WILMINGTON, MA () - Scientific studies in academic journals and textbooks have repeatedly shown the colors you select to brand your business can be among the most effective ways to attract and keep customers.
Consider fast food restaurants, many of which use bright reds and yellows to dress up their brands, such as McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's. Bright reds have shown to draw customers' attention by creating a sense of excitement, while the yellows cause them to pause, feel happy, and encourage them to make a purchase because of a positive frame of mind.
If you need further proof of the persuasion of color, think about the last time you drove along a busy retail highway or walked about a food court at a shopping mall. Which colored signs pulled at you the most? Bright reds and yellows were likely among them.
Color preferences seem to be deeply rooted emotional responses that lack any rational basis, says Dr. R. Douglas Fields, a senior investigator at the National Institutes of Health. In an article written to Psychology Today, Dr. Fields says “color rules our choices in everything.” He also notes people like to think of themselves as rational, but in fact they are often unknowingly ruled by the “mysterious” power of color.
The psychology of colors is not lost on successful businesses. Take UPS delivery services which use a solid brown for its trucks and driver uniforms. Studies show that brown connotes reliability. And that's exactly what UPS wants its customers to think when they're entrusting their packages to the company for delivery. Or, how about IBM which uses an inviting blue for its products, packaging, and logo. Blue has been shown to help instill a sense of loyalty in customers. And in the highly competitive world of software sales, loyalty is a much sought after commodity.
Marketing experts agree that for maximum benefit, branding colors should be displayed at all customer touch points. And the more personal the touch point, the more important the color choice can be.
“That's why the colors used for employee uniforms can play a significant role in a business' success, says Adam Soreff, Director of Marketing at UniFirst Corp. (www.unifirst.com), a provider of customized uniform and workwear programs to businesses throughout the U.S. and Canada. “Utilizing the psychology of colors can most definitely help reinforce a sought after business image or message, such as technical proficiency or reliability. And customers often subliminally take such ‘uniform' messaging more seriously because it's being worn by a real person, someone who embodies the brand and makes the brand more tangible to them.”
Is your business making the best use of company brand and uniform colors? Here are some widely recognized attributes of colors:
- White: pure, clean (worn by doctors and nurses to imply sterility)
- Black: power, authority (helps project knowledgeable expertise)
- Green: calming, growth and fertility (favored by landscapers/garden centers)
- Purple: royal, dignified (helps suggest “premium” products and services)
- Orange: warm, vibrant (used to create a playful business environment)
- Silver: prestige, scientific (often the choice of high-tech companies)
- Red: excitement, confidence (tends to be used to distinguish employees in expansive business setting)
- Blue: Trust, belonging (the most popular color used in all businesses)
- Yellow: Warmth, happiness (used to promote a general sense of well-being)
- Gold: Elite, prestige (fosters a sense of the very best)
A final tip: Select the right colored brand identity and employee uniforms for your business and you'll likely make you competitors “green” with envy.
UniFirst (NYSE: UNF), a North American leader in the supply and servicing of uniforms, workwear, and protective clothing, outfits more than 1.5 million workers each business day. The company's most popular brands include UniWeave®, SofTwill®, UniWear®, and Armorex FR®. UniFirst also offers Facility Service programs including floor mats, mops, and restroom products. For more information, contact UniFirst at 800-455-7654 or visit www.unifirst.com.