How Colors Make Us Buy

May 11, 2012

In an episode of one of my favorite radio shows, the CBC’s Under The Influence, host Terry O’Reilly takes us on a tour of how colors influence our buying decisions.

When it comes to the subject of persuasion, each colour carries very specific meanings.

Take the colour Red. It is one of the most passionate colours. It connotes action, adventure, fire, lust, anger, courage and rebellion, for example.

Therefore, it is a colour best used for action-oriented products and brands. Red, for example, is the predominant colour in the Virgin logo – which is perfect for that brand, as founder Richard Branson is definitely adventurous and rebellious.

Blue stands for security, trust, productivity and calmness of mind. As a result, blue is the colour of choice for UN flag.

Orange is a colour that suggests value and discounts. Online bank ING has branded itself as orange, no doubt, in part, to remind you of their promise of reduced banking fees.

Green represents freshness. Think the Jolly Green Giant and Subway.

For centuries, purple symbolized nobility and wealth.

The colour Brown is earthy, and contains feelings of honesty and dependability. UPS began using brown in 1916 -because in the world of package delivery, the name of the game is dependability.

Yellow stands for sunny warmth, cheeriness, fun and optimism. Black is really the absence of all colour, but is a colour of authority, power and luxury.

White has a feeling of lightness, and is the reason why most planes are painted this colour. It soothes the concern we all secretly harbour that a machine that size can’t possibly become airborne.