Does Color Really Count?

We all have our favorite hues, but is it possible our favorite brands use color to make us like them more? As much as we may like to believe we’re more independently minded than that, the truth is that visual appearance has the greatest influence on our shopping behavior. Think about it for a minute… there’s a reason orange sodas are branded with bright orange labels and logos. They want you to associate the product inside the bottle with the taste experience of oranges. Orange is a color that’s meant to grab your attention and motivate you to do something (in this case buy and drink the soda). The same can be said for virtually every product, service, or brand image we come across in our day-to-day lives. Blue is generally thought to instill comfort and trust, which is why it’s so popular within the healthcare and aviation industries. Red, on the other hand, is actually meant to agitate or excite people which is why you’ll see it everywhere from snack food to sweepstakes entry forms. Even more interesting is that different shades within a certain color group (light blue vs. dark blue for example) can convey different meanings. And, women and men often react differently to varying shades of a color (men tend to prefer more orange-based reds while women lean toward blue-based reds like brick red).

So why does it matter? Well, in the hands of a design professional, color can become an iconic part of your brand. Remember UPS’s “what can brown do for you?” campaign? An experienced professional took the opportunity to give meaning and cache to that brand color – but to also amplify it’s potential with a bold yellow accent (typically reflecting energy, motivation, and other characteristics very positive to associate with a shipping company). Color can also be the difference between success and mediocrity in the sales world. Sure, Coca Cola’s a worldwide leader now – but would the same have been the case if instead of their signature red, they used purple?

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