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The ‘Colourful’ Psychology Of The Consumers


“Colors,” does this work ring any bells in your mind? Well, no, colors are everywhere, we are surrounded by them in every sphere of life, and hence, our conscious mind is not able to pin point the impact that colors have on our subconscious mind. At times, when your friend comments, “This color doesn’t suit you,” it means that his/her subconscious mind has automatically associated your personality or behavior to some specific colors.

The gleaming corporate world exploits (or should I say, utilizes to their benefit) this power of our subconscious minds. Color can create powerful emotions for the viewer. Different colors appeal to different categories of customers and products. Also, the effects of color differ among different cultures. As a result, the attitudes and preferences of the specific target audience should be taken into careful consideration while planning the design of any promotional materials. A good example of this is the Apple iMac. Sold world wide the iMac is available in a range of colors, the most popular being graphite and blue, except in the Far East, where the best sellers are bright orange. It is Apple’s belief that this is due to the positive cultural associations with bright colors and the connection with Saffron.

We all know how quickly we make judgments about people and things. Well now research by the Institute for Color Research has also shown that 90% of this judgement can be based on color and the emotions derived from it. Many a times, the generic name of a product is replaced by a particular brand name (for example- in the toothpaste industry, Colgate has become the new generic name for toothpastes), likewise at times, consumers start associating a particular color to a specific product. At least 30% of the UK now associates the color red with Vodafone.

Now let us see, how different colors impact consumer behavior:

  • Red- This color is associated strength, warmth, energy, aggression and catches attention immediately because it has the shortest wavelength. Marketers use this color during sales (not the selling sales but the end of season discount sales) and also when they have a hot offer to make. For example, Lays uses the color red in packaging for its chili (aggression) flavored chips.
  • Orange- Orange also attracts attention and is a more amicable color. Thus it’s a favorite among small children. It also arouses your appetite and thus giant food chains like Dunkin Donuts and Burger King have tactically used this color.
  • Yellow- Yellow is generally associated with optimism, friendliness, creativity and confidence. It can also be related to something that that is tangy, creamy and basically citrus. When more of this color is used on the package of a product, consumers can visually experience the flavor of lime in that food product.
  • Green- Green color conjures up the feeling of refreshment and is connected with nature. That is why all 100% pure vegetarian products are marked with a green dot. Green is also a soothing color which reflects maturity and harmony. Therefore carefully choose the color which you wear!
  • Pink-Physical tranquility, nurture, warmth, femininity and love are the emotions attached to this color. So this color is actively used in the industry of sweets and chocolates. And the brand name of ‘Barbie,’ also uses it extensively.
  • Blue- Blue is related to the constancy and tranquility of the sky and the sea. It also reflects a sense of duty and dependability. As a result, many banks use this color.
  • Black, gray and silver – Sophistication, glamour, and security are the attributes of this color. Thus black is the color which is worn formally. Ever notice that luxury cars in commercials are often gray? The reason is because we know from studies that gray is associated with affluence.

So, never underestimate the power of colors!

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