I just can’t stop thinking about the book Blink, which Iwrote about in my February 14 post. Why? Because of its implications forunderstanding the importance of color’s role in the purchasing decision.
When I first got into the trend business (too many years ago to count), conventional wisdom held that the consumer’s visceral response to color meant that they made color decisions first, then considered everything else. I think this is still true, although I will concede that a very short list of decisions is driven first by technology you can’t get anywhere else, then by color. Thank heaven for Steve Jobs at Apple for understanding the powerof color and bringing options to technology products.
The rule of thumb was also that consumers made decisions about color in something under 60 seconds. I repeated that theory for sometime. Then, in a July, 2004 issue of Kiplinger’s, I read an interview with Dan Hill, president of Sensory Logic. His company uses scientific research on human emotions to help marketers know how to appeal to consumers. The lead to this story read,
“Your decision to buy a product or service is an emotionalresponse that takes just three seconds…”
Wow! If color is first in the decision making process for home décor and nearly everything else (and it is), and your product’s success or failure at the cash register comes in less than three seconds, there is no room what so ever for color mistakes.
Then I read Blink, by Malcolm Gladwell. Now I believe that theprocess is even faster.
I have seen people with a casual attitude about the color decisions that are made for their products. They don’t believe they need help to make them, so they do not purchase a color forecast, use a color specialist or belong to a color association of any kind. They think that a low price will be enough, that functionality will drive sales, that a “good enough” approach will work for color. More than that, they believe that because color is so prevalent today, any color will do.
They are wrong.
With more total color in the market, consumers can be more selective. More color only raises the bar for every product, regardless of price.
Color has the power to draw consumers in or push them away.The right color will not sell a bad product, but a bad color is certainly a barrier to selling a good one. And it all happens in the blink of an eye.