Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Color of Money: The Relationship of Color to Marketing Success

Have you ever noticed the colors on the McDonald’s sign? Wendy’s? Burger King? KFC? Or countless other fast food restaurants?

On each of those examples, the dominant colors are red and yellow. And there’s a reason. Years of research about the effect of color on consumers has confirmed that red stimulates the appetite, while yellow is associated with cheerfulness. That’s exactly the combination of emotions those fast-food giants want their customers to experience.

The impact of color cannot be underestimated, particularly as it relates to conveying an effective marketing message.

Think about how some of the world’s other top brands use color. Coca-Cola is the prime example. A brand leader for more than a century, Coca-Cola and red are synonymous. The link to energy, appetite, passion and activity make red the perfect choice for Coke.

Likewise, John Deere and green are an ideal match, not only because of green’s association with nature, but also because it has come to represent care and concern for the environment. John Deere does more than make tractors and mowers and other tools; it helps us take care of the great outdoors.

And then there’s Google, with its understated, multi-color logo. That’s exactly what you want when you represent all things to all people. No matter what you’re looking for, or what you’re in the mood for, Google can help. Its representation of the rainbow in its logo helps convey that.

How about you? Have you ever considered how color affects the relationship consumers have with your brand?

Whether you’re creating a logo, interior or exterior signage, a banner, or a display, the colors you select—and how you incorporate them into your design—can make all the difference between being noticed and being just another voice in a noisy world.

The research I referred to earlier uncovered all sorts of fascinating information. For example, 85 percent of consumers cite color as the primary reason why they buy. Whether it’s a car, a dress, lawn furniture or just the design of an advertisement, color makes a huge difference.

Men and women have different tastes when it comes to color. Men overwhelmingly prefer blue. Women like it, too, but they also favor purple nearly as much. That’s why a lot of perfumes and cosmetics use purple in branding and packaging, while power tool manufacturers don’t.

There’s much more, of course, but the examples I’ve cited illustrate how the proper use of color can heighten awareness among your target customers and help your brand stand out.

Once you’ve decided on a primary color or colors, it’s important to use them on all of your branding materials: Logos, business cards, stationary, brochures, your website, your Facebook page, specialty items like pens and mugs, and anything else where your brand will appear. That includes signs, banners and displays—items we deal with on a daily basis in our industry.

Color is a powerful thing. It changed movies, the television industry and even our daily newspapers. Once upon a time, the world was largely a black-and-white place. Color made it come alive.

Used correctly, it can do the same thing for your company, and your brand. 

MIKE BOYD is president of Creative Source. Clients looking for sign companies in Canton, Ohio
and the surrounding region look to Mike and his staff for creative marketing solutions.