Such as Direct Mail and Other Pieces

Whether you realize it or not – color’s a powerful thing. And when it comes to marketing, specifically, color can change everything. It helps potential and current customers make decisions, makes them feel emotions, triggers physical responses, and may even be the reason they spend money. It’s important to know what different colors mean and do before and while creating any marketing piece – from print to digital. That’s why we’re giving you the rundown on color’s impact on general and food marketing, especially when it comes to direct mail.

The Psychology of Color

As we mentioned above, color can cause a lot of reactions – both mental and physical. These include hunger, sadness, happiness, anxiety, agitation, and so on. The colors you choose and use consistently can create and solidify brand recognition and brand personality. It’s been found that “customers generally make an initial judgment on a product within 90 seconds of interaction with that product, and about 62%–90% of that judgment is based on color”. While the use of color helps with branding overall, specific colors have been linked to certain buying behaviors and actions. For example, red is typically used to evoke hunger. Why? We associate red foods with ripeness and readiness. This is just one example among many – but needless to say, by using specific colors, you have the ability to evoke specific feelings within your current and target customers. Each color on the spectrum is known to elicit different feelings and emotions, such as:

• Red: hunger, excitement, love, strength

• Orange: youth, friendliness, confidence, courage

• Yellow: optimism, warmth, clarity, happiness, energy

• Green: dependability, security, integrity

• Blue: stability, calmness, sadness, productivity

• Purple: creativity, loyalty, wealth, ambition, uniqueness

• Pink: sweetness, affection, compassion, sincerity, femininity

• Brown: stability, earthiness, trust, longevity, dependability

• Black: power, mystery, drama, elegance, modernity, sophistication

• White: purity, a blank slate, honesty, goodness, and simplicity

Whatever decision you are trying to get your customer to make, or action you’d like them to take, your choice of color can be make or break.

Color’s Impact on Direct Mail & Other Marketing Pieces

As we said above, color can be used in marketing to help customers feel, think, and do many things. According to Faber Birren’s book, Color Psychology and Color Therapy, it’s our perception of color, not the color itself, that causes us to think and feel certain ways. To explain it in clearer terms, it’s what we specifically associate with these colors that triggers a reaction – therefore, researching your audience’s interests and hobbies is a great way to understand their color preferences, associations, and reactions. Color can be one of, and sometimes the only reason potential customers look at or disregard a marketing piece.

Although color perception will differ from viewer to viewer, it’s important to get a basic understanding of associations within your audience. About 84.7% of buyers claim that the color of a product is the primary reason they’re drawn to it in the first place. Similarly, if a marketing piece has colors that are pleasing to the eye, complimentary, and well laid-out, the customer’s much more likely to view, pick up, touch, or read the piece. On the contrary, colors that are displeasing, chaotic, over-stimulating, or those that evoke a bad association for viewers, can push potential customers away. Make sure your marketing piece looks inviting and not overwhelming to the eye – this will help drive campaign success. Contrast between elements is also important, so that the viewer knows where to focus their attention. This is essential when it comes to CTAs (Call-to-Actions), coupons, and links. While it’s important to pick the right color(s) for all the information you’re putting on your direct mailer, it’s also vital to choose a good base color. You may want your mailer to stand out, or want it to somewhat blend in so that it doesn’t seem like “junk mail”. Whatever your needs – the end goal is to cater to your audience and draw them in.

Color in Food Marketing

As we know from earlier in this blog, red is known to stimulate appetite and hunger, and if you take a look at some of your favorite fast food/chain restaurants, you’ll notice they use a lot of red – whether it’s in their logo or just generally among their marketing. For example, McDonalds uses red in its logo and marketing to stimulate energy and appetite, and yellow for cheer and optimism. Both colors are known to attract children, and create a sense of agitation, creating quick customer turnover (in a positive way) – because more customers and more money.

Using colors in your food marketing can help stimulate focus and urgency while creating high energy. Good color choices are essential – because you want customers to make quick and impulse buying decisions, which is why colors that create a sense of urgency are widely used in clearance and sales-related marketing. When creating your own marketing, think through what you want your customers to associate your shop with, as well is what you want them to feel, think, and do.

There are many different theories, trends, and color tips to go by, but as experts in direct mail, we’re here to choose (or help you choose) the colors – as well as fonts, content, layouts, calls-to-action, and more – of your direct mail, so that it’s as persuasive and effective as possible. Give us a call.