by Sarah Skidmore, marketing manager, Plastics Colors Corporation
What does your branding say about your product? For so many products, the colors that carefully wrap around the merchandise define everything about them. The red packaging on Coca-Cola’s plastic bottles shouts happiness (so much so that an entire campaign was run based on this theme). Peaceful is how Starbucks is described, as every iced coffee is served in a plastic cup branded with a soothing green logo. And, it is not at all an accident that examples like these can be found again and again.
Keep in mind, the importance of color extends far beyond the borders of a logo. The packaging itself also can have a great impact on the buyer. Consumers are immediately drawn to the bold red of an Old Spice deodorant stick or spray. The green Sprite bottle allows this brand to stand out among a sea of clear bottles. And nothing says party for college students like those little red plastic SOLO cups.
Color can be the sole reason a consumer makes a purchase. It also frequently prompts repurchases, as seen with the release of new colors in such products as Beats by Dre and the iPhone 6. This occurs because colors have a psychological affect on the mind. So, when it is time to pick out the color scheme for your products or packaging, it is important to understand the impact the color you choose will have on your brand.
The psychology of color
There are many reasons why an individual reacts to, or is influenced by, a color – much of which is a result of personal experience. What this demonstrates is there is not an exact equation that will trigger the same response in every single person. There are general attributes that have a universal interpretation, but context and culture matter. Yellow could mean happiness, when paired with a smiley face. Or it could mean caution, when paired with a traffic light or sign.
Finding the correct color for your product or packaging is key. Cardiff Business School professors Dr. Paul A. Bottomley and Dr. John R. Doyle, penned their discovery that consumers question whether or not a given color is appropriate for a product? As described in their article, The Interactive Effects of Colors and Products on Perceptions of Brand Logo Appropriateness, customers constantly go through an internal dialog – breaking down a products color, logo and packaging before a purchase.
Choose the wrong color for your brand, and you could possibly isolate potential customers. According to author Satyendra Singh (Department of Administrative Studies, University of Winnipeg), Up to 90 percent of snap judgments made about products are based on color alone. Plainly stated, not only does the color of your product or plastic packaging matter, but it can have immediate impact on whether or not a customer purchases your product.
The science of color development
Finding the perfect color to help your plastic product or packaging stand out, while also presenting the image you desire, is not an easy task. Enlisting the help of your manufacturer’s color development team is a valuable resource. Color development teams can help you take your plastic product or packaging from a simple idea to a finished piece. It all begins with you answering questions on your desired end result. How will the plastic application be used? In what lighting conditions and environment? What is the part thickness? And these are just a few questions to start.
By generating answers to these basic application questions, the color development team can put their experience to work for you. The team will take this information, fuse it with industry trends and apply the results as they explore the appropriate color library for the plastics. They will pair this artistic inspiration with scientific information, such as your resin requirements and any regulatory requirements, to create the perfect palette for your plastic application.
Psychology meets science
A good color development team will be able to merge the artistic aspect of color with the science of color development. With a team of dedicated scientists analyzing where the trends meet your desired specifications, the end result gives your plastic products or packaging the perfect end result needed to help penetrate your desired market. They can help you find a color that properly represents your brand and packaging that you can be proud to present.
Plastics Colors Corporation has 50 years of experience as an innovative problem solver with color and product development. Its North Carolina-based Solutions Center offers everything from marketing to engineering to accredited labs. For more information, visit www.plasticscolor.com.