Colors are more than just visual cues they can evoke emotions in consumers and completely change how they feel about specific products and services.
Jonathon Schuldt, assistant professor of communication and director of Cornell's Social Cognition and Communication Lab, recently published a study in the journal of Health Communication. Schuldt asked 93 university students to imagine that they were hungry and picture a candy bar while waiting in line at the grocery store. The students were presented a candy bar with either a red or a green calorie label and asked to guess whether the treat contained more or fewer calories and how healthy it was. The results showed the students perceived the green-labeled bar as more healthful than the red one, even though the calorie content was the same. Schuldt repeated the experiment with 39 online participants who were shown candy with either green or white labels and the results were the same. But the online survey also indicated that the more importance participants placed on healthy eating, the more they perceived the white-labeled candy bar as less healthful than the green one. While you may not sell candy bars or even food, this study confirms the importance labels play in the purchasing process and just how crucial it is to select the right color and design for your labels.
As a KISSmetrics report on how colors affect purchases indicates, 93 percent of customers judge products by visual appearance, compared to the 7 percent who go by texture and smell. Additionally, 85 percent of customers say color is one of the primary reasons they purchase a product. Colors can also become associated with specific brands. Four out of every five consumers say that vibrant colors help them remember brands.
When designing labels, businesses should place special emphasis on color selection.
Time should be spent on market research and identifying a target market. Colors such as orange, red and royal blue tend to catch the eye of impulse shoppers, while navy blues and teals are more likely to attract budget shoppers. Labels should reflect their product's target audience. Work with a graphic artist to produce a design that will appeal to your target market and, if possible, test the response you get from an unbiased audience.
While the extra time and money may seem overkill for custom labels, Schuldts new study proves just how influential this seemingly inconsequential item has on the purchase process. Even a small change, such as label color, can make a big difference and significantly increase sales. As the old expression goes, "There are no second chances at making a good first impression." Whether consumers are browsing the shelves of a grocery store or picking a bottle of wine from a liquor store rack, labels are often the key to making that first impression. Colors are the most basic element of label design. After these are established, businesses should figure out what images, logos and copy they want to include on the package. It's crucial that all four elements work together to create the best first impression on shoppers.