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HOW COLOUR AFFECTS BUYING BEHAVIOUR

Colour can create powerful emotions for the viewer. This article considers 11 key colours and the emotions they can produce. Find out what your branding colour could say about your business...

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF COLOUR

Colour can create powerful emotions for the viewer. The animal kingdom has exploited this for millions of years from the "look at me I'm gorgeous" approach, to the "stay away I'm poisonous" warning (even when they're not).

There are (apparently) 11 key colour related emotions. Get it wrong on your product and you might suffer sales losses due to some deep primeval reaction amongst your prospects!

We all know how quickly we make judgements about people and things. Well now research by the Institute for Colour Research shows that 90% of this judgement can be based on colour and the emotions derived from it. That makes colour pretty vital to your product and brand, whether it's in store, online or on screen, because it will also affect buying behaviour.

WHAT ARE YOUR COLOURS SAYING ABOUT YOU?

There are 11 basic colours and regardless of their tone or shade they each have psychological properties attached to them (view the psychological properties of colours here). Each colour or combination of colours that you use within your branding can have a positive or negative effect on the audience, and finding the balance can be crucial to reflecting your brand values, and ultimately the success of your business.

CAN COLOUR SELL?

When it comes to products colour can really help to sell. 73% of purchasing decisions are made in store and studies by the Henley Centre have shown that colours can be used to create a positive influence on the consumer purchase process for the 3 main categories of shoppers:

  1. Impulse buyers - who are most affected by red, orange and royal blues
  2. Shoppers who intend to stick to a budget are mostly influenced by pink, teal, light blue and navy.
  3. Traditionalist shoppers best respond to pastel pinks, rose and sky blue

But it also depends on location. The importance of colour in culture and religion can also affect your product popularity. A good example of this is the Apple iMac. Sold world wide the iMac is available in a range of colours, 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 colours and the connection with Saffron.

COLOUR AND BRANDING

Colour is crucial for branding too. According to Cobalt and UCL's psychology department, colour is more memorable than shape or name. Underestimate its power at your peril. A study by the University of Loyola indicates that colour increases brand recognition by up to 80%.

Owning your colour and differentiating from the competition is therefore key, and one high profile market where colour is a key differentiator is the mobile phone industry. Think of O2, and you think of blue; think T mobile, think pink; and of course Orange is orange! It's interesting that Coca Cola, one of the first brands to take ownership of a colour (red), is now in competition with a mobile phone company. At least 30% of the UK now associate the colour red with VodaFone. (Pepsi also used to be red, but changed their colour to blue to differentiate from Coca Cola).

Given our historical link with Flymo (Oliver was Head of Marketing there from the early eighties to the nineties) the effect of colour on branding holds great fascination for us. The decision to make the quirky garden range orange was outrageous at the time, but proved hugely successful.

PLEASE GET IN TOUCH. WE'LL BE PLEASED TO HEAR FROM YOU