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Author Biography:

Allison B. Vought  is an inventive scientist and educator specializing in natural cosmetic formulation and short-run, private label skincare. Since 2005, she has worked as chief cosmetic formulator, business consultant and CEO of various skin care companies. Allison is the co-founder of AliMar, LLC, (www.alimarlabs.com ) a private label manufacturer specializing in ultra-low minimums, as well as co-founder of the Vegan skincare line.

Using Color Trends to Gain a Competitive Advantage
By Allison B. Vought Thursday, May 29, 2014
Color is a powerful tool when marketing your products. Being able to spot trends in consumer behavior can be a useful tool in your marketing to target consumers.

Trend Analysis is the practice of collecting information with the intent to spot a pattern in the information. It is often used to predict future events. Today, trend analysis often refers to the science of studying changes in social patterns, including fashion, technology and consumer behavior.
Consider these facts from various marketing studies: [1]
  • Color increases brand recognition by up to 80%.
  • Color improves readership as much as 40%.
  • Color accelerates learning from 55 to 78%.
  • Color increases comprehension by 73%.
  • Color ads are read up to 42% more than similar ads in black and white.
  • Color can be up to 85% of the reason people decide to buy.

The statistics indicate that color is a powerful tool in the marketing of products for sale. Why not use that knowledge to your advantage? Color is synonymous with meaning. For clarification, look at the "pink" branding used for breast cancer awareness. Pink can also indicate a level of femininity, as we see in many products geared towards females. Think of Victoria’s Secret, the iconic lingerie company whose logo consists of black writing on a pink background. A similar discussion can be had regarding the color blue. Blue is often representative of products geared towards males, such as the brands Nautica and Polo. However, it can also be indicative of authority and responsibility depending on how it is branded. Refer to the American Express, Ford and NASA logos.

Color is most commonly associated with emotion rather than intellect. Color and visual elements activate the areas of the brain responsible for creativity and affection, while printed words activate the parts responsible for rational thinking and logic. Color is an excellent tool for affecting "emotion". People buy to solve problems, alleviate concerns, and to eliminate fear. The underlying message to this is that people buy based on emotion and then justify their purchase with facts.

Vision is the primary source for all of our experiences. [2.] Studies have revealed that our brains prefer recognizable brands, which makes color incredibly important when creating a brand identity. When marketing new products, it is crucial to consider that consumers place visual appearance and color above other factors such as sound, smell and texture.

In the case of cosmetics, more unusual and unique color names can also increase the consumers intent to buy by evoking imagery. For example, are you more likely to buy a lipstick named "Stiletto Red" or the same lipstick called "Red"? The name "Stiletto Red" evokes provocative imagery. Stilettos can be sexy, vampy or sometimes trashy. A consumer who can identify with their perception of "Stiletto" will be the intended consumer of that product. For this reason, it is also important to be careful when naming colors so that you hit your target consumer rather than alienate them.

While choosing the perfect color seems to ensure that your product will sell, reality is far different. When it comes to choosing the "right" color, studies show that predicting your consumers reaction to color appropriateness in relation to the product itself is more important than the actual color. [3.]

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