Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Can Colors Influence Purchase Decisions?

Do you really believe that colors influence purchase decisions no matter how good or bad actual product is?

Right from our childhood, we develop a sense of liking for some colors. Our society also plays a major role in developing or influencing our liking to a particular set of colors. Be it social or physiological, we, human beings have a subconscious connection with colors. Successful marketers exploit this connection by carefully examining the science behind this. 

How do we see things?
One of the 5 senses in human body is that of "Vision". Our Human Eye has retina which contains photoreceptors (sensors which convert light into electric signals). The electric signals are sent to brain for processing via 'Optic nerve'. Brain then make sense of the object & identify it's identity.

NOTE: Image is formed on retina. The image will only form when the object reflects light thrown upon it. 



How image is formed on retina
How image is formed on retina
How we recognize the object
How we recognize the object
 [Source for this image: http://www.childrensuniversity.manchester.ac.uk]

How color is determined?
Retina contains millions of photoreceptor cells called as rods & cones. Rods cells contain a protein called as 'rhodopsin' which is responsible for our night vision. Cones cells forms basis for our color vision. There are basically 3 types of cones cells. L-type is tuned to perceive long wavelength (Red), M-cones are tuned to perceive middle wavelength (Green) & S-cones are tuned to perceive short wavelength (Blue).

NOTE: Visible light that a human eye can detect consists of wavelengths ranging from approximately 780 nanometer down to 390 nanometer.
Visible Light Spectrum
Visible Light Spectrum
[Source for this image: www.physicsclassroom.com]

 So what it is in there for marketers?

The answer lies in Colors & their associated qualities or emotions. 
  • Red: excitement, strength, sex, passion, speed, danger.
  • Blue (most popular color): trust, reliability, belonging, coolness.
  • Yellow: warmth, sunshine, cheer, happiness
  • Orange: playfulness, warmth, vibrant
  • Green: nature, fresh, cool, growth, abundance
  • Purple: royal, spirituality, dignity
  • Pink: soft, sweet, nurture, security
  • White: pure, virginal, clean, youthful, mild.
  • Black: sophistication, elegant, seductive, mystery
  • Gold: prestige, expensive
  • Silver: prestige, cold, scientific

Following infographic from Kissmetrics is the most popular infographic in this context:

How do colors affect purchase?
How do colors affect purchase?
A marketer must read its target audience well. A decision on brand color can be a crucial one & should not be done subjectively or on a hit and trial basis. It could turn out to be a make or break decision in the long run.

Happy Selling !

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