Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

FE, Education & Business Marketing: Quick, Effective, Low Cost Marketing

Stefan Drew - The Marketing Magician

Sensory Marketing: Some Colours Encourage Sales

Understanding How Colour is Used in Marketing and Brands 


Synathesia: No purple packaging so they can't be CadburysDogs live in an olfactory world  … yep, one where smell prevails.  So do quite a number of other animals.

Smell is also important to us humans but other senses are even more important.  

We are visual animals.  Sight, colour, movement and everything else we can see are important to us. So important in fact that marketing people use colour to attract attention and much more.

So what is the “much more”? 


Well, you know how most sales are based on an emotive response (even though we claim it to be a logical response), astute marketing and sales staff know this and use colour to create emotions.


The Colour Purple

For example in the UK we love chocolate .. this applies to most countries.  The UK is the home of Cadburys chocolate and for years they used purple packaging for their chocolates.  People tended to associate the pleasure of the “chocolate hit” with the colour purple.   Not just any purple .. it was the Cadbury purple that came to signify luxurious chocolate and a perfect chocolate hit.


Prior to 1914 Cadbury used various shades of brown and white in their ads and packaging.  Brown to denote the chocolate and white fro the milk in dairy milk chocolate.  But in 1914, as a tribute to Queen Victoria, they stated using Pantone colour 2865c in their packaging.


So important did Cadbury regard this shade of purple that they tried to trademark Pantone colour 2865c but failed in a legal battle with Nestle, who clearly believed that the colour was important enough to contest.


So now anyone can use this purple to excite the senses and emotions of their customers.


Tiffany Blue

Cadburys aren’t the only company to recognise the commercial importance of using colour in their marketing.  Tiffanys, the New York based jeweler, have used a robin egg blue for all their advertising and packaging for many years.  In fact their Blue Book in 1845 used the Tiffany Blue colour and it has been trademarked by Tiffany and Co.


Chocolate Brown and Cream

For years I used a chocolate brown and cream colour combination to denote quality for a service I offered. I never trademarked the colour combination as several other businesses were using similar colour combinations.  But having split test this colour combination against others I know this one won every time.


It isn’t always about quality and luxury though.  Some supermarkets use garish or fluorescent colours to attract attention and get over the value message.  Or in some cases the “cheap” message.



Colours are associated with certain subliminal messages and emotions that trigger our brain to behave in certain ways.  Utilising this fact can make a huge difference to your sales year after year.  

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