Color Selection to Enhance Sales & Marketing
Long ago marketing folks recognized the value of color in print advertising. It's a big attention-getter, and often is the first thing a reader will notice in a print ad or on a web
page. Early in the 20th century manufacturers recognized that the benefits of color in a display ad extended to products themselves. On toys, color not only made them more attractive, it could also make them more realistic representations of their real-life,
In the case of automobiles, it wasn't long after WWII that auto makers took advantage of color to enhance the desirability of their products, and they have since elevated color selection
to an advanced art, if not a science. They gather as much hard data as they possibly can to make predictions on which colors will appeal to car buyers. DuPont, a supplier of automotive coating products, supports those efforts with its Global Automotive Color
Popularity Report, which has been issued each December for more than 50 years.
However, there are more factors in the selection of product colors than big-picture results of a global survey. There are significant differences between cultures and societies in
their responses to product colors. For a variety of reasons, some societies may be predisposed to the use of limited colors in certain types of products.
In addition, psychologists have found that colors affect the moods and feelings of individuals.
These findings have given rise to a “psychology of color” or “color theory”. Although some might disagree with those terms, a Texas psychologist, Dr. Steven R.
Vazquez, developed a technique called Emotional Transformation Therapy that relates to the response of individuals to color. He and similar experts agree on some general psychological associations with certain colors:
Red or light violet
As it relates to marketing, the seven-second color theory postulates that individuals memorize and recognize the color and shape of a product within seven seconds.
Such generalizations may or may not be helpful in selecting specific product colors. Usually, the decision involves intuition and a comparison to the same or similar products already in the marketplace. At a visceral level most people accept that bright, highly
saturated colors tend to prompt a different reaction than neutral grays or browns. In addition, the material a product is made of and how color is applied to it may influence what is available. Another consideration is the effectiveness of a specific color
on overall product design. Often, this relates to a company's corporate colors, or incorporation of a company's logo and its colors on the product.
As you think about product colors for 2012 and beyond, consider additional resources that are available for identifying product color trends and creating color in finished goods.
Pantone and the
Color Marketing Group gather a panel of experts from a variety of industries each
year to discuss which colors will be most attractive to consumers. In addition, PCC recently introduced its Total Color Management™ (TCM) system. TCM serves to address
any color-related concerns—from design to logistics to brand identity. It's already being used by a wide range of product design teams.