What Color Is Your Product?
To a marketer, it is obvious that color choices in socially visible products mirror consumer mood.
Design teams and consumer researchers labor mightily to nail the hues chosen for apparel, furniture, socially-purposed alcoholic beverages like vodka and whiskey, and (the big kahuna of social symbolism) vehicles.
To do this, they look backward (what happened last year, long term trends); sideways (what’s going on now that could affect what we want to project in identity-defining purchases); and forward (via the social sciences, including politics and economics).
They hire independent color labs and the consulting arms of makers of dyes, paints and pigments.
At NameLab, we were debating the significance of the fact that the 77% of automobiles delivered in 2010 were painted in “colorless colors”, which we noticed in an article in the excellent Wheels blog of the New York Times (Global Car Colors):
- 1. Silver – 25 percent
- 2. Black – 23 percent
- 3. White – 16 percent
- 4. Gray – 13 percent
- Blue – 9 percent
- Red – 8 percent
- Brown/Beige – 4 percent
- Green – 1 percent
- Yellow/Gold – 1 percent
10. Others – less than 1 percent
Does this mean that you should reconsider that proposed orange-and-blue beverage label?
We don’t know. But you have to admit it’s an interesting question.