’re smart!• Appearance: “Symmetry and proportion test” – digital photos h t Outcome: 89th percentile – you’ve got a great shape! 11 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  12. 12. Study 1: Fitting Room ExperiencePhase 2: Evaluating a new local fashion retailerSize label manipulated on pants hangers Two Sizes Smaller (10 labeled “6”; 8 labeled “4”; etc.) 6; 4 ; etc ) Two Sizes Larger (10 labeled “14”; 8 labeled “12”; etc.) 12 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  13. 13. Study 1: Attitude toward Pants5.5 5 4.82 4.794.5 4.30 Bolstered 4 Intelligence 3.753.5 Bolstered Appearance 3 Two sizes larger Two sizes smaller THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  14. 14. Study 1 SummaryConsumers like small sizes and dislike large sizes sizes.Reactions to clothing size seem to be driven in g part by appearance self esteem. • Bolstering feelings about appearance reduces the threat and mitigates the negative evaluation g g 14 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  15. 15. How Do Consumers Cope? pRequiring a larger size is a threat to appearance self q g g ppesteem.Consumers compensate for threats by consuming. • Affirm threatened aspects of the self • Compensatory consumptionHypothesis 4: When a clothing item that fits is a larger sizethan expected, consumers will have higher purchaseintentions for non-sized products non sized 15 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  16. 16. Study 2: Measurement ExperienceVariables manipulated• Size: expected size, two sizes larger than expectedPhase 1: Report expected size i b i R t t d i in business attire ttiPhase 2: (three weeks later) Evaluate tailor made clothingKey Measures: Willingness to pay for suit Attitude toward the suit Likelihood of purchasing other products from retailer > Sized items (skirts, blouses, undergarments) > Non-sized items (fragrance, scarves, jewelry/watches) 16 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  17. 17. Evaluating Custom-Made Business SuitGo into Dressing Room gTake MeasurementsBring Sheet to Administrator 17 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  18. 18. Evaluating Custom-Made Business SuitAdministrator References Fictitious Size Chart, Assigns Size and Suit Sample Card 18 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  19. 19. Study 2 Results Attitude toward suit WTP6 5.49 $200 $188.005 4.53 $160 $148.00 $148 004 $12032 $801 $400 $0 Expected Size Larger Size 19 Expected Size Larger Size p < .05 p < .05 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  20. 20. Study 2 Results Likelihood of Purchasing Other Items6 5.005 4 83 4.83 4.44 4.074 Sized Items3 Non-Sized Items2 Expected Size Larger Size THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  21. 21. Summary – Study 2 y y• Evidence of a coping mechanism through consumption. • Th t Threatened i di id l purchase non-sized goods d individuals h i d d and avoid sized goods. THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  22. 22. Can Consumers Protect Themselves?Consumers’ Knowledge of Persuasion Attempts g p Consumers have ideas about persuasion that help them form attitudes about influence agents (Friestad & Wright 1994)Reduced size label  persuasion attemptHypothesis 5: The effects of altered sizing practice will be reduced when consumers are wary of marketing persuasion tactics tactics. 22 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  23. 23. Study 3 Variables Manipulated Size: smaller than expected vs. larger than expected Suspicion of marketers: yes vs. no S i i f k tTwo part study: Part 1: Read persuasion knowledge article or neutral article Part 2: P 2 Scenario about selecting and trying on pants S i b l i d i … as you pull the pants up you find that they are far [too loose/too tight]...After trying on a few pairs, you find a pair that fits perfectly that is labeled two sizes [smaller/larger] than your normal size. 23 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  24. 24. Study 3 Results - Attitudes6 5.325 4.78 4 784 3.88 Not Suspicious 3.28 Suspicious32 Smaller Size Larger Size 24 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  25. 25. Conclusions• Consumers like fitting into smaller sizes and respond very negatively to larger sizes• Size label can act as a boost or threat to consumers’ self esteem esteem. • Is boosted self esteem a good thing in this case?• Consumers respond to appearance threats by purchasing non-sized appearance-enhancing items.• Improving consumers’ awareness of marketing tactics reduces, but does not eliminate the effects. reduces effects 25 THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA
  26. 26. Thank you!

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