Pitchrate | How colors affect emotions and consumer decision

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John Davidson

My name is John Davidson, I am manager at JD solutions. I have graduated from London Business School and I have more than 10 years of experience in marketing, digital marketing, business solutions and B2B marketing.

Category of Expertise:

Business & Finance


JD Solutions

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09/12/2014 02:32am
How colors affect emotions and consumer decision

The color is one of the easiest ways to add layers of information to any audiovisual or narrative content.

There is nothing really meaningless when the consumer is faced upon buying a product, facility and even an online store. The typography or packaging also take crucial part for the success or failure of a product item, as they can inspire consumer confidence, distrust and many other related reactions. Color is not a decorative element or merely issue, but also affects the perception of things before us.

"We react to different levels when it comes to associate colors, there are social and cultural levels while personal relationships with different colors," Leslie Harrington explained to The Huffington Post, executive director of The Color Association of The United States. Dressing in one or another color can be changed, for example, how a person feels, increase your confidence or strengthen their presence.

For example, in Pixar animated films. Color is a key element in the narrative as it conveys emotions should be associated with each of the scenes. It is in fact possible to extract color patterns that are repeated in all the films of the factory and mark transitions in history (and the feelings that must generate in whom is viewing).

How colors change our emotions when we buy?

Of course, the colors don't only have an impact on our emotions, but also in the choices we make, including purchasing decisions. Every time we see red, yellow or black we express different faces when we are facing a product. 85% of consumers consider color when they buy and 80% remembered that color as a distinctive feature of the brand identity, according to some studies. For consumers, the color is the key to unlocking specific brand values ​​associated with a product or service.

The power of color is also somewhat limited to physical or tangible things. Colors also affect consumers in something so ethereal in a degree such as an online store. A study of Idealo, noted that the bottom of the web should be minimalist in color and almost better in white (it is associated with honesty), navigation should be in gray (gives clarity to the structure) and adjustments of brush stroke color.

In general, the colors may be read as you would in a dictionary and there are already several equivalences that have been established. Thus, the meaning of colors in space purchase covers different spectra: the black is associated with sophistication, blue is a color of loyalty (consumers are more willing to return to a store with blue colors, as much as 15%), the burgundy is the color of luxury, green is the ecological and sustainable violet reminds royalty and yellow increases appetite (it is the favorite color of fast food companies).

They add other factors, such that the colors are directly associated odors. A recent academic study signed by several European, American and Asian universities has shown that odors are associated with colors and that these associations are not universal. That is, according to the culture in which the consumer grew he will smell one color or another. This makes choosing a color for a product or brand a difficult task and you should assume some risk involving, forcing the company to consider not only the most general meaning but also how it will affect the emotions (and how the color will result) in a more local area.

The logo, a careful choice

You have to be even more careful in how corporate colors are chosen for the logo, which will be the brand ambassador and the element that will be fixed in the memory of the consumer. A study by the University of Missouri has confirmed that the color is what makes users know what they will find and alter the emotions aroused for their products.

A blue logo inspires confidence, success and reliability and green one is associated with environmental responsibility and sustainable, but also so durable and masculine. Changing palette, violet translates into something feminine, glamorous and charming while a pink logo is youthful, imaginative and trendy. Yellow is fun and funky.

Surprisingly, the study has shown that red makes you think someone or something for expert. "Traditional emotions associated with aggression and romance include red, but red logos do not invoke those emotions in participants in the study," explains Jessica Ridgway, doctoral student responsible for the study, noting that this shift in perception is because logos established companies (which are not associated for romance or aggression) using it.


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