The Proven Impact of Color On Consumer Behavior
Color is one of the most important elements of a corporate identity. Choice of color affects all promotional efforts of a company. In this regard, it is best is to adhere to a scientific approach rather than rely on your own preferences. Inflexibility when choosing a color gamut can spoil the design, nullify all the previous efforts, and cause negative association in the minds of potential customers.
Of course, there is room for individuality. I mean there is no single and universal color that’s perceived equally well by all people. However, it is subjected to some well-known rules and patterns: for example, warm red, yellow and orange visually enlarge subjects while cold blue, light blue and purple reduce it and move it away.
Lüscher color test
As I said, the perception of color is subjected to certain individual factors. In the middle of the 20th century, Max Lüscher developed Lüscher color test – a psychological test that allows you to measure the psychophysiological state of man, his ability to handle stress, activity and communication skills. The Luscher test determines the causes of psychological stress, which can lead to physical symptoms.
Max Lüscher discovered that the perception of color is objective and universal for all, while individual preferences choices are nevertheless subjective. This difference allows you to measure the subjective state using test colors.
- The basis of Lüscher’s test is that a testee builds a color chain depending on his or her personal preferences. And based on this, one can get information about a person’s mental state.
The test is quite simple to perform, so psychologists widely use it. The principle is based on the fact that the choice of color occurs at an unconscious level, and therefore reflects the true well-being of a person. As for the practical application of the Luscher test to advertising, it’s used to define predict consumer emotions as a result of a reaction to one or another color.
The psychology of color in advertising was developed by experts with an eye on the business sector. Studies have shown that the color of packaging significantly influences the choice of a particular product. Experiments and testing of the control groups were designed to help advertisers, producers, managers and designers to make the most appropriate choice for the color of products, taking into account the potential benefits and effectiveness:
- For example, sugar producers are well aware that the packaging of their products should not be green, since most people associate it with sour sugar. Most manufacturers use shades of blue, which is associated with a sense of sweet and gentle.
Thus, the role of color in branding can hardly be overestimated.
- White is neutral. As a rule, it serves as a background against which any information is perceived easily. At the same time, white is too bad to make accents. It almost never causes negative associations. White is associated with purity, youth, and light. But note that a single color can have different meanings depending culture. For example, in Japan, white symbolizes death.
- Black. Despite the mass production of black clothes, it can cause depression among potential consumers. Meanwhile, black fonts look quite appropriate and traditional. Black has always been fashionable; at present, it’s a symbol of solidity and high quality. It is linked with night, mystery, and sadness.
- Purple contributes to the adopting of creative solutions. It is a color of abstraction and inner concentration, popular among creative people. Purple conveys wisdom, artistry, inspiration, nobility, and mystery. It’s good for advertising with an accent on creativity.
- Blue calms, adjusts the user to the rational decision-making, does not excite the mind and does not cause negative emotions. At the same time, it’s one of the best colors to attract attention. Peace, tranquility, depth, wisdom, and silence are the main associations.
- Light blue is a color of intellect and harmony. The semantics of light blue: ice, cold, purity, sincerity, and indifference.
- Green can provide healing and relaxing effects by its neutrality. That is why it is so often used in advertising of medicines, clinics, health centers, etc. It’s associated with life, nature, harmony, naturalness, and kindness.
- Yellow is sociable. It can make the advertised product “intelligent” and help to absorb new ideas. Yellow works best in advertising of children’s goods. The semantics of yellow: sun, holiday, joy, freedom, and anxiety.
- Orange causes a surge of vital energy and protects customer against the negative impact of external factors. Orange can make the consumer more active. Movement, sociability, cheerfulness, speed are the main features.
- Red stimulates the consumer to take immediate decisions and commit rash actions, so it is typical for advertising. However, red should be used in moderation because an overabundance of it may cause irritation and aggression. The semantics of red: passion, life, will, struggle, activity, and fire.
The psychology of color in advertising takes into account external perception of the consumer. In various cultures, colors are endowed with different values, so it is difficult to standardize the design of products. When promoting products in different countries and regions, one has to find compromises in the design of labels and packaging to be sure customers adequately perceive them at the maximum geographical area.
A balanced use of color in advertising attracts a potential customer, creates a favorable atmosphere, calms and eases the perception of information. Color significantly affects the emotional state of people and their feelings. Color calls subconscious associations; therefore, there is a distinct dependence between the color scheme of advertising and the perception of a viewer.
Thus, armed with the necessary knowledge about the influence of color on the consumer perception of the advertised product, you can create ads that will cause the desired emotions and contribute to a purchasing decision.
Brian Jens is a blogger and logo designer at DesignContest.com. All his research are applicable and valuable. Brian tracks the design market, so he always knows what’s going on there. You have a great chance to get your ideas brought to life: just contact Brian and discuss the direction and features of the future paper.