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Impact Of Color

Color has an emotional and psychological effect on all levels, from personal preferences to business. Color plays a major role in business. It influences the brand logo, image, signage, display, print materials, and the product itself. According to Leatrice Eiseman, Director of the Eiseman Center for Color Information and Training, Executive Director of the Carlstadt, NJ-based Pantone Color Institute, and author of the 'Pantone Guide to Communicating With Color' and 'Colors for Your Every Mood', "60 to 70 percent of the buying decision is made at the point of purchase. With so many products vying for the consumer's money and attention, the effective use of color is one way to capture their attention. Consumers are in an emotional mode when they shop. And when they are in an emotional mode, they are more visually attuned."

Color may seem to be the last reason for purchasing a product, but it is the first thing to strike a consumer’s eye. Color plays a significant role in consumer’s memorability factor. A message printed in color is remembered far longer than the one printed in dull colors.

A research conducted by the Seoul International Color Expo 2004 suggested that

  • 92.6% people take into concern the visual factor while making purchases.
  • 84.7% of the total respondents think that color is important than many other factors while choosing products for buying.

Hanley Centre research further suggests that 73% of purchasing decisions are now made in-store. Hence, effective use of color to catch the shopper’s eye and convey information effectively is a very important marketing strategy.

Different Colors and Their Effects

Different colors convey different meaning. This meaning can be of two major types

  • Natural associations, and
  • Psychological or cultural associations

Natural association stands for colors that bring to mind certain ideas generally registered by everyone and are universal in nature. Like associating green with nature and trees, yellow with sun or blue with sky.

Psychological or cultural associations are different for different part of the world and reflect the varied culture. Like, while black is the color of death in the West, white is often the death color in other parts of the globe.

It is generally noticed that most fast food restaurant are often decorated with vibrant colors like red and oranges. Surveys have shown that red and orange encourages people to eat quickly and leave. And that’s exactly what fast food outlets want. Red also makes food more appealing. In contrast, blue is used in general restaurants to calm and relax their customers. This comforting state helps in consumers staying longer in the restaurant. Longer stays leads to larger meals, more wine, coffee, or desserts leading to more sales. This is, therefore, considered as a very important marketing strategy for restaurants to increase their sales.

Leatrice Eiseman once said that, “In our studies, blue remains the favorite color. Consumers have a love affair with blue. It's the No. 1 color in Europe, Asia and North America.”

Toys, books and children’s websites usually contain basic primary colors. This is because it is said that young children prefer these colors and respond to them positively than any other pastel shades.

Lifebuoy is one of the top selling Indian soap which uses red as its basic color. Red symbolizes strength as well as purity in Indian culture. Eveready batteries used red as their main color and even their tagline is ‘Give me Red’, as red symbolizes power.

Survey shows that color have a huge impact and even affects shopping habits. Like, shopaholics respond quickly to vibrant colors like red, orange, black and royal blue. People who plan before budget, respond mainly to pink and shades of blue. Conservative shoppers respond to pastel shades like sky blue, rose and pink.
Color and marketing

Though color is considered as a ‘soft science’, it plays a huge role in marketing. If statistics is considered then:

Color increases brand recognition by up to 80 percent: Color influences brand identity in a variety of ways. The example is the success of Heinz EZ Squirt Blastin' Green ketchup. The first seven months following its introduction saw the sales of more than 10 million bottles. $23 million revenue was earned by Heinz green ketchup making it the highest increase in sales in the brand’s history. And all these happened due to a mere change in color.

By introducing the colorful iMacs in an otherwise colorless market, Apple was the first to say, "It doesn't have to be beige". It rejuvenated a brand which otherwise saw $1.8 billion losses in two years.

Color ads are read up to 42 percent more than similar ads in black and white: It is examined that black and white image sustains interest for less than two-thirds a second, whereas a colored image may hold the attention for two seconds or even more.

A Midwestern insurance company used color to highlight key information on their invoices. As a result, the company began receiving customer payments an average of 14 days earlier.

Other than these

  • Color improves readership by 40 percent, learning from 55 to 78 percent, comprehension by 73 percent.
  • Color can be up to 85 percent of the reason people decide to buy.

Color Guide

Marketing managers should be aware of the importance of colors and their interpretation in a particular geographic area. Packaging, store wall colors and interiors can drastically affect their sales.

Know your target market: The marketing manager should know their target audience - are they young, old, high income, low income, male or female and accordingly choose color to establish the brand in the market and also in the minds of their target consumers.

Market research: Before launching a product and to maximize the profits a market research should be done thoroughly to understand the target market’s color responses.

Use safe colors:  Unless the brand in itself is strong enough, the new market players should go with safe colors like blue, beige or green instead of colors like purple or orange.

Society evolves and so do color associations in most countries. Hence to a large extent, colors should be examined based on a country’s topographical, socio-economical and cultural trends. This will lead to a better connectivity with the consumers thus enhancing the sales.

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