Can color be a hidden persuader?
How important is color in the business world?
Google is one of the major U.S. corporations that is trying to find out. The company has already found "a clear link between color and satisfaction with a person's work area." That's according to spokeswoman Meghan Casserly.
Color is "the silent salesperson," says Elyria Kemp. She is an assistant professor of marketing at the University of New Orleans.
Kemp is following color trends in business. She is studying the link between emotions and color. Kemp said when consumers make an evaluation of a product, typically they do this within 90 seconds or less. She said more than half of their initial assessment is based on color alone.
That's why so many companies are researching their color choices. They are spending thousands of dollars on the research, too. Just think of UPS's Pullman brown, Home Depot's vibrant orange and Tiffany & Co.'s distinct blue.
Joclyn Benedetto is spokeswoman for Tiffany & Co. She said the glamour of the company's jewelry is linked to the Tiffany blue color. It wraps every creation. She said the color was selected by founder Charles Lewis Tiffany for the cover of "Blue Book, Tiffany's annual collection of exquisitely handcrafted jewels." It was first published in 1845.
Coca-Cola's signature red color also dates back more than 100 years. The soft drink was shipped in barrels painted red.
A spokesperson for Home Depot says research indicates that the first thing people think of is orange when they hear the store name.
Smaller companies are also recognizing the benefits of color. But picking the right color is important.
"It's not something that you think about. It just will hit you," said Emil Hagopian. He's with Mar Plast Color Building Materials in Ann Arbor, Mich. "And sometimes, if it's done wrong, that also hits you."
Critical thinking challenge: How can companies use color to make more money?