08 Jun Driving the colour wheel on the road to your mind
Driving the colour wheel on the road to your mind
Remember that one time you were strolling in a mall because your friend who was supposed to meet you was running really late? You could have waited in the Cafeteria, but you decided to explore the place. As you walked by, you came across so many brand outlets that had their best outfits wrapped around mannequins only to tell you ‘Hey, come on, imagine how wonderful you’d look in this dress.’ You thought in your mind how that yellow crop-top with a UCB logo would look on you, or how charming you would look in that navy blue Van Heusen blazer. But you shook your head and kept strolling, until you spotted a red sign board that read ‘Sale up to 50% off’ about half a kilometre away. In the next fifteen minutes, you found yourself walking out of an Adidas store, with a pair of shoes – bubble wrapped and packed in a box that was filled with your happiness. You probably spent over three grand from your salary that had just settled in your bank account. Guilty, you decided to go to the cafeteria, and wait for your friend who hadn’t arrived yet. On your way up to the last floor, you “accidentally” entered the paradise of books. In the blink of an eye, you were already on a couch in Crossword, half-way through a novel by your favourite author just when you got a call on your cell phone by your friend who had reached downstairs (finally!). But you couldn’t let go of that book, because the protagonist’s husband had just been murdered and you were eager to know who killed him and why. The next thing you knew, you had purchased the book along with its sequel. Wow, that was quick! In a span of an hour, you made two impulsive purchases, when you weren’t even supposed to spend a penny on shopping.
Don’t worry, that’s not just you. Everyone, at least once in their life, has had this experience. Don’t blame that reckless buyer in you, because believe it or not, you were manipulated into these purchases. Why do you think you could spot that Discount sign board that was practically at the end of the floor despite those twenty shops that were in between? You walked towards that shop, unaware of what it even sells, just drawing in the energy radiated by that signboard. Think for a second, it wasn’t your inner need to buy a discounted product. In fact, you weren’t even there to buy. You couldn’t help but notice the red colour on which the discount offer lay.
Yes, the colour red used by marketers is the reason why most of the times consumers have an urge to make an impulsive purchase. People react faster and more forcefully when they see the colour red, because it enhances physical reactions as it is programmed into our psyche as a cue for danger. Retailers use this information to grab a customer’s attention, and evidently Adidas was successful in attracting you to its store.
But now the question of your impulsive book purchase at Crossword still remains. They didn’t have discount offers, did they? But you had a jolly good time reading that mystery book until your friend called. Let’s flash back to the moment when you “accidentally” entered the bookstore. It looked so serene and calm luring you to just rest on a couch, and pick up a book among hundreds available, and read.
But imagine this alternative scenario: would you have felt equally at peace to read the same mystery book on a bench outside a roadside bookstore? Probably not, which brings you to the next question- Why? One of the many reasons that Crossword has so many devoted followers is because of the ambience the brand has created for its consumers. Remember the transition from the white lights in the passageway of the mall to the yellowish atmosphere of this bookstore as you entered? Mind you, not the bright and poking-in-your-eye yellow. But all the tints and shades of this colour in the bookstore – right from the shelves and mattresses to the yellow lights – give the readers a sense of warmth to concentrate and think in peace. Unaware of this colour psychology that the marketers smartly use to build their long-lasting relationship with its readers, you ended up purchasing a novel you didn’t even know you wanted, along with its sequel.
Moving on from that one day at the mall let me remind you of all the instances when you picked Fanta over Sprite, or chose to paint your child’s room in light pink. Have you wondered why most banks, not just their logos but also the interiors of their offices are in blue? Ever given a thought to why most suits in corporate offices are of the darker shades?
Apart from the cultural associations, colours have an impact on people, especially buyers, in a way they cannot fathom. In a shop, the orange colour of a Fanta will strike your eye before the green labelled Sprite can. The pink walls of the room will emotionally soothe and calm your child, and reflect his innocence around. Banks represent trust and loyalty which is portrayed on most bank logos through the colour blue. The customer has to make a sound financial decision in the bank; hence the interiors are calming tints of blue. From a cultural point of view, the dark suits that men wear to work represent the development of Industrial Revolution in Europe, which eventually did spread around the world. Hence corporate offices, even today, follow the same dress-code.
Now you know the colour psychology of the consumers and how to sell a product solely based on its visual aspect. The next time you go shopping- be aware and beware!