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Seeing Red!


© Rajesh V.   |   Retail  |   Comments
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Using the color red to communicate offers and freebies is directly linked to its impact on us. In a manner of speaking bulls are not the only animals affected by a red flag!

When the Foodworld stores started in Chennai in 1996, there were posters with a specific design predominantly in yellow and red. Obviously the kirana store operators realized that this has some impact o customers and started copying it. Last heard a small store in coastal Andhra had copied this poster including the logo of the chain stores!! Imitation is surely the best form of flattery.

So, what was the effect that led to these posters to be copied? Its all about colors and the sub conscious impact they have on all of us.

The study of the effect that colors have on humans is called Color psychology. This is used extensively in most retail environments to create an overall ambience that fits in with the value proposition and imagery that the brand seeks to establish.

Ask a roomful of people for their favorite color and the majority would vote for Blue. Is it any wonder that many brands tend to use blue. Blue being a very calming color and actually helps release calming chemicals in our body definitely has a role in this. It has been proven in studies that this calming effect increases performance and there have been studies where weight lifters have been able to lift more weights in a blue background.

On the other hand Red is the color of energy. It has been studied that in a red environment the heart beat and breathing increases. It is said that because of the physical impact people tend to veer more towards riskier behavior such as betting big. Is it any wonder why casinos have red carpeting and seating?

The other color used extensively in retail is Yellow. The color associated with brightness, sun and optimism. However this color also increases ones metabolism and there have been studies that show increased discomfort in an over powering yellow environment.

Most fast food outlets use red and yellow extensively. Apart from being powerful, dominant colors which are very noticeable, their effect on increased metabolism stimulates appetite and gets more sales. This combination makes people hungry as also vaguely uncomfortable and hence they quickly eat and leave. More customers eating fast, equals more business.

In retail these color applications studies have tremendous use and are used extensively in Brand, designing the interiors, customer communication, etc. Although there are differences in color associations across countries and cultures, a few common effects make this a very important tool in retail design.

Using the color red to communicate offers and freebies is directly linked to its impact on us. In a manner of speaking bulls are not the only animals affected by a red flag!

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