Self-Esteem BY sliP28 The TABS journal How Color Affects Marketing By: Channa Leichtling ouching, tasting, smelling, hearing, and seeing, are the five senses that we use in order to perceive the world we live in. Of these five senses, sight is the one we use the most. Ninety percent of what we know of the world is through our vision. The National Bureau of Standards estimates that the human eye can see 10 million different colors. For centuries, people believed that our eyes were merely receivers.
Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) claims that our eyes were Msual equipment”, and that he brain, emotions, and experiences have no connection to our perception of color what so ever. (Miller, p. 1-2) One hundred years after Sir Isaac Newton died, a German poet by the name of Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749- 1832) began to argue Newton’s theory. He claimed that the eye, brain, emotions, and experiences do, in fact, have a connection to our perception of color. Von Goethe’s views were not appreciated until one hundred years after his death. (Miller p. ) Von Goethe’s theory is the basis of many research studies done on color today. Many of these recent studies have come to prove that color is not only something we erceive but it also affects the way we feel. (Miller, p. 2) An illustration of Wolfgangs theory can be demonstrated in the example of a cloudy day. Cloudy days make colors dull, gray, and monotonous. As a result we tend to feel depressed and sluggish. Working in a dark, gloomy room often leaves us with the same depressed feeling. A bright sunny day, however, will make us feel happy and energetic.
We are aware of color from the time we are infants, well before we can recognize shape or form. This awareness stays with us through out our lives. (Danger, p. 5) Almost everyone is affected by color. No two people have exactly the same reaction to a particular color, though there are certain generalities. (Wollard) How can color effect us? Here is a list of how the following colors may affect you. Red: Red can make you feel excited, full of energy, and alive. Red can actually increase Touro College Accounting and Business Society your heart rate. (BurtofO Yellow: The effects of yellow can vary.
Yellow can either make you feel cheerful, optimistic, “sunny’, or it can make you feel irritated. According to some studies, babies in yellow nurseries seem to cry longer. (BurtofO Green: Green is the color of nature. Therefore it leaves us feeling rested and at peace. Green has actually been shown to lower blood pressure, which is one of the reasons why so may hospitals have green walls. (BurtofO Blue: Blue makes you feel calm and cool. (BurtofO Blue is actually the most popular color in America. (Piirto) Purple: Purple comforts, assures, and spiritualizes.
Oerdee) Brown: Brown stabilizes, secures, and symbolizes the “down to earth” attitude, as a result of its earthly color. People may feel more like confiding to someone dressed in brown. Oerdee) Orange: Orange cheers, and commands, which are why many warning signs are orange. It commands us not to, for an example, walk in a certain hazardous area. Oerdee) Black: Black makes you feel sophisticated when it is worn; it forces, disciplines, authorizes, strengthens, and encourages independence. Oerdee) White: White can make you feel absolutely quiet, and gives the feeling of cleanliness.
Oerdee) As a result of the psychological effects color has on human beings, the use of color has become an important marketing tool. Because colors affect our moods, those trying to sell us something agonize over the color of the product, or packaging or even the colors of the atmosphere in which the product is sold. Color is not the only factor that is important when trying to sell a product, but it is the color that attracts the customer, and if the wrong color is used the product won’t sell. In fact color is ranked among the top three considerations in the purchase decision. Cooper) With many products such as clothes and cars the “color of choice” relies largely on historical sales trends. Research had been conducted to find out which colors certain genders or age groups tend to buy. Each year Cooper Marketing Group conducts a nation wide “color preference study’, and sells the results to manufacturers and retailers of lothing, major automakers, and home furnishings. This study consists of 400,000 people who are apart of the “Market Fact Consumer Mail Panel. ” The panelists represent a cross- section of the U. S. population. They are asked several different color car would you buy? “What color clothes are you most likely to wear? ” “Would you wear a trendy color as soon as it comes out, or do you wait for your friend to wear it first? ” Respondents are also required to give basic information about themselves such as age, where they live, and yearly income. This information can help retailers hose the correct color for whatever product they want to sell. “Most research will show differences between the wants and needs of men vs. women and the young vs. the old: We’ve carried it to all other demographic levels as well” said Cooper Marketing Group.
Cooper Marketing developed “color lifestyle” groups. The “color lifestyle” places consumers in three different groups according to the effect color has on the products they buy: Color Forward consumer, Color Prudent consumer and Color Loyal consumer. The Color Forward group is the consumer that likes to be the first to try a “new’ color and is willing to spend more money for it. This type tends to consist of women under the age of 30 or over 50, or men under 30; city dwellers; impulse buyers and people who make less then 35,000 per year.
The Color Prudent group will buy a new color only after seeing a friend try it. They often put quality ahead of color. When choosing a product they tend to be men or women from the ages of 30-50; suburban; careful shoppers; and people who make more then 50,000 a year. The Color Loyal group is the consumer who stays with the “safe” colors such as blue, gray, and black, rather then fashionable colors. Color Loyal people tend to be men ver 60, suburban or rural; people who dislike shopping; and may fall anywhere in the income bracket. Triplett) When manufactures and retailers are deciding on what color they wish to make their product, they should first take into account what “group” they are catering to, and 24 then act accordingly. If, for an example, someone was to manufacture a line of clothes geared toward middle aged women, and distributed the clothes in stores that are predominately located in rural areas, it would be wise to steer clear of colors that attract the Color Forward consumer. The wise decision would to be to choose the olors of their product that would appeal to the Color Prudent consumer.
Cooper Marketing has also concluded that the Color Forward group represents a small, but highly influential segment of consumers. Color Prudent shoppers are the bulk of the market. Color Loyalists are a small but predictable group because that they buy the same color each year. (Triplett) It is important for companies to get the Cooper Marketing results annually, for yesterdays “in” color could be in todays trash bin. The constant change in popular color trends can sometimes be linked to events happening at a particular time. The metallic fabrics in the disco era can be attributed the 1980’s black was a very popular color.
Credit for this can be given to the “Star Wars” Villain, Darth Vader. Green was another popular color in the 1980’s. One reason was in order to increase attention to the environmental and the ecological issues at the end of the 1980’s. (Piirto) When a retailer is dwelling upon which color to promote, economic consideration is very important. When the economy is up, people are more willing to spend money on trendy colors. If the color they bought will only last one season, it won’t bother them. However, when the economy is down, or there is a recession, people tend to be stingier.
Consumers cannot afford to buy trendy colors that will only last one season. They are more apt to stick to more classic colors, such as blue, gray, and black, so that they will feel they are getting more for their money. (Cooper) Even when advertising, picking the right color is crucial. One year, a certain car company advertised an older women stepping out of a teal colored luxury car. This advertisement was not successful. The Cooper Marketing group explains, that it was ecause “teal” was found to be a color that younger aged people were attracted to.
Furthermore younger age groups tend to buy small, sporty cars, not large luxury cars. 25 (Triplett) Choosing the “perfect color” is difficult, but it is better to have some color in an advertisement than none at all. In the fall of 1998, the Newspaper National Network ran an ad in both People Magazine and a newspaper without color print. They put the same ad in another newspaper with color print. Response to the People Magazine ad and the one newspaper ad was only six percent. But the newspaper ad, with color scored 21 percent higher.
Color has enough stopping power to give a weak advertisement legs” Says Bob Watson, VP of marketing and media at the NNN. (Davids) Just as the color of a product must be carefully chosen, the color of the atmosphere in which the product is sold, must also be chosen wisely. The color bright orange, for example, is usually associated with affordability, which is why stores such as Home Depot, Wal-Mart, and the roof of Howard Johnson have a color theme of orange. Orange tells us that these stores are affordable, or cheap. (Cahan) If someone wanted to open a classy, expensive boutique, the color orange would be inappropriate.
Restaurants should use red tablecloths, because red stimulates appetite, but should avoid the color blue because it tends to suppress appetite. (Color matters) Therefore it is no coincidence that most fast food restaurants utilize the red and yellow colors because it stimulates appetite and purchases. (Wollard) B. J. Eichorn, president of BJ’s Lifecode Merchandising, was asked to analyze two bowling alleys. She found that the clientele for each bowling alley was very different. league bowlers. The customers at the other bowling alley were mainly upper class, and bowled only for pleasure, relaxation, and exercise.
Eichhorn redecorated the first alley with energetic triangles and southwestern color theme consisting of colors such as peach and green. She redecorated the second alley with “Art Deco” curves, and she used a more complex color scheme, which is usually favored by upper class groups. After she redecorated, both alleys saw an increase in revenue. Eichhorn comments that “We need to design based on the lifestyles of the target market, not the preferences of designers” (Piirto) 26 Companies often become interested in the color of the interior of their offices because it is believed its appropriate use will make people work harder.
Red, orange, and yellow may be the colors they choose, because they tend to stimulate and excite. Others may choose colors such as pale – greens, light yellows, and off whites because these colors offer a more soothing environment, and allow for workers to focus on their projects. (Wollard) When deciding the colors to use in helping create the best atmosphere, the shade chosen can make all the difference. The brighter shade of a given color can have a very different effect than a darker shade of the same color. The Seattle, Washington jail changed the color of their prison cell walls from bright pink, to a darker “Pepto-
Bismol” pink. The darker pink was shown to reduce aggression among inmates. (Wollard) Our response to color also depends on who we are and what our culture tells us certain colors should mean. In China, a red door symbolizes hospitality and good luck. In old Europe, doctors often wore red capes to show that help was on the way. (Wollard) In the Unites States, we use the phrase “green with enW’, while in many other countries such as Japan, Italy, and Turkey, yellow is associated with envy. (Piirto) In the United States, black is generally worn at funerals, making black a color associated with mourning.
However, in Japan white is the color of mourning. (Danger, p. 5) In the Middle East, women wear black clothing as a sign of modesty. African American women are more likely to wear gold and silver; Hispanic are likely to prefer bright-red, orange and fuchsia; and Caucasian women favor blues, and pinks. The color of product packaging can be different from culture to culture. In Honk Kong, for example, gold type on a label signifies high quality, white and black lettering on white labeling generally conveys a generic or inferior quality. (Gimba) Children tend to respond more directly to colors than adults.
For the majority of children, the color of a food product is far more important than its actual taste. Dave Siegal, general manager of Small Talk, a research firm in Cincinnati, Ohio, explains, “Kids are far more visual then adults. ” For example, since 1991 , Siegal states, “Kids 27 products, they shout, ‘make it green! ” Stegal attributes the popularity of neon green to Nickelodeon’s (a popular children’s television show on cable) brand colors that are neon green and orange. (Piirto) Siegal did another study on a board game called “Perfect Wedding”.
The target audience for this game was girls from the ages 5-7. Studies showed that most of the girls hated the new board game. Siegal did some research and found out why “Perfect Wedding” was a failure. The pictures on the box showed a brunette bride, an engagement ring, and a picture of a cake- top bridal couple. The problem was that the cake-top groom’s hair looked gray in the picture. The groom’s hair was made into a youthful black, and then sales picked up. “Kids have such sharp visual acuity, they see things no adult would notice. Siegal also pointed out that any color parents consider revolting is another color that seems to appeal to young children. Siegal ound this out while working on colors for Gummy Worms. “Kids love slime and vomit green, anything that repels their parents. ” (Piirto) When deciding on the right color for your product, naming that color can have a marked effect on the success of the product. “Renaming ‘off-white’ to ‘antique silk doubled business for a paint company,” said Bob Cooper, a principal of the Cooper Marketing Group in Oak Park, Illinois. If we name something ‘sulfur’ that is a real downer. ” Leatrice Eiseman, a color-design specialist in Seabeck Washington, and the director of the New Jersey based Patone Color Institute, says, “To give a color a name ives it romance…. If you tell someone you Just painted your living room ‘36485’, will they rush to the store for a can of that color paint? Not as quickly as if you tell them that this is ‘Angel Wing Pink. ” (Frost) Under the 1994 Trademark act, the U. S. Supreme Court declared that because color is so important to a product, it could actually be a legal defensible trademark.
A trademark is a symbol used to identify goods with a particular producer or seller. It is used to distinguish them from goods produced or sold by others. The case Qualitex Co. vs. Jacobson, will show how this law may come into action. Dry-clean pads manufactured by Qualitex were made in the green-gold color scheme that identified these 28 pads as products of Qualitex. Jacobson, a competitor, began marketing press pads of a similar color. Qualitex then registered its green- gold color as a trademark with the Patent and the Trademark office, and then sued Jacobson for using colors scheme they patented.
The Federal Appeals court in California rejected the lawsuit, claiming that a color cannot be trademarked. Many federal courts debated the issue. The U. S. Supreme Court finally decided that color schemes could, in fact, qualify to be a registered trademark. This patented color scheme, however, may only be protected by the statutes of the Trademark Law for a set period of time. After this time period has elapsed, another company may patent this particular color scheme. (Rogers) Registering colors as trademarks is not an easy thing. It requires significant market penetration.
The company must be able to prove that the color they chose is distinctive in relation to their product. The color of certain products, as used in medication, cannot be trademarked at all. The color-coding of pills is usually done to identify their chemical composition, not as a potential trademark. (Rogers) Though here are many guidelines that a business must follow in order to register a color as a trademark, the fact that a color can be registered as a trademark at all is another proof of how important color is to a product. The right color can’t always be predicted.
Sometimes choosing the right color for your product can only come about through a trial and error basis. Back in the 1950’s Proctor & Gamble, the manufacturer of “Cheer” detergent were deciding on the color of the “flecks” in the detergent. Proctor & Gamble tested three different colors of flecks: red, blue, and yellow. They produced many boxes of this detergent with either ed, blue, or yellow flecks. Consumer reports stated that people complained that the detergent with the yellow flecks didn’ get clothes clean enough. Others claimed that the red flecks t actually damaged their clothes.
Blue flecks were singled out for their ability to “get clothes cleaner”. Nan Powell, research director for Cheskin & Masten Image Net, says “The color offered no advantage or disadvantage in cleaning ability. However, it was the blue flecks that helped make Cheer detergent one the longest-lived brands on the market”. (Piirto) 29 It has become clear to me that the uses and choices of color have significant impact n a wide variety of circumstances. The success and failure of a product can often be attributed to the “appropriate” color choices.
Societal behavior and tradition can result in wide variations in the “interpretation” of colors. The quality of life is often understand the impact it has on our lives. Bibliography: Burtoff, Barbara. “Color Your World: Red is for Sexy. Blue is for Calm” Washington Post. June 2000. New York Public Library Online. 19 March 2001 Cahan, Linda, “Say It With Color” Gifts & Decorative Accessories. March 2000 FindArticles. com 19 March 2001 “Color Matters, The Body’ ColorMatters. com 19 Feb 2001 Cooper, Mimi. “The Color of Money May Actually Be Fuchsia” Discount Merchandiser May 1994: n. ag. New York Public Library Online. 18 March 2001 Danger, Eric. P. Using Color To Sell. London: Gower P. , 1968 Davids, Meryl. “Stand Out”. Brandweek. Apr. 1999. FindArticles. Com. 18 March 2001 Frost, Dan. “Color Me Pale Banana” American Demographics Oct. 1995. New York Public Library Online. 18 March 2001 Gimba,J. Greg. “Shades of Meaning” Marketing News. March 1998: n. pag. New York Public Library Online. 18 March 2001. Jerdee, Rebecca. “What Hue Are You? ” Better Homes and Gardens. March 1995. Find Articles. Com. 8 March 2001 Miller, Herman. “Experience of Color” www.
HermanMiller. com Piirto, Rebecca, Claudia Montague. “The Wonderful World of Color” Marketing Tools Oct. 1997. New York Public Library Online. 19 March 2001 Rogers, Stephen B. “A Color Can Be A Trademark” San Antonio Business Journal Apr. 1995. n. pag. New York Public Library Online. 18 March 2001 Triplett, Tim. “Research Probes How Consumers Rely On Color For Their Purchases” Marketing News. Aug. 1995. New York Public Library Online. March 18 2001 Wollard, Kathy. “Orange You Glad You Aren’t Blue? ” Newsday. Nov. 2000 New York Public Library Online. 19 March 2001 31