Using Color to Influence Consumer Purchasing

With the competitive retail market, manufacturers try to use every possible advantage to distinguish their products from the rest and encourage customers to open their wallets. One strategy that many consumers might be surprised by is the selection of color. Consumers place visual appearance and color above other factors when they are deciding what product to purchase, whether they are aware of this or not. As KTVQ in Billings, Montana, reports, “Marketing experts say people subconsciously associate specific colors with specific social or cultural messages. Knowing this, retailers carefully select the colors they use in an effort to get you to loosen your purse strings.”

Red: this color conveys strong emotions such as passion, love and anger. It also promotes a feeling of excitement, which is why you often see this color associated with sales because it creates the necessary feelings of urgency that you want your buyers to experience.

Pink: this color produces feelings of caring and nurturing, emotions that are distinctly female. This color should only be used when marketing to a female audience.

Orange: this color often stimulates feelings of enthusiasm or even aggression. It is ideal for use in situations where you want to motivate your customers to take action, whether it is to buy, sell, or subscribe for a service.

Green: this color inspires feelings of luxury, which shouldn’t be surprising since it is associated with money. Green is also associated with environmental issues and can cause a customer to believe, subconsciously or otherwise, that a product is eco-friendly. A study recently came out that showed consumers subconsciously associate green labels with healthy products.

Purple: the color purple is associated with royalty and elegance, making it the perfect color for luxury products. You will often see the color purple used in the packaging for beauty products.

Black: the color black is often associated with elegance (think: the little black dress that has become a signature statement for women looking to dress to impress). Like the color purple, black is also used to market luxury products and is often used to market electronics, jewelry and cars.

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