Introduction to Color Theory

By CRAIG KUNCE

What is going through a customer’s mind when he or she is standing in a supermarket aisle looking at several shelves full of the same product? Are there specific factors that lead consumers to choose a certain brand of product over the other? If there are specific factors, what are they, and how do they influence consumer decisions?

Research shows that one factor is color. Color is ubiquitous in a retail environment. Whether planned or not, each product’s packaging features a primary color. This color, which can be “owned” by the brand, becomes its identifier among a sea of other products in the world of retail packaging. With this information in mind, I set out to research why color is so important when branding, marketing and packaging a product. I wanted to better understand, “How does color affect consumer response?”

My goal is to identify the effects that color has on consumers. The following web pages will look at the importance of color, color psychology, meaning and symbolism, and where our color preferences may come from. Lastly, I will discuss how many companies, researchers and marketers have studied and used color to influence consumer response.