I wear a lot of black. Depending on the context, some might describe my wardrobe as classic, formal or perhaps even morose. Either way, I am sure you have no trouble attributing a personality to the colour black. We are all programmed to react to colour. As hunters and gatherers, sight became our most important means of survival and nowadays vision is key to all of our experiences. Research suggests that about 80% of what we assimilate through the senses is visual.

Aside from allowing us to make judgements about people based on their clothes, colours have the power to influence how people see brands and products. Without us even realising, colours evoke emotions and can influence our behaviour. According to Colour Com, we make a subconscious judgement about a retailer within 90 seconds of entering a store, and that over two-thirds of that assessment is based on colour alone. Further research shows 93% of purchasing decisions are made on visual appearance.


What do different colours signify?

Blue is associated with trust and security, and so has potential to help retailers improve customer loyalty.

Yellow and orange are friendly, and both colours are also associated with happiness. Green denotes nature and feelings such as relaxation and calmness.

As well as being the colour of love, red is associated with danger and urgency. Retailers take advantage of these latter cues, using red sale signs to disrupt the customer journey and divert attention to promotions & offers.

And finally, white. White denotes purity and simplicity. It is therefore no surprise that 75% of top skincare brands are packaged in white.  

How can retailers use colour?

With the diversity of brands and breadth of target audiences encompassed within the retail sector, it is unfeasible to make blanket recommendations. However, in a challenging environment that looks set to stay in 2018, communicating values through colour offers a powerful way to both engage with consumers and optimise the customer experience.

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