Exciting red and competent blue: the importance of color in marketing
- 21k Downloads
From beverages to consumer electronics, marketers are using color in innovative ways. Despite this, little academic research has investigated the role that color plays in marketing. This paper examines how color affects consumer perceptions through a series of four studies. The authors provide a framework and empirical evidence that draws on research in aesthetics, color psychology, and associative learning to map hues onto brand personality dimensions (Study 1), as well as examine the roles of saturation and value for amplifying brand personality traits (Study 2). The authors also demonstrate how marketers can strategically use color to alter brand personality and purchase intent (Study 3), and how color influences the likability and familiarity of a brand (Study 4). The results underscore the importance of recognizing the impact of color in forming consumer brand perceptions.
KeywordsColor Brand personality Aesthetics Logo design Package design Purchase intent
The authors thank the editor and three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. This research is based on the first author’s dissertation and she thanks Ron Michaud, Brian P. Brown, and William D. Diamond for their comments on previous versions of the manuscript.
- Baker, C. (2009). Chinese wedding dress. Retrieved Sept 09, 2009 from www.bellaonline.com/articles/art32857.asp
- Batra, R., Lehmann, D. L., & Singh, D. (1993). The brand personality component of goodwill: Some antecedents and consequences. In D. A. Aaker & A. Biel (Eds.), Brand equity and advertising (pp. 83–96). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Bellizzi, J. A., Crowley, A. E., & Hasty, R. W. (1983). The effects of color in store design. Journal of Retailing, 59(1), 21–45.Google Scholar
- Berlin, B., & Kay, P. (1969). Basic color terms: Their universality and evolution. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
- Biel, A. (1993). Converting image into equity. In D. A. Aaker & A. Biel (Eds.), Brand equity and advertising (pp. 67–82). Hillsdale: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
- Chattopadhyay, A., Gorn, G. J., & Darke, P. R. (2002). Roses are red and violets are blue- everywhere? Cultural differences and universals in color preference and choice among consumers and marketing managers. Working paper, University of British Columbia.Google Scholar
- Cooper, G. (1996). Pepsi turns air blue as color wars reach for the sky. Retrieved Sept. 9, 2009 from www.independent.co.uk/news/pepsi-turns-air-blue-as-cola-wars-reach-for-sky-1302822.html.
- Fraser, T., & Banks, A. (2004). Designer’s color manual: The complete guide to color theory and application. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.Google Scholar
- Freling, T. H., Crosno, J. L., & Henard, D. H. (2010). Brand personality appeal: conceptualization and empirical validation. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science (Published Online January 1, 2010); doi: 10.1007/s11747-010-0208-3.
- Interbrand (2009). Best global brands. Retrieved July 14, 2009 from www.interbrand.com/best_global_brands.aspx
- Janiszewski, C., & Van Osselaer, S. M. J. (2000). A connectionist model of brand–quality associations. Journal of Marketing Research, 37 (August), 331–350.Google Scholar
- Kahney, L. (2003). Apple doin’ the logo-motion. Retrieved March 3, 2009 from www.wired.com/gadgets/mac/news/2003/09/60597
- Kaya, N., & Epps, H. H. (2004). Color-emotion associations: past experience and personal preference. AIC 2004 Color and Paints, Interim Meeting of the International Color Association, Proceedings, 31–34.Google Scholar
- Levy, S. (1959). Symbols for sale. Harvard Business Review, 37(4), 117–124.Google Scholar
- Levy, B. I. (1984). Research into the psychological meaning of color. American Journal of Art Therapy, 23, 58–62.Google Scholar
- Lüscher, M. (1969). The Lüscher color test. New York: Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
- Mahnke, F. H. (1996). Color, environment, and human response. New York: Reinhold.Google Scholar
- Odbert, H. S., Karwoski, T. F., & Eckerson, A. B. (1942). Studies in synesthetic thinking: 1. Musical and verbal associations of color and mood. Journal of General Psychology, 26, 153–173.Google Scholar
- Plummer, J. T. (1984). How personality makes a difference. Journal of Advertising Research, 24(6), 27–31.Google Scholar
- Schechter, A. H. (1993). Measuring the value of corporate and brand logos. Design Management Journal, 4, 33–39.Google Scholar
- Wright, A. (1988). The beginner’s guide to colour psychology. London: Colour Affects Ltd.Google Scholar
- Zeltner, P. M. (1975). John Dewey’s aesthetic philosophy. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.Google Scholar