Marketing by Color: Don’t Try To Sell Blue Potatoes
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Marketing by Color: Don’t Try To Sell Blue Potatoes

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The colors you use for your logo, your business card, your web design and even your storefront display influence consumers – sometimes very strongly.

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Published 18 January 2012
Reads 244
Language English
MarketingbyColor:
Don’
t TryToSellBluePotatoes
August 05, 2008 | Written By James Chartrand
The colors you use for your logo, your
business card, your web design and even your storefront display
influence consumers
sometimes very strongly.
For example, what colors do you associate with a spooky night? Most
likely, you’ll choose black, shades of gray and maybe a little silver or
even orange. Haunted evenings generally don’t come in vivid blues
and fresh greens, after all.
Here’s another example: Think about Coca Cola. What color jumps to
mind? Most people choose red, because Coca Cola has associated
that color with their brand image. Their logo is red, their cans are red
and everything about the soda giant seems to be red.
You would most likely wince if you tried to associate the color green
and Coca Cola together.
Read more to find out how you can use the power of color
psychology to your advantage.
The Power of Color
Color psychology exists, and it’s a fairly complex field
of study, too. It
looks at which colors we prefer and why. It explores color and
memory recall. It examines the impact of certain colors on both our
physical and emotional state.
Harveys fast food restaurants, for example, use orange in their color
branding because orange often stimulates appetite. Banks like to use
blue in their themes, because people prefer blue over most colors
and also because blue is commonly associated with trust and
security.
When building your startup business or when considering an image
overhaul of an existing business, put thought into color palettes and
selections that will help your brand image. Mismatching color and
brand can actually influence consumer perception in a negative way
and cost you sales.
Trying to Sell Blue Potatoes
Here’s another example: everyone knows what a potato is—
a root
vegetable with white or red skin. We mash them into white fluffy
clouds, slice them into scalloped casseroles and grate them into
patties. We know that potatoes are white inside.
Enter the blue potato, a fantastic variety that mashes, slices, bakes
and fries just as nicely as its snowy counterpart. It even has possible
antioxidant potential.
To a certain enterprising company, this seemed like a lucrative
business opportunity.
Did blue potato sales skyrocket? No. Did people rush to the stores for
blue potatoes? Nope. Did the blue potato become a household
staple? Nope. If it weren’t for their novelty factor and a few cooks
with exploratory minds, these potatoes would never have sold at all.
The reason is that people don’t associate the color blue with
potatoes.
In fact, they may go so far as to perceive blue potatoes as tasting bad,
being inedible or even being poison for human consumption. The
notion of a blue potato is so foreign that cons
umers don’t embrace
the blue potato at all.
Do you want your business to become a blue potato?
Associated Meanings of Color
Spend some time thinking of potential color choices that reflect the
emotion that you’d like people to have when they see your brand
image. Color can have strong emotional impact that heightens the
selling potential of your product or service.
Color can help memory recall as well. When you’re hot, thirsty and
want something cold to drink, your memory of a color association
might make you reach for that red can of Coke and pass over other
brand names you don’t recognize easily. You remember that red
means Coke.
Likewise, your company colors can help people remember your
product or service and choose you over the competition. The specific
colors you choose enhance the feelings a person has about your
business, too.
To help you think of good colors for your logo, your web design or
your business image, here are some common colors and their
associated meanings:
Red
Energy, attention, passion, danger, debt, halt
Blue
Trust, security, peace, open, stability
Green
Freshness, growth, vitality, calm, wealth, prestige
Yellow
Light, optimism, motivation, warmth, positive
Purple
Sophistication, royalty, sentimentality, mystery, spirituality
Pink
Energy, fun, youth, excitement, affection, romance,
sentimentality
Orange
Fun, vitality, youth, health, exuberance
Brown
Stability, earth, durability, dirty
Black
Power, class, seriousness, drama, sophistication, boldness
White
Purity, peace, cleanliness, freshness
A good rule of thumb is to choose one dominant color and only one
or two accent colors for your logo or brand image. Accent colors
should complement the main color and enhance its appeal as much
as possible. Use them sparingly, as they should be secondary
elements of the impact.
With a good choice of color, you can build a more effective image for
your business and enhance your marketing potential - unless you
want your business to be like blue potatoes, of course.