What Color is Your Marketing Parachute?

Use colors to your marketing advantage - but be sure to research the color associations of culture you're among! June Campbell offers tips and a guide to American responses to colors.

Market researchers have had a field day identifying colors and the likely effect they have upon us. However, the effects of color differ among different cultures, so the attitudes and preferences of your target audience should be a consideration when you plan your design of any promotional materials. For example, white is the color of death in Chinese culture, but purple represents death in Brazil. Yellow is sacred to the Chinese, but signifies sadness in Greece and jealousy in France. In North America, green is typically associated with jealousy. People from tropical countries respond most favorably to warm colors, while people from northern climates prefer the cooler colors.

Basically, in North American mainstream culture, the following qualities are associated with color:

  • Red excitement, strength, sex, passion, speed, danger
  • Blue (listed as the most popular color) trust, reliability, belonging, coolness
  • Yellow warmth, sunshine, cheer, happiness
  • Orange playfulness, warmth, vibrant
  • Green nature, fresh, cool, growth, abundance
  • Purple royal, spirituality, dignity
  • Pink soft, sweet, nurture, security
  • White pure, virginal, clean, youthful, mild
  • Black sophistication, elegant, seductive, mystery
  • Gold prestige, expensive
  • Silver prestige, cold, scientific

    Market researchers have also determined that color affects shopping habits. Impulse shoppers respond best to red-orange, black and royal blue. Shoppers who plan and stick to budgets respond best to pink, teal, light blue and navy. Traditionalists respond to pastels - pink, rose, sky blue.

    June Campbell is Webmaster of by Nightcats Multimedia Productions <http://www.nightcats.com>, a business writing site offering business writing services, a gift with subscription to business ezine, FREE business articles for use in your publications, and a FREE ebook. Also, How-To Booklets for business plans, business proposals, brochure design, joint venture contracts and more!


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