A product’s appearance has a significant impact on consumer purchasing behavior. When encountering a product, consumers quickly make decisions about that product’s utility, value and intended use, so brands across industries need to make a positive first impression. Color is one effective way companies communicate information through product appearance.
Consumer Color Perception
The human eye can recognize up to 10 million different colors within the visible light spectrum. Over time, many shades have gained associations with certain objects and ideas.
On a practical level, color communicates important information about surroundings. Depending on the context, a color can efficiently deliver information and encourage observers to modify their behavior. Consider the bright safety colors used around potentially hazardous environments such as construction sites. The bright orange safety cones, road signs and worker apparel stand out and warn people to proceed with caution.
Color can also evoke an emotional response. Although the perception of a color’s meaning may vary between cultures, color psychology suggests that manipulation of color can influence consumer behavior, making color an important tool across industries.
Brand Colors Vary by Industry to Create Recognizable Packaging and Logos
The packaging is often the first thing a consumer notices about a product. It may contain other design elements, but the color and logo stand out. When a brand uses the same color consistently on its packaging, signage and other materials, the color or color combination may become synonymous with the brand, making products easy to distinguish on store shelves.
It’s important to note that ideal brand colors vary by industry. Blue and purple tend to work well in industries that need to foster relaxation and trust, such as health care and finance. In contrast, colors such as red and orange exude passion, determination, confidence and optimism, making them ideal for more upbeat brands. In addition, some so-called harmonious color combinations produce positive responses. Harmonious colors can be triads, complementary, split-complementary or analogous.
Color Indicates Product Quality
In some industries, color indicates a product’s overall quality and ability to meet consumer needs. For example, colors in the manufacturing industry must be consistent as they influence the product’s function — after all, you wouldn’t want to buy paint that comes with a slightly different color every time.
Industries that use color as an indicator of quality include:
- Cosmetics. Cosmetics manufacturers check for color consistency to ensure customers receive products that look good on their skin and in the packaging.
- Pharmaceuticals. Pharmaceutical companies use color as an indicator of product stability, degradation, safety and overall efficacy.
- Food and beverage. Food and beverage companies uses color analysis to assess the quality of raw ingredients and confirm the caliber of finished products without touching them.
How to Ensure Your Products Meet Color Standards
For a product or piece of packaging to meet brand standards and achieve the desired outcome, its color needs to meet exacting specifications. This means manufacturers need highly accurate methods for detecting slight color differences.
The human eye perceives color unreliably. Spectrophotometers solve this problem by providing objective data about an object’s color. Learn more about colors and their importance and how the right spectrophotometry equipment from HunterLab could solve your industry’s challenges by contacting us today.
Mr. Philips has spent the last 30 years in product development and management, technical sales, marketing, and business development in several industries. Today, he is the global market development manager for HunterLab, focused on understanding customer needs, providing appropriate solutions and education, and helping to solve customer color challenges across these industries and cultures.