Colors & Marketing: The power of color use for consumers
One of the most important parts of our observation of the world around us is our sight. We tend to judge things quite a lot depending on the way they look. More specifically, the biggest way to determine whether something catches our eye is the color. This is something that the corporate world understands quite well, and that is why color schemes and themes are a huge part of marketing.
When it comes to attracting consumers to any product, choosing the color that strikes the right way with the consumer is important. Color marketing is something that can be used to make people not only buy on impulse but also create a strong bond in other cases.
Below is an example of colors used in branding from more than 100 well-known companies. Think about Nintendo and excitement comes to mind. Many people have come to recognize and experience the imagination in the Barbie, Hallmark, and Syfy brands.
Finally, why do financial companies such as JP Morgan, American Express, and Vimeo choose blue in their brand? Simple – that’s the color synonymous with trust; and trust is key with financial transactions.
Impact on our behavior
Scientists have long been investigating how different colors impact our minds and bring them to think in a certain way. An example of this can be the color blue (think ‘trust’) which is synonymous with calm things and feelings. Looking at the ocean or the blue sky is a noticeably clear example of how that works.
Similarly, a grey sky with clouds represents a sense of gloom and can lead to a person feeling sad. However, that same grey color has also been successfully utilized as a link to maturity and accomplishment. One need only look to Lexus’ use of light grey in its logo for attracting and retaining a select market segment based on socioeconomic factors.
Choosing the optimal color for the product and packaging can help to trigger the proper spot in the consumer’s mind and make the product stand out from the competition. An example used by American Colors and designed within DesignContest platform speaks to boldness, trust and maturity.
Marketing with color
Considering how big of an impact color has on our behavior and mood, marketers are engaging more and more towards understanding how they can control it for their business’ success.
An example of this can be candy, a sugary item that we all eat pretty much every day as kids. One thing that marketers often tend to avoid is using the colors green and yellow. Those colors do not seem to match the tone of the candy which is sweetness. Instead, one of the most used colors in candy is red which is synonymous with sweet flavors.
The purchasing choices that consumers make, such as with candy, are often based on triggered subconscious decisions. A big part of that decision-making process is what the brain finds the most pleasing when buying something of everyday use.
Color is a powerful agent of both experiences and memories, providing us with positive and negative perceptions of everything we’ve experienced or will experience.
In general, red color is associated with impulse buying techniques, and all the businesses relying heavily on impulse buying typically create red products. Gifts for loved ones like red roses and red-colored chocolate boxes have a lot of red in them which may make a person more likely to make an impulse buying decision.
The color blue evokes calm, trust, and dependability. Property brochures often choose this color, as people deciding to buy or rent properties often require a lot of thought and decision-making time before they commit to a large purchase. Inducing the customer to that frame of mind is what choosing these colors is all about and marketers utilize such techniques all the time.
Packaging design with color
The choices that consumers make to purchase any product are often based on subconscious decisions. A big part of that decision-making process is what the brain finds the most pleasing when buying something of everyday use.
Choosing the optimal color for the product and packaging can help to trigger the proper spot in the consumer’s mind and make the product stand out from the competition.
Color’s common thread is its use to stimulate, associate, and cause decisioning and support. Professionals, consultants, and marketing teams utilize the difference-driving value of coloring in branding.
Here are multiple products and brands that have successfully utilized color to appeal to their segmented customer base. Notice how they are also in entirely different market segments?
Mack’s Spritzer utilizes orange labels to compliment the already vibrant blood orange color that matches its drink namesake.
Many energy drinks utilize orange, both in the color of fluid as well as in packaging and label. Why? Well, it exhibits a sense of freshness, high energy, stimulation, and cheer. You’ll also note that the orange color smartly paired nicely with the offset white. This creates a minimalist aesthetic.
Green ‘means’ a lot
What’s REALLY interesting about the color green? Well, it carries a wide range of associations. Whether it’s “the grass is greener”, “making green” per money, being given the “green light” to take action, or having a “green thumb”.
Moreover, the associations change with the tone of the color green. For instance, a natural green such as forest shade works to parlay tranquility and refreshing. Bright green elicit thoughts of hard work and high energy.
And think about biofuels and biotechnology in medicine. Many of these companies, such as BP and Green Science pull in thoughts of all natural, from the earth, and more ‘human friendly’ with their product displays and packaging.
Starbucks has one of the most famous logos, used across all its products, signage, ads, and packaging. The color use is a key part of its promotion for international peace, stability, and that the stores serve to be relaxing places. A nice ‘blend’ of messages tied in through the help of the green color.
Juliette Gordon Low absolutely loved nature and the outdoors. This is part of the Girl Scouts founding principle of being a part of something larger than just who we are as individuals. It ties in ‘girl power’ with the environment and the inclusion they both hold for people contributing.
Key color impacts
Depending on the color you choose to add to your branding or marketing, you are going to get a different response. However, the impact goes far beyond the scope of just a single case. Each color, as it is observed in years of research, has a tone that it carries that can apply to practically any situation. The list below defines how each of them works when it comes to targeting consumer behavior.
- Red: Used to express a sense of urgency and excitement. Sales and romantic products often use red.
- Yellow: A bright and youthful color meant to be used as a source of grabbing consumer attention.
- Green: The color of money, green is associated with wealth, but it is also a relaxing color like in nature.
- Blue: The color of trust and security, used in situations where that is required for a customer like businesses and banks.
- Orange: Carrying an aggressive tone, orange grabs attention for creating a call to action. Traffic cones, fast food signs, sale announcements, etc. all use this color for enticing customers.
- Black: A symbol of power and impulse, this color is popular for products that are both luxurious and impulsive.
- Pink: Considered largely to be a feminine color, you find it used a lot for products that have a feminine target audience as it is both calming and relatable for users.
It is abundantly clear that colors are a huge part of any successful marketing plan. Knowing how to use color marketing the right way can often be the difference between success and failure.