Sarah Skidmore, Marketing Manager at Plastics Colour Corp., explains how choosing the right colour for a plastic product, its branding or packaging goes much further than just aesthetics when it comes to winning over the consumer.
What does your branding say about your product? For so many products, the colours 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.
Bear in mind though, that the importance of colour extends far beyond the borders of a logo alone. The packaging itself can also 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.
Colour can be the sole reason a consumer makes a purchase. It also frequently prompts repurchases, as seen with the release of new colours in products such as Beats by Dre and the iPhone 6. This occurs because colours have a psychological affect on the mind. So when it is time to pick out the colour scheme for your products or packaging, it is important to understand the impact the colour you choose will have on your brand.
The Psychology of Colour
There are many reasons why an individual reacts to, or is influenced by, a colour — 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 colour 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 colour is appropriate for a product. As described in their article, ‘The Interactive Effects of Colours and Products on Perceptions of Brand Logo Appropriateness’, customers constantly go through an internal dialog — breaking down a product’s colour, logo, and packaging before a purchase. Choose the wrong colour 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 colour alone.” Plainly stated, not only does your colour 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 Colour Development
Finding the perfect colour 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 colour development team is a valuable resource. Colour 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 colour 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 colour 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 colour development team will be able to merge the artistic aspect of colour with the science of colour development. With a team of dedicated scientists analysing 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 colour that properly represents your brand and packaging that you can be proud to present.