The Yellow Factor - Nymblesmith
Nymble is a boutique digital content marketing consultancy dedicated to a non-agency approach to agency thinking.
content marketing, content, digital marketing, marketing consultant, marketing services
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The Yellow Factor

The Yellow Factor

I woke up. Got out of bed. No comb across my head necessary, just looking for my running shoes. It was another day in my renewed commitment to getting out to exercise if not all, most days in a row. Trouble was, I couldn’t find my footwear.

Well, that’s not exactly true. The blue shoes were right there. Paired up. Sitting next to each other.

I was looking for the mate to my right, yellow shoe. Where the heck was my left yellow shoe? I was viscerally angry not being able to find it.

I have two pairs of running shoes right now. They’re both the same. Exactly. Same brand. Same size. Same model. More or less the same number of miles on each of them. The ONLY difference is that one pair is blue and one pair is yellow.

Other than the color, they look the same, feel the same, run the same.

But I know.

In my heart of hearts.

I’m absolutely, 100% completely sure.

The yellow ones are better.

I know for a fact that if you blindfolded me and put one blue shoe on one foot and one yellow shoe on the other foot, I could tell you in a few steps which one is which.

I know the yellow ones are faster.

I know for sure I run better in the yellow ones.

The way I feel about these shoes is completely and utterly ridiculous. There is no rational, evidence-based situation where one would be better than the other.

There is absolutely nothing different about these two pairs of shoes beyond the color. They are identical.

And yet, I know the yellow ones are better. In my bones. In my heart and soul.

To the point that I spent 15 minutes searching for the other yellow shoe instead of just putting on the blue ones and getting out for my run.


Many of us in the marketing world these days get wrapped up in the numbers game of it all. Analytics. Metrics. Measurements and testing. And so much of it is good. And worthwhile. And worth the expense.

And then there’s the yellow shoe factor.

You can gather data and slice and dice spreadsheets and put your A.I. software to work 24/7. And all of that will give you a picture of your customers like you’ve never had before. And some of it could actually help you move a few more widgets.

But none of it will ever help you understand why I’m so sure the yellow ones are better.

It’s the same reason some people like Coke over Pepsi. They’re both colas. And they both taste pretty much the same. Yeah, they’re different, but are they really different enough for you to choose a different fast food restaurant because one has a contract with Coke and the other with Pepsi?


It is enough. And consumers make that totally irrational decision all day every day.

And it makes a difference.

And sometimes it has nothing to do with anything other than a color that makes you feel good.

And sometimes, you have no reasonable way of predicting that. You just need to pay attention.

Sometimes, the yellow shoe is just better. And we all know it.

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