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Color in Marketing: How Color Affects Customer Behavior

Did you know that color affects customer behavior? Retailers can use color psychology to maximize the features of the Newton COLOR digital label.

According to Architectural Digest, choosing the right paint colors is crucial for setting the tone of your home and your mood. The same can be said when it comes to color in marketing and consumer behavior. This means that brands and retailers who think colors are just ornamental will be at a disadvantage. Those who know how to use color psychology in marketing will stand out from the rest.

What is color psychology?

Color psychology, simply put, is the study or research of how colors can influence human behavior, emotions, perceptions, and attitudes. It explores the psychological impacts of different colors on individuals and societies. This includes how colors are perceived, how they can influence mood and behavior, and how they are interpreted culturally.


Color psychology suggests that different colors can evoke specific emotions or reactions in people. Here are some color psychology examples:


  1. Red - Often associated with energy, passion, power, and excitement but can also evoke feelings of anger or danger.
  2. Blue - Typically linked to calmness, trust, and serenity but can also convey feelings of sadness or coldness.
  3. Yellow - Often associated with happiness, optimism, warmth, and originality but can also be perceived as caution or cowardice.
  4. Green - Often represents nature, growth, and balance, and is associated with feelings of harmony and freshness.
  5. Purple - Often associated with royalty, luxury, and creativity but can also evoke feelings of mystery, spirituality, and introspection.
  6. Orange - Typically associated with enthusiasm, warmth, creativity, and vitality but can also be perceived as aggressive or overwhelming.
  7. Black - Often associated with sophistication, power, and formality but can also symbolize darkness or negativity.
  8. White - Often represents purity, cleanliness, and simplicity but can also convey feelings of emptiness.


These are just some of the associations that people have with certain colors. Certainly, individual experiences, cultural backgrounds, and personal preferences are part of these. And various fields like marketing, design, branding, and even therapy utilize color psychology.

How is color used in marketing?

When it comes to marketing and branding, color is extensively used to evoke the right emotions from the audience, convey specific messages, and influence consumer behavior. This means that color in marketing is so much more than the aesthetics and style that it can provide a brand. These colors are tied to how brands want to communicate with the audience and how they want the audience to perceive their visual identity.


Here are several ways to know how color is used in marketing:



Companies select colors for their logos, packaging, and overall brand identity to communicate their values, personality, and positioning in the market. Consistent use of colors helps with brand recognition and differentiation. For example, red is often associated with passion and energy, making it a common choice for brands in the food and beverage industry.


Attention and Visibility

Bright and bold colors can grab attention and make products or advertisements stand out in crowded environments, such as online ads and other marketing visual materials. This is why many sales and discount signs often feature vibrant colors like red or yellow to attract attention.


Emotional Appeal

Different colors evoke different emotions and associations. Marketers strategically use colors to evoke desired emotional responses in their target audience. For instance, blue is often used to convey trust and reliability, which makes it popular in financial services branding.


Cultural Significance

Colors can have different meanings and associations in different cultures as well. Marketers need to be mindful of cultural differences when selecting colors for their branding and advertising. With the right colors, they can ensure messages are effectively communicated and avoid unintended negative connotations.


Call to Action

Colors can influence consumer behavior, including purchase decisions. Marketers often use specific colors for call-to-action buttons or links to prompt desired actions from consumers. This includes making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter.


Product Packaging

The colors chosen for product packaging can influence perceptions of product quality, freshness, and desirability. For example, green packaging might be associated with eco-friendliness or healthfulness. Luxurious products, on the other hand, might be packaged in black, gold, white, or other neutral tones.


Segmentation and Targeting

Different demographic groups may have different color preferences and associations. Marketers may tailor their color choices based on the preferences of their target audience to resonate more effectively with them.


In-store Marketing and Information Dissemination

Color in marketing strategies is also used by individual retailers and stores. Promoting specific products, limited offers, discounts, and other events in physical stores calls for bold and bright colors to attract and convince consumers to buy. Colors like red, yellow, and orange can be used in posters, digital menus, discount posters, event invites, and even retail shelves or shelf labels.

How can color affect customer behavior?

Utilizing color in marketing can do a lot for customer behavior and customer perception. When done correctly, color psychology can aid a brand in growing its customer base and improving how the audience perceives it.


Here are the various ways color can significantly influence customer behavior:


  • Attention and Engagement: Certain colors are more likely to capture attention than others. Vibrant or contrasting colors can draw the eye and attract customers to certain products or advertisements. This increases engagement and interest from the customer.
  • Perception of Quality: Color can affect perceptions of product quality and value. For example, it’s been recognized that consumers perceive products presented in certain colors, such as black or gold, as more luxurious or high-end.
  • Emotional Response: Different colors evoke different emotions and moods. For instance, warm colors like red and orange can create a sense of urgency or excitement, while cool colors like blue and green can evoke feelings of calmness and trust. Marketers leverage these emotional associations to influence how customers feel about their products or brand.
  • Brand Association: Consistent use of colors in branding can create strong associations between a brand and certain qualities or values. Over time, customers may come to associate specific colors with a brand's identity. This makes color in marketing an important element of brand recognition, brand recall, and loyalty.
  • Purchase Decisions: Color can influence purchase decisions by shaping perceptions of products and brands. Studies have shown that consumers are more likely to choose products with packaging or branding in colors that align with their preferences or expectations.
  • Impulse Buying or Upselling Opportunities: Bright or attention-grabbing colors can encourage impulse buying or upselling from customers. This is because they create a sense of urgency or excitement among the audience. Limited-time offers or sales promotions displayed in bold colors close to the cashier can prompt customers to make spontaneous purchase decisions.


Overall, color plays a crucial role in shaping consumer behavior for brands and retail stores. Whether it be attracting attention, eliciting specific emotional responses, encouraging purchase decisions, or improving brand reception, color in marketing is subtle yet significant.

Can you use color psychology on shelf labels?

The simple answer is yes! Color psychology, of course, can be effectively applied to shelf labels in a store. Electronic shelf labels, or ESL, can already be a part of a retailer’s marketing strategy. This is because they can elevate the aesthetics of the store, promote product prices, provide detailed product information, and modernize various store operations.


With the right color psychology, ESL can be used to enhance a store’s marketing potential even further, more than just displaying prices and product information.


Here are several ways to utilize color psychology in shelf labels:


Highlighting Promotions

Use bold and vibrant colors like red or yellow to draw attention to promotional offers or discounts on shelf labels. These colors can create a sense of urgency and encourage customers to take advantage of the deals.


Organizing Product Categories and Information

Retailers can assign specific colors to different product categories or types to help customers navigate the store more easily. For example, use green labels, font color, or LED lights for organic or eco-friendly products, blue for health and wellness items, and red for clearance or sale items.


Indicating Product Attributes

Choose colors that reflect the key attributes or qualities of the products. For instance, use calming colors like blue or green for products promoting relaxation or wellness. Meanwhile, energetic colors like orange or yellow can be used for products and items associated with vitality or energy.


Creating Brand Consistency

Maintain consistency in color usage across product labels and shelf labels to reinforce brand identity and recognition. The consistent use of brand colors helps customers quickly identify products from a particular brand and builds brand loyalty over time.


Eliciting Emotional Responses

Choose colors that evoke desired emotional responses in customers based on the products being sold. For example, colors like orange or yellow for food products can stimulate the appetite of shoppers.

How can you use Newton Color for effective marketing?

A good example of an ESL solution in which color marketing can be used is SOLUM ESL. SOLUM ESL brings an advanced retail solution that will streamline retail workflows and modernize product pricing and promotion.


Newton Color, in particular, are Newton labels that have expanded color capability, allowing retailers to render warm-toned visuals and bold colors on their display screens to attract customers. Retailers can use this on food items, produce, beverages, and other food-related items to induce excitement or appetite.


Not only that, Newton Color also has a 7-color LED indicator. Retailers can program these LED lights (red, green, blue, yellow, cyan, magenta, and white) to highlight promotions and organize categories such as eco-friendly items, health and wellness-related items, food and beverage items, and more.


These two Newton Color features will help retailers use color in marketing and maximize their potential. Of course, apart from these, Newton Color is also equipped with other features like breakneck update speed, 7-page capacity, 10-year battery life, IP67 protection rating, multifunctional buttons, Full Graphic E-ink Display Technology, NFC (near-field communication) capability, and an ESL management system.


An ESL solution like the Newton Color can help you unlock the power of color in marketing. Talk to SOLUM experts today and find out how Newton Color can positively impact customer behavior and your business.

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