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Article: Hue(s) and Cry

Hue(s) and Cry

Hue(s) and Cry

Before anything, the title of this article might intrigue you ( it is supposed to!) and if it does, I will tell you that the hue and cry about colors is what we are going to be dealing in this article and the impact it has over consumer decision making. When I started to write this article, I happened do some research on the pandemic theory of  detailing the correlation of colors with the impact it has over a person’s life manifesting in variety of forms such as one’s mood, emotions, feelings and behavior. What I found led me to believe this theory of impact can affect one’s decision making as well.

Before we dive deep into the process of how it drives decision making, let us look at how colors impinge a person’s emotions. We all must have noticed, shades of chromes are a part of life. Imagine a world which is black and white – is it interesting? perhaps Instagram and other photo editing tools do a good job at that, but a real world without color is perceived to be lifeless or pre-existent. In order to add beauty and life – colors have to be embedded into it. It is even difficult to retain in memory things that do not posses color.

Therefore colors symbolize meaning making it easier for us to associate. For example, anything associated with red indicates anger; on a certain situation it also denotes passion. Similarly anything associated to Green tells us about the life – how it is teeming with vitality, full of energy and growth. Blue goes on to tell us about the stability and calmness as for a blue sky indicates there is no storm or rain. It is to be noted that the same colors can function differently in different occasion. For instance the color blue is believed to be having a calming effect is also something that act as an appetite suppressant.

A team of health experts did a study on truck drivers on long haul who lunched at a popular restaurant en route to their destination. It was noted that those of them who had a long journey ahead lunched very quickly grabbing unhealthy quick food and took in multiple serving  during a buffet failing to listen to their stomach. It was known that the main dining area of the restaurant had bright red and cream (which is known to improve the appetite). Therefore the theme was altered, from red to blue. Plates, tables and chairs, table cloth, wash cloth and tapestry everything was changed to blue. Post these changes, the restaurant was back to service these hungry drivers and results were oddly surprising. All those who took at least five serving of food had just two serving and looked relaxed and calm enjoying talking to their peers. This verified that color did impact individual behavior even eating habits.

There are various beliefs attached to colors and this can vary based on geography and also other social sentiments. For instance the color black – which in some culture indicate evil and darkness is regarded as a color that reflect elegance, affluence and power by the advertising industry. Segmentation of audience and advertisements along with the type of products to be targeted use extensive color psychology.  Warm colours and colors in that spectrum are largely used by brands to call for action; where aggression and quick reaction is expected. Offers, restaurants, teaser etc. Few examples include McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Red Bull, Nitendo and Red Hubspot.

Similarly black as mentioned above is commonly used by premium luxury brand that exude elegance and finesse. It can largely be found to be used by luxury car brands, logos, watches and diamonds, examples include EFIF diamond, Debeers jewellery, MontBlanc, Jaguar etc.


Coming to how this can affect the purchase behavior of consumers, researchers note that various factors determine an individuals buying decision even though placement of elements, colors that go into the look of the product also contribute to a greater extent when a consumer makes his/her purchase. As we saw how each color has its own influence on an individual and how it is perceived by them, it is noted that people look for colors in the products they buy.  They attach meaning to them and how much they want them by looking at their colors. For instance, the following info graphic tells you what colors draws what type of individual :



Cultural differences also play a very important role in purchase. While all along we were raving about warmer shades, how colors that fall in those spectrum are perceived with enthusiasm, the merry yellow which brings to mind anything connected to family as it is considered bright, cheerful in most part of the European and North American countries,  has a different connotation in Germany (  European exception) denoting envy. Therefore it is imperative for marketers to choose their target audience and clearly identify the colors that fit their interest.  Similarly lavender has more feminine effect seen associated with beauty brands in any other country than in European countries where it is perceived to be a symbol of royalty.


So let me know if you go by making choices of your clothes/car/products based on your favourite colors, if the color psychology is imbibed secretly in your brain because of constant stereotyping and cultural influences. What color would you prefer and not – go ahead I would like to know your opinion.


Santhoshi Natarajan

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