Cathy Carter-Culp of Barrington, IL is a merchandising professional and sales consultant with a background in brand building. In the article below, Cathy Carter-Culp of Barrington, IL discusses the how colors and display setting can affect sales.
There is an entire science that goes into a company’s color decisions. The color of merchandise, storefronts, and general ambiance can have a surprising impact on consumers.
The colors on store displays can cause them to stand out against competitors’ displays. In addition, specific colors inform a consumer about a product at a glance. Cathy Carter-Culp of Barrington, IL says that these influences and more can subconsciously affect consumers.
When done properly, color can help increase profits. All it takes is the correct choices with consideration for audience, purpose, and location. Below Cathy Carter-Culp discusses the core of how color and displays affect merchandising profits.
How Colors and Displays Influence Consumers
The ways that color influences people can be subtle without a keen eye or learning of the concept. As we navigate public spaces–particularly commercial spaces–we are inundated with merchandising vying for our attention.
The way that merchandising efforts communicate is through the visual medium. Sometimes this is text but most often it is done by images–specifically color. These colors can affect the observer in three major ways:
- Colors grab attention
- Color conveys character
- Colors affect moods
Naturally, Cathy Carter-Culp of Barrington, IL says that this is not a hard science. Psychology can be rather more varied. That said, these effects have been studied in various scenarios for decades.
Colors Gain Attention
The colors of a storefront, display, or product can mean the difference between a consumer walking past or stopping and possibly purchasing something. However, it isn’t as simple as using bright colors everywhere. This can even drive off consumers.
Cathy Carter-Culp of Barrington, IL explains that bright colors such as red and yellow certainly have their uses. If the surrounding displays are primarily muted colors, a bright-colored display will draw the eye.
On the other hand, if the surroundings are primarily bright colors, darker colors will provide a contrast that can stand out.
So, the choice between bright and dark colors requires some context assessment when looking to capture attention. Capturing a consumer’s attention can mean the difference between making or losing a sale.
Color Choice Informs Character
It is important to also consider the consumer’s desires explains Cathy Carter-Culp of Barrington, IL. While bright colors might grab attention, they may be contradictory to the purpose of the merchandising or product. Bright coloring can be great for children’s products such as candy or clothing, but a display for business attire using bright colors can send conflicting messages.
Cathy Carter-Culp of Barrington, IL says that colors have been associated with specific meanings for millennia. While the meanings are different from culture to culture (particularly in the West and East) they can be quite influential. Whether that meaning is applied to the merchandising, or the consumer depends on the display.
One of the most common examples of this phenomenon is the use of green by companies wishing to be perceived as eco-friendly.
Colors Affect Mood
Lastly, color can affect consumers’ moods. This is particularly essential for interior decorating for stores. The specific color that will improve sales is dependent on the products in question.
Cathy Carter-Culp of Barrington, IL says that warm colors are often associated with comfort, passion, and adventure. These colors are great for making impulse decisions and risks. Cool colors are relaxing and encourage trust on the other hand.
Colors can be used to promote hunger in restaurants, impulse purchases in stores, and trust in banks. Combined with other ambiance elements, they can also affect a consumer’s idea of price fairness.
Common Color Associations
The moods and concepts associated with colors will differ depending on the culture of the observer. The biggest divide in associations is from West to East. Below are some of the common color associations in the West.
- Red – Passion, warmth, love
- Orange – Creativity, affordability, confidence
- Yellow – Warmth, life, optimism
- Green – Nature, money, freedom
- Blue – Peace, trust, calmness
- Violet – Royalty, imagination, mystery
- Black – Elegance, power, luxury
- Brown – Earth, dependability, honesty
- White – Cleanliness, peace, innocence
Of course, some people will think of different characteristics based on their culture and personal experiences. Practices such as this won’t affect everyone the same way or to the same degree.
Cathy Carter-Culp of Barrington, IL explains that when companies know their branding and consumer base, they can finely tune the branding colors to improve sales. The influence of color and displays can’t be understated. This subtle science can markedly affect merchandising profits.