University of Maryland Extension

Marketing and Branding ─ Color it “SOLD”

Author: 
Ginger S. Myers
Baby Carrots; Eat them like junk food

Mastering Marketing - November 2016


Color is present everywhere and in many places simultaneously. People make up their minds about people or products within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with them. About 62‐90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone. So, prudent use of colors can contribute not only to differentiating products from competitors, but also to influencing moods and feelings – positively or negatively – and therefore, to attitude towards certain products. Given that our moods and feelings are unstable and that colors play roles in forming attitude, it is important we understand the importance of colors in marketing.

Satyendra Singh, "Impact of color on marketing", Management
Decision, Vol. 44 Issue: 6, pp. 783 - 789

The Use of Color in Packaging

University of Maryland Extension offers a Food for Profit workshop for budding food entrepreneurs. During this workshop we emphasize that before choosing your package color scheme you need to determine what type of message the package/product should give. Based on the message, a color scheme that represents this message is chosen. This is why basic research is necessary, whether it’s using case studies or having a focus group. Not only should the color “make sense” related to the product message, but it should also “create an attention” to the product – so that it is easily noticeable to the consumer. In order to be one step ahead of the competition and consumers, a color scheme should be researched, in relation to the demographic of the target market. By determining the consumer demographics early in your process, you will be able to select appropriate colors for your package and gain an advantage over the competition.

Colors assist in:Color Emotion Guide - The Logo Company

  • Creating readable /recognizable text.
  • Attracting customer attention among the “clutter” and reinforcing a “brand.”
  • Conveying a special meaning to a customer.
  • Tapping into a memory or associated feeling with certain colors.

Consider how these “brand name” companies utilized color in their logos. What emotions or messages are they trying to connect with customers

Colors Use in Displays and Promotional Graphics

Remember that customers buy “with their eyes”. So, use colors and graphics that tap into established customer perceptions related to holidays and special events. The social media tool Pinterest is another good resource for color “ideas". Search the pin boards on that site with holiday titles for display and color combination ideas. Below is a list of holiday color sand associated graphics that Penn State Extension Agent John Berry shares in his retail marketing school. Ideas abound in this list.

 

Holiday Prop/Decoration Ideas

DATE

DAY

COLOR

GRAPHICS

Jan. 1

New Year’s

apple green &  white

father time, baby, hourglass

Feb. 12

Lincoln's Birthday

red, white, & blue

shields, flags. portraits

Feb. 14

Valentines day

red & white

hearts, cupid, arrows

Mar. 21

1st day of spring

coral & apple green

birds, flowers, butterflies

Varies

Easter

violet & white; purple & white

chicken, rabbits, flowers, birds, butterflies

Apr. 1

April Fool’s day

yellow & red

jester, foolscap, bells

May 1

May day

any pastel

may basket, maypole

Varies

Mother’s day

red & white

carnations

May 30

Memorial day

red, white, & blue

flags, wreathes

June

Bridal season

white & Nile green

bells, rings, confetti, bride & groom

July 4

Independence day

red, white, & blue

flags, shields

July

Vacation

cool pastels

baggage, beach scenes

Sept.

School opening

school colors, fall colors

blackboard, slate, books

1ST Mon. in Sept.

Labor day

red, white, & blue

various artisan’s tools

Sept. 21

Autumn

reds, browns, & yellows

leaves, mums

Oct. 21

Columbus day

red, white, blue combined with green, red, & white

ships

Oct. 31

Halloween

orange & black

witches, cats, bats, owls

Nov. 11

Veteran’s day

red, white, & blue

flags, of allies, poppies

Last Thurs. in Nov.

Thanksgiving

red, burnt russet, orange

horn of plenty, turkeys

Dec. 21

1st day of winter

white

icicles, snow covered branches

Dec. 25

Christmas day

red & green

Santa Claus, holly, bells, candles

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