Have you ever walked into your favorite department store with the intention of NOT buying anything?
Then, all of a sudden, you see the one perfect blue shirt you just gotta have.
Sure, there are other colors to choose from, but you know it’s the “gotta have,” “won’t be another like it,” “all-or-nothing,” perfect blue shirt. To make matters worse, the BIG BOLD sign above the merchandise tells you that all shirts are 50% off, so you give in and head to the check-out lane with your prize. The cashier rings the merchandise, and you notice the price is wrong. Immediately you’ve become “that guy.” The one holding up a line that was already long enough. So you wait while they go back for a price check, only for the cashier to come back and tell you that all of the colors except the blue are 50% off.
Why does that happen?
It might be because the color blue, by many company standards, is a neutral color. It fits in with common dress policies and can be worn with almost everything. Blue, grey, heather grey, khaki, black, and darker colors in the purple spectrum are often considered “safe” in our society, which also makes them popular colors to wear. So, if a color is popular then it will cost more than, say…the same shirt in neon orange. Every company has their own philosophy on color trends, and some colors will always be more expensive depending on the store where you’re shopping.
Color is an interesting study. According to Kissmetrics.com, 85% of shoppers purchase merchandise based on color and 93% buy based on visual appearance.
Every year, dozens of companies spend billions of dollars on marketing trends. They analyze trendy colors for the new summer line, study things happening in pop culture, or simply research trends for undiscovered, niche markets this year. Are you a skater? A Wall Street professional? Do you love hip-hop or classical music? What’s your favorite celebrity wearing these days? Those are all obvious questions researchers take into account.
Let’s not forget the amount of time marketers spend investigating color schemes that affect your shopping experience inside the store, either. A store’s layout plays a key role in your shopping experience as well, from the time you set foot in the store to the time you pay for your merchandise. Everything has been thought out and researched according to how marketers think you’ll feel.
Big-Box retailer Target is a great example of companies’ concern for how color affects mood (because it ultimately affects how you spend your money). The color red, although commonly known as a hunger stimulant, can also encourage excitement and helps add energy to social gatherings.
Taking a deeper look at things, have you ever noticed there’s no music playing anywhere when you walk inside a Target? That’s not a coincidence. All you’ll hear when you walk inside Target is white noise. This is done so the customer can focus solely on the merchandise without any distractions from the overhead music. Target takes pride in a clean image, contemporary signage, and presentable shelves. They also take the time to really understand their consumer and participate in events that also help build Target’s credibility as a brand.
So, now you understand more about color and that it plays a huge part in how companies conduct business! It all begins with branding. Selecting a color that best represents the brand is crucial. If the nature of the business is retail, then identifying consumers’ taste is vital. Lastly, understanding how a brand can influence the mood of the consumer can also shed light on how millions of businesses become so successful.
Which colors get you most excited to shop? Have you noticed any other stores’ techniques when it comes to color? How do colors best match your mood?
Image credit to DaveAustria, AMagill, JD Hancock, and Stylish Cube.