By Sergio Luna Vargas, marketing consultant and university doctor.
The colours we see everyday in shops or in the streets have a strong influence on our psychology and purchase decision.
The majority of the products and advertisements have a strong colour strategy element,, designed by specialists in this field, according to the relation each colour have with each specific product.
The physical colours we see around us are colours approved by people. The consumer decides which colours he likes and rejects the one he doesn’t like. Very often, the sale will depend on the colour (of the packaging, of the product itself, etc.) as the great majority of the promotional products and ads of the market appeal to people’s unconscious.
It’s proved for example that a child respond to the colour stimulus much before recognizing the shape or aspect – A child recognizes the atmosphere given by colours: harmony, calm – where he sleeps for example, before recognizing the bedroom or the bed, strictly speaking. A child not only respond to this during its childhood, but he will keep it as an indelible mark all his life long. Everybody feels attracted by colours, directly or indirectly. Could people consciously express their admiration or rejection toward a specific colour, or do they have to give free rein to their unconscious…
Moreover, colours are in direct relation with people’s apprehensions at the time when they have to take their own decisions, as colour’s presence influences the environment of the decision maker. This leads us to the « demonstration effect » between consumers, as some imitate others in its life and purchase behaviour. Influences and colours are accumulative, that is to say, the more social leaders are « followed », the more its colours are appreciated and consequently, we assist to a greater proliferation of the most accepted colours.
However, jumping to the conclusion that everybody is inclined to choose always the same, would be dangerous. Each individual has its preferences, while aversions tend to move to a unique direction and are derived from « Cultural Patterns ». For example, black is associated to death and Grey to sadness in our culture (not all), and it’s nothing new but has its origins centuries ago when death came from darkness and grey was the symbol of storm and disaster.
Some of the current trends according to the choice of colours:Customers that have a preference for RED are generally extroverted and dynamic. They are related to strong scents and flavours. Scarlet red indicates sexual preferences of a minority and a high degree of dignity / pride.
People attracted by YELLOW are rather cerebral…attracted by intellectual things. It’s also proved that the yellow radiates inspiration and warmth. It’s recommended to advertise « news or offers ».
People that choose BLUISH GREEN, are analytical and rather peaceful.
BLUE and all its tones, is significant of people that control their emotions. it’s the favourite colour of children and young people. It reflects peace of mind, non-violence and its well recommended for long lasting home products: wall paints, sheets, curtains, etc. Some say that YAHOO owes it its success on the cyberspace.
People more likely to prefer ORANGE-COLOUR, is generally jolly and effusive. It’s the colour of action, and generosity.
People who rather like VIOLET-PURPLE have an artistic flair and often mystical, religious. it’s also the colour of mourning and pain in many cultures. It’s considered the most sexual colour. Purple is the colour of good judgment
The majority of people who are ordained and disciplined, look for BROWN or COFFEE. this colour is related with a healthy and stable life.
Those who prefer BLACK are conservative, they like elegance and discretion.
People who rather like WHITE is refined and incline to be closed-minded.
GREY, reflects conformity and passivity.
Consumers who give priority to GREEN colour is practical, pro fresh and natural things. Green symbolizes self-respect and well being, favoured by well balanced people
PINK is synonym of softness, femininity, elegance and education.
Pink provides feelings of caring, tenderness, self-worth and love, acceptance.
People who buy Bread, cereals and honey are more attracted by GOLD colour. Gold symbolizes wealth used wisely, but it is also the symbol of good health. People who favour the colour gold are optimistic.
Women has been giving an increasing importance to TURQUOISE, mostly if combine with pink or white tones. Turquoise is the symbol of friendship.
Emotional states and subconscious are intimately related with colours.
Colours bring attention and are identified with human emotions. It’s really worth having a strategy to manage it, mostly if the objective is launching a new product on the market…
Sergio Luna Vargas
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