Can color be a hidden persuader? Home Depot got its original orange color from deconstructed circus tents used in its early marketing signage. Coca-Cola's signature red color also dates back more than 100 years (Reuters)
Can color be a hidden persuader?
Lexile

Google is one of the major U.S. corporations researching the power of color in the working world.

Meghan Casserly, spokeswoman for the U.S.-based organization built around the popular search engine, says Google is still early in its research. But it has already found "a clear link between color and satisfaction with a person's work area." That, in turn, can boost employee creativity and productivity.

Elyria Kemp is an assistant professor of marketing at the University of New Orleans. She says there's more competition than ever for time and attention. Color is "the silent salesperson."

"We have so much stimuli in the environment," she said. "That's why it's so important to have those distinctive colors that really stand out."

Kemp is following color trends in business. She is conducting her own research on the link between emotions and color. She said she's also looking at what colors consumers associate with certain services. They include transportation, health care, banks and financial services.

Kemp said when consumers make an evaluation of a product offering, 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 diamonds and glamour of the company's jewelry is linked to the signature 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, said Ted Ryan, the company's spokesman.

Home Depot got its original orange color from deconstructed circus tents used in its early marketing signage. A spokesperson said research indicates that the first thing people think of is orange when they hear the name Home Depot.

Smaller companies are also recognizing the benefits of color. But picking the right color is important.

"You know when something is right because you get a feeling of security, of safety. And 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?

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COMMENTS (69)
  • SA2001orange
    12/18/2014 - 08:40 a.m.

    Companies will use color to their advantage to make money because nice colors can boost the employee's creativity, productivity, and it grabs their attention to the store.

  • WV2001TacoBelll
    12/18/2014 - 01:03 p.m.

    Some colors may affect our brains in different ways I was told a while ago that the color red can make you thirsty so there

  • GD2000marine
    12/18/2014 - 01:09 p.m.

    Companies can use color to make more money because it allows the customer to image that product from its traditional color And also the color makes people want it.

  • Forrester12
    12/18/2014 - 01:46 p.m.

    This is amazing! I have also seen that AT&T has a hidden design behind their logo, does that have the same effect? Also, how does color do that?

  • Kaylab-5
    12/18/2014 - 04:38 p.m.

    Color is something that everyone can see, red, blue, yellow, orange. You see, everything has color even if it is clear, but can color be used for marketing? Google has been researching the power of color in business. Many think that color and emotions are linked together, for instance: bright, vibrant colors are happy while dark and plain colors are sad. This research is very interesting and I would enjoy learning more about how colors effect businesses and emotions.

  • AugustH-5
    12/18/2014 - 04:54 p.m.

    Colors are important when it comes to what color is going to represent a company. Some companies are spending thousands of dollars just to chose the color that will represent there company. A study shows that people usually evaluate a product for 90 seconds and more than half of there intial goes to the color alone. This makes choosing a color very important. I think it stupid to spend a large amount of money and time just trying to choose a color for a company. Its as easy as pointing your finger at the brightest color there is a choosing it. Whats so hard?

  • DylanT-5
    12/18/2014 - 05:01 p.m.

    Google is researching on how colors affect the stimuli of people working. This is one reason that many companies have the colors they have. Colors of companies also come from stuff that happened in the past. For example, Home Depot is orange because it was originally made from orange deconstructed circus tents. Coca-cola got the color red because their bottles of soda originally shipped in red barrels.


    I think it is very cool and fascinating that colors can influence how well employees work. It is a great way to make employees happy about their job, and not try to get as many raises or switch jobs. It can also influence the stores customers want to go to.

  • AlexM-3
    12/18/2014 - 07:34 p.m.

    Researchers are proving that the color of an ad or logo can effect the consumer's judgments of the product. Many companies, like Tiffany, Home Depot, Coca Cola, and UPS, have a signature color that represents their company. Research shows that consumers evaluate a product in ninety seconds or less. Because of this, companies must be very careful when choosing a color to represent their product. I think it is very interesting that people judge products based on the color of the ad or logo. I think that I do the same thing because some companies use colors that are nice to look at, which makes me want to buy the product, but other companies use colors that are not pleasing to the eye which makes me not want to buy the product. I think it would be very hard to pick a color scheme for a logo of a company.

  • StephanieS-3
    12/18/2014 - 08:30 p.m.

    Color has done a lot to be a "silent salesperson" by drawing attention to the buisness it belongs to. Google has done a lot of research to see what color is the best to advertise with. If a company wants attention, it needs a color to make it stand out. Research shows that the average consumer takes 90 seconds or less to choose a buisiness. Red Coca-Cola cans have been around for over 100 years. I think that choosing the right colors for your buisiness helps to make it stand out. I think that companies have to be smart about choosing what attractions to put up.

  • jaylynnj-Orv
    12/18/2014 - 08:49 p.m.

    When I think of orange, I think of orange-cream pops. Well, I guess that's because I'm sweets driven. But that's a cool fact about Coke! But, what I was surprised to find out that Coke was short for cocaine. Apparently, It wasn't really fresh news. Anyway, I do believe that color is a major influencer on selling products. But why would Google take up this project? Wouldn't this get some big company's angry at them?

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