Consumer Spending how Colors can Influence what you Buy

While expressing the essence of colours and odours of life, Robert Birdges once narrated “I know if odour was visible as colour is, I’d see the summer garden in the rainbow clouds.”

Marketers have indeed invested millions if not billions trying to come up with the perfect source of attraction that will help them not only grab the attention of their prospected customers, but also influence them to the level that they would be tempted to purchase the product or the service.

After such extensive research, it was of no surprise that the most important consideration by consumers in selecting any brand identity was that of the colour. Colour has indeed shown its influence over the emotional state of consumers, and is interdependent on their ability to think, concentrate, learn and respond to the stimulus they encounter.

Perhaps one of the most cliché yet most useful of all colours is that of red. Red colour helps food appear more tempting and appealing and thus influence the customers eat more. At the same time, red colour also encourages the consumers to finish their food quickly and leave. No wonder renowned fast food chains, Pizza Hut, Hardees, Burger King, McDonalds, and KFC all make heavy use of the colour red in the development and positioning of their brands.

Blue and Black on the other hand are found to suppress one’s appetite, a statement supported by the fact that you will barely find a restaurant that has its wall painted blue and black. In the assortments of clothing, red colour has been perceived as a tool for display of power, and interestingly has also become associated with cheerfulness and enjoyment, especially with that of religious holidays like Christmas. Coca-Cola has successfully positioned itself with cheerfulness and enjoyment, and it might be interesting to note that it was after the mass marketing by Coca-Cola that the colour of Christmas and Santa Claus got associated with red. The original colour of the dress of Santa Claus was green.

In the same way, the colour Orange has been found as a tool in making an expensive item seem less expensive. This has become the most lethal tool for any marketer. Orange colour can increase the appeal of the product and can cause the customer to perceive a higher price than one which shall be associated with the product.

Thus, this will help in increasing the value of the product in the eyes of the customers. Customer will interpret the “lowered price” as an opportunity to buy such a product before prices are increased to premium levels. Brands which take advantage of such techniques include Premium Alcohol and Whiskey Brands, Shampoos & Conditioners like Garnier Herbal Essence, premium juice brands like Tropicana, and many others.

Another interesting yet captivating colour is that of black. Black colour in the assortment of clothing helps people look much slimmer. It is also found to be associated with elegance and sophistication, whilst also maintaining its essence of being mysterious. Be it the renowned Rolls Royce, the luxurious cars manufactured by Mercedes Benz & BMW, the glamorous watches by Rolex and Cartier, sophistication of IPhones and BlackBerrys or just the elegance of makeup accessories by Maybelline, all brands who position themselves as the most premium of all in the perceptual mapping make good use of the black colour in their products/packaging and/or advertisements.

Black, apart from its role in helping brands achieve the finest level, also plays an important part in the legibility of the content on any screen or paper. The easiest colour to be read on documents, newspapers and even computer screens is Black. Perhaps the most legible of all colour combinations is of black on yellow. We can see how hazards signs make the most use of this in order to alert and inform the approaching person on the possible dangers in the area. Nuclear Power Plants, Chemical Plants and even school laboratories are perfect examples of places where this combination helps prevent accidents every day!

Every colour has a series of beautiful stories trapped in them. Every contrast, tone and hue of every single colour affects different consumers in different and distinct ways. Colours do evoke the emotions of the consumers. Colours do not only influence the perception one has about the product or the brand, but also has religious, patriotic, folk and traditional sentiments attach to it. If the marketer can clearly position his or her product correctly in the perceptual map, he/she can use the relevant colour not only to associate it with the brand, but also to grab the market share by landslide!