Colour Psychology: How Retailers Influence Spending Habits

There was a time when a Coke can was white, a part of a disruptive campaign to bring more awareness to the sad plight of polar bears, which are already considered as endangered species. It was a short campaign, meant to last for only four months, but a month after it was launched, Coke had to revert back to the red colour it’s highly known for.

The white colour created a negative stir among millions of the brand’s loyal followers. Not only did it look like diet Coke, some complained it tasted “differently” than the regular Coke, yet the company denied modifying the recipe. It could be possible then people had just been less receptive to the massive change, but it also revealed one thing we often overlook: the power of colours.

Our judgment is based on our basic five senses: smell, touch, hearing, sight, and taste. We know that the water is hot by our touch, so we wait until it’s lukewarm before we drink it. We shiver in the cold so we make sure we bring our jackets if we step out of the house. But of all the senses, the sight is the most powerful.

Many studies have already shown that people are visual learners. Our brain, after all, is a complex image processor. We also tend to learn faster and store information more effectively by using visual cues. When it comes to spending, colours play a significant influence too.

Colours & Dining

Singaporeans love to eat not only because it’s a great way to socialise but also because food is ingrained in our culture and identity. Our progressive economy also provides us more money to spend on food, especially dining out

But how does visual and colour alter our taste buds? People eat by sight first then taste. This explains why food presentation is a necessary skill for any would-be chef, and restaurants spend a lot of money for high-quality food photos. Science also suggeststhat the more beautifully laid out the food is, the more it becomes appetising.

When it comes to colours, red prompts hunger by stimulating a person’s appetite. It is then combined with yellow, which reminds people of summers and sunshine. It’s a colour of happiness and positivity, so customers tend to become more sociable and stay longer in the restaurant. Some restaurants incorporate wood into their design. The colour brown is earthy, which means it signifies comfort, family, and simplicity. It makes the space cosier and homier.

Dining At Arossa Wine & Grill Bar - AspirantSG

As much as possible, these restaurants avoid incorporating black or blue shades into their plate or food as they discourage appetite. This reaction can be traced back to our ancestors who believed food with these colours was toxic. It’s also rare to find fresh produce that’s blue. But if you want to eat less, ask for a blue plate if it’s possible.

Colours & Luxury

Old cliché says we should not judge a book by its cover, but in reality, we do. Packaging, for example, plays a critical role in impulse buying, and if the product looks expensive, the pleasure and rewards of owning it is high.

There are many ways to make a product appear fancy and pricey: glass or metal instead of plastic, for example, and embossed labeling. Colours can also greatly help. If black is not a smart idea in food, it’s the preferred colour in retail since it promises elegance, sophistication, and, yes, richness. To make a product even feel more valuable, black is combined with either gold or silver.

Black can also be used as accent colours in walls of retail shops. Many bars or clubs use black since the colour exudes mystery, and the intrigue is enough to bring people in and entice them to linger longer, forcing them to spend more money on drinks.

Colours & Shopping

Most of the grocery stores are coloured white for a number of reasons. White adds more space, which invites more people to come in. After all, who likes to shop in a cramped-looking store?

White also gives the illusion of cleanliness and organisation, and it’s somehow soothing. Moreover, it is associated with creativity with walls and floors appearing as blank canvases. This can encourage people to try diverse products.

Some shops are also adopting green because it’s relaxing. In fact, if you are tired of looking at your monitor right now, find a green object and stare at it for at least a minute. You’ll feel more refreshed after. Further, green is linked with health and environment, which explains why the colour is often food in the fresh produce section.

Pink is a colour that’s often used in products meant for female buyers because it denotes nurturing, compassion, and maternal instincts. Meanwhile, for-men products are blue as the colour stands for stability and strength. We have also been groomed by our culture to associate pink with women and blue with men.

Red is a powerful colour as far as retail is concerned. Sale signs are in red because it encourages instant reaction or sense of urgency. We also have a strong response to red as our brain is trained to associate it with caution or danger. In other words, we can’t help but read the ad.

If you haven’t noticed it yet, colours also affect the way you choose credit cards. Colours of black and gray would mean you can earn rewards while shopping with your credit card, or the card is exclusive only for the VIPs. help you compare credit cards for your shopping needs.

For some, colour psychology is pseudo-science, but you have to remember that it affects the subconscious, a part of your mind you cannot control and may not even be aware of. Regardless of what you believe in, however, colours make your retail and entertainment experience more dynamic, interesting, and even richly rewarding.

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