Color marketing is a technique used to stimulate customers’ interests with colors. Color in marketing strategy has been used by major brands for years. This is because it is believed to bring in customers to the company and sell products. McDonald’s is one brand that uses color marketing. It’s yellow and red colors are known the world over.
Colors are seen as variable that can be changed or accentuated to tempt customers to buy the product. Marketing techniques have always been associated with colors. Consumers sometimes buy goods based on their sensitivity to the product. Colors are known to increase a person’s sensitivity. The person’s experience and group influence to great extent his/her sensitivities to the color.
Color, in essence, has a degree of universality to it. For instance, red is seen to represent love, passion and fire while blue conjures images of cold and ice.
A survey conducted by marketing psychologist revealed interesting results that further support the importance of colors in marketing. It was found out that, among the five senses, the sense of sight stimulates the highest degree of customers’ interests. This accounts for 87% of the survey. The sense of hearing is the far second at 7%, sense of touch at 3%, sense of smell at 2% and sense of taste at 1%.
Using color in marketing should be done with caution because marketing techniques based on colors could spell success or failure for the company. Successful color marketing is best exemplified by the iMac by Apple Inc. and M&M’s.
iMac was sold in five colors : strawberry, blueberry, grape, tangerine and lime in 1997. The first six weeks, iMac shipped 278,000 unites making it the fastest selling Macintosh product. The unique colors of the iMac computer distinguished it from the pack. The colors chosen are also associated with favorite flavors and taste which make them more tempting. The colors distracted the customers from associating the iMac computer to a machine. The same rule applies to the M&M’s chocolates which come in 21 different colors. The eye-catching colors of M&M’s lure loyal customers to the product.
Just as there are positive reactions to colors, there are some products that failed due to negative reactions to it too. Take for instance, Pepsi’s Crystal Pepsi and Hyundai’s Accent. Pepsi’s “Crystal Pepsi” removed its popular dark brown color in its drink to instill the idea of “purity” which was a popular concept in the 1990’s. This however failed to elicit the positive response they expected because it changed Pepsi’s original taste. Hyundai used primary colors instead of the popular black, white and silver colors for its car. This did not appeal to the customers’ taste leading to marked drop in sales. Changing colors to be unique did not work for these famous brands because the colors are part of their unique appeal which made them popular in the first place. It is important to keep in mind that the colors of the products should match the customers’ wants in order to make color marketing a success.