How Product Label Colors Influence Shoppers

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Market researchers spend a great deal of time trying to figure out how the colors on product labels influence shoppers. In the United States, nearly $7 billion is spent in marketing research, and that number soars to over $17 billion worldwide. You might not even think about product label colors, but the odds are good that some of what you’ve recently purchased is due to the way the package label looked.

Of course, there’s a limit to how much product label colors influence shoppers. For example, if a product is simply not what you want, no amount of the right color on the label will convince you to purchase it. On the other hand, if a new product comes along with the right colors on the right label, there’s a good chance that you’ll pick it up for further examination.

Blue: Invoking Trust

Using blue to convey trustworthiness is an example of how a color on a product label influences shoppers. However, the shade of blue changes how the color is perceived. A dark blue, for example, often denotes a kind of sadness. On the other hand, using a lighter shade of blue inspires trust and is seen as friendly and refreshing.

Green: Environmentally Friendly

Is there anyone out there who doesn’t think that green is the color of environmental responsibility? The term “green” is literally linked to the environment. If you want to market your product to a target audience that is heavily invested in “going green,” there’s no point in not showcasing green on your label. For example, having a cleaning product that is good for the environment can only benefit from having a label that contains both the color green and the word “green.”

Red: Impulse Purchases

When you want to attract impulse purchasers, use a lot of red on your label. While red can denote feelings of anger, many successful products use red to attract impulse buyers. Think of the big red Coca-Cola soda machines outside stores and gas stations. The company knew customers going inside were apt to spot their machines and purchase a soft drink on the spur of the moment.

Purple: Royal Elegance

Purple is seen as a “regal” color. For centuries, monarchs lined their robes and gowns with purple, setting them apart from the masses. Companies intent upon linking their product with elegance often use purple to make the connection. Cadbury trademarked a distinct shade of purple for its chocolate wrappers, which have been used for over 100 years and honor Queen Victoria. When Yahoo wanted to create a new branding image with its customers, it switched its logo from red to purple. While there’s no way to determine if the color change has anything to do with the slow but steady progress Yahoo has made with its customer base, an overwhelming number of people surveyed decided they liked the purple coloring better than the previous red.

Understanding Colors

When designing the right label for your product, you may want to use professionals to assist you. After all, while you might love the combination of green and orange, that color combination may not invoke the same reaction from potential customers. In the end, though, no matter how great a label coloring might be, if the product doesn’t measure up to what others expect, it won’t have a long shelf life.

About Jeff Giedt

Jeff Giedt is vice president and general manager of Pioneer Packaging in Phoenix, AZ. Pioneer Packaging is a division of the Heritage Pioneer Corporate Group, a leading distributor of corrugated boxes, packaging materials and equipment, with 16 locations across the western United States.

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