Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Why Color Matters in your Marketing Strategy

Do you ever wonder why babies’ rooms are light shades of yellow or blue or why a lot of schools and hospitals are painted green? Colors affect our minds and energy more than you think. Companies are strategic when implementing color design for branding and will spend thousands of dollars for someone to tell them what color should represent their company. Without text, you can infer as to the meaning of a color. For example: we know that red means *Stop* and green means *Go* in traffic. We associate green with ecosystems and healthy living. When we see orange and black together we think about Halloween and red with green for Christmas. It’s not much different when it comes to marketing strategies for a company’s logo.

To demonstrate the impact of color we’ll go in the order of ROY G. BIV- respected colorologist: 

·       Red is bright, bold and powerful. It’s exciting and youthful, but straight to the point. Think Target, Coca-Cola, and Macy’s.

·       Orange is all about being energetic fun. It emulates friendliness, cheerfulness and confidence. Brands that incorporate orange into their marketing strategy are Bounce, Nickelodeon, Firefox and Harley-Davidson.

·       Yellow is used for giving off optimistic energies. It is sunny, warm, and demonstrates clarity. Some companies whose logos incorporate yellow are Subway, McDonalds, BestBuy and IKEA.

·       Green, the color most often associated with healthy living and the environment, is used to market a peaceful and healthy brand. Companies who use green in their strategy are Animal Planet, Starbucks, John Deere and Android.

·       Blue, the color most often used by non-hospitality businesses. It means loyal, trustworthy and strong. Companies like Lowe’s, Dell, HP, AT&T, IBM and Walmart use Blue in their logo.

·       Purple, like pink, is a fun bright color that stimulates creativity and imagination. However, it can have blue tones, which indicates a wise emotion. Companies that utilize purple in their marketing strategy are most notably Yahoo!, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Hallmark and Monster.

·       Grey, black, and white are neutral colors. They represent balance and calmness. The black Nike swoosh is maybe the most notable logo in history. You hear the words “just do it” when you see it. These colors also make people think of luxury- such as car brands like Honda or BMW. The same goes with apple products. That silver apple has a neutral and clean look to it.

Here is an even more detailed graph of how these colors represent the most notable brands of every industry.

You may think that this is a strong case for just the psychology of colors. I mean it’s just colors we’re talking about, right? Wrong.

Let me make a case. Who is the market for monster truck shows? What do these monster trucks look like? Well, I’ll tell you, they aren’t pink and covered in glitter. The market for monster trucks would never watch burly men run each other down in pink with Hello Kitty’s logo, just as much as little girls wouldn’t buy a Barbie if it came in packaging with black and orange flames.  Yet, while color doesn’t indicate our experiences with these products, we are conditioned to believe they have meaning from the time we are little, starting with gender preferences. Even I admit, I wanted the Tonka Toys tool kit as a child, but they were red, blue and black indicating that they marketed for boys.  

According to a study called, “The Impact of Color Marketing”, researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgments about products are based solely on the color of the product. This also falls into what we consider to be appropriate for the product as well. Each response varies by individual; however, companies make general assumptions about their target market. One example is Healthy Choice. Their frozen foods come in white and green boxes, because as we already established, green equals health. Another example is Target. Their logo is a BRIGHT RED target! How much simpler can you get your message across?

 While there is no right or wrong choice of color for your company, it is definitely worth researching purchasing patterns and making an educated decision based on the psychology of color. After all, you are one snap judgment away from your brand’s personality to fall into the wrong category.

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