Zoya has more than 300.
Essie has more than 200.
OPI has more than 200.
China Glaze has more than 100.
Yet each company comes out with 12, 24, and even 72 new colors each year in various collections.
How did this phenomenon come to be? Back in the day, 48 colors was a huge palette. Of the 48 colors, 10 sold well, 30 sold OK and 8 you couldn't give away.
I think it started based on two premises. The first being competition. One company could boast over another that they had more colors. "Come one, come all, only Essie has 46 different whites and 39 different pinks. Just think of the French Manicure possibilities!"
"You want reds. We got reds. We got OPI Red and 83 more just like it but a tad different. Now you can satisfy every client looking for red!"
"Your client can't decide what color to wear? Fantastic, let's keep it that way. At Zoya, we have more than 300 colors and while they decide which color to choose, they can get a haircut, highlight and color and they won't even notice the time spent in the salon!"
The other phenomenon is when polish companies tied their colors into seasonal fashion collections. All of a sudden, CND and Prada were synonymous. Only if Prada included a bottle of CND polish with their handbags. Hey, there's an idea!
I've been racking my brain trying to come up with another consumer commodity with so much selection. Even the best selling gum has only 14 flavors. Crayola still has their box of 64 and do you remember the treat it was when you got your hands on that?
With so much selection, I was bowled over to find out that when CND launches their new collections, it will only be two colors. Imagine that! So simplistic it's genius. Perhaps this will be the inspiration to rethink marketing to consumers.
But then again, what would we do without over 1000 colors sitting on our warehouse shelves?