Color Preferences


There are many different influences when it comes to what colors consumers prefer. Some color preferences are learned, some are generated from social status, life experiences, income, sex, religion, education, and other preferences are as personal and unique as the consumer’s personality.

Leatrice Eiseman, a well-respected color consultant and educator, attributes the popularity of metallic fabrics during the 1970s disco era in part to the publicity generated by the national tour of the King Tut exhibition. She credits the popularity of black in the 1980s to the Star Wars villain Darth Vader, and to the sexy, black-tie elegance of the Reagan administration. However, Eiseman also notes that while consumers were once comfortable being told what to wear by the fashion powers, today’s consumer is more independent and color savvy. They surround themselves with colors that please them (Heath, 1997).

David Siegel, general manager of Small Talk, a research firm, says, “Kids are far more visual than adults. Since about 1991, kids’ favorite colors are neon, with neon green and yellow at the top of their list.” When his researchers ask kids for ideas on new products, they demand, “Make it green!” Siegel attributes green’s popularity in part to the colors of the Nickelodeon television channel logo. While researching colors for Gummy Worms, Siegel found that, “The best way to sell them was to appeal to grossness. Kids love slime and vomit green, anything that repels their parents” (Heath, 1997).


What's your color personality?

The Cooper Marketing Group, working with Market Facts, both Illinois companies, have identified three clearly defined color personalities.

Group 1
Is labeled as Color- Forward Consumers. This group of consumers, although small, is seen as highly influential toward other consumer groups. Color-Forward Consumers like to be the first to try a new color in the marketplace and they are willing to pay more for products marketed in more fashionable colors. The demographics of the Color-Forward Consumer leans toward men and women under thirty years old and women over fifty. They typically live in the city, buy products as an impulse decision, and usually make more than thirty-five thousand dollars per year.

Group 2
The second color personality the Cooper Marketing Group identifies is Color- Prudent Consumers. This group tends to make up the largest segment of consumers. They are more conservative when it comes to color and they tend to wait until a color is widely accepted before they adopt it into their lives. They are more concerned with the quality of a product instead of its color. Their demographic primarily consists of men and women age thirty to fifty years. They live in the suburbs, carefully consider each purchase they make, and usually earn more than fifty thousand dollars per year.

Group 3
The last group is identified as Color-Loyal Consumers. This group consists of highly color-loyal people who prefer safe colors such as gray and blue to the more trendy and fashionable colors. This group tends to be men over sixty years old who live in the suburbs or in rural areas, tend to dislike shopping, and have an income that ranges broadly (Marney, 1996).