In retail, the trick is to subconsciously influence your customers to buy certain products using a range of subtle marketing techniques. Color and the use of color schemes, two of the most important aspects of brand marketing, affect customer behavior much more than you’d think.
Color and its Role in Customer Behavior
The Nature of Colors
Color has played an integral part of retail marketing for decades. The science of what colors evoke certain feelings and emotions from customers has been studied and theorized about for just as long.
Brands choose specific schemes and shades so they come across a certain way to consumers. There are even colors that have finite associations to link them to. For instance, red is highly representative of excitement, youth and boldness. Whereas yellow signifies optimism, warmth and clarity.
When a company chooses a color for their logo, there is usually deliberation and consideration that goes into that decision. They must decide how they want their brand to be perceived and recognized by consumers. If you intend for customers to see your brand as friendly, cheerful and confident, than you might pick a color like orange.
It might seem far-fetched, but there are indeed colors that resonate with each gender. If your retail store caters to a specific gender, then you might decide to incorporate colors and schemes that fit that dynamic.
Studies have found that men prefer the colors blue and green, while women are more drawn to blue and purple. In that same accord, some of men’s least favorite colors are brown, orange and purple. Women don’t seem to like orange, grey and yellow.
In general, men seem interested in bold colors, while women are more attracted to softer colors. Keep this in mind when choosing colors to reflect your target audience.
Applying Color Strategy to Your Retail Space
Once you’ve learned how much of a role color plays in inducing customer behavior, you need to know where exactly to apply these colors to produce the best results. What do you want the colors to do? Is there a certain theme you’d like to apply to your entire space?
For example, if you’re considering a fall theme, you might use warm earth tones with shades of brown, green, orange or red. Employing a grand theme or aesthetic can increase your brand recognition.
You can also arrange and present colors in a way that could sway the way a customer feels about a product just by proximity association. Position products near colors like yellow and red to seize your customer’s attention and stop them in their tracks. Yellow is the first color recognized by the retina, and red has always been related to stopping.
Cool colors like green and blue tend to calm customers, while a color like orange can welcome and reassure a customer. It’s all about inducing a certain feeling to ensure they continue exploring your store comfortably.
Furthermore, no matter what strategy you use, never drown out your products with too much color. That means no lightly-colored products displayed near bolder colors. Customers won’t pay any attention to your products when all they can distinguish is the dark shades that overwhelm them.
Next time you’re out shopping, pay attention to the way that color is used and see if it has any effect on you as a shopper.