December 5, 2012 – Did you know 60% of decisions to buy are based on color?

To demonstrate the power of color and brands, Tim Calkin, Associate Professor at the Kellogg School of Management, conducted a simple study with MBA students. He first asked the students what they would expect to pay for a pair of good quality 18 Karat gold earrings with 3 Karat diamonds. He then asked a second group of students how much they would pay for the same earrings? Only this time he added the word “Tiffany”. He asked the third group the same question, but this time changed from Tiffany to Wal-Mart.

The results were striking. The average price for the unbranded earrings was $550, with Tiffany’s branding the average price increased to $873 — a jump of 60%. With Wal-Mart the price expectation fell to just $81 — a decline of 85% from the unbranded earrings and a decline of 91% from the Tiffany branded earrings.

Brands enable you to charge a premium for the same product. The study highlights the power of brands to shape perceptions. Good quality means something entirely different when it comes from Tiffany rather than Wal-Mart. In addition, the experience of wearing Tiffany earrings is different from wearing Wal-Mart earrings (even though you can’t tell the difference between the two).

Obviously there are a lot of steps you must take to build a strong brand. Not just color. However, if you were to focus on one aspect of your brand-building today, focus on color.

Below are five simple steps you can take to up-level your brand-building efforts:

  1. Google ‘meanings of color’ to research different word associations and the psychological affect of colors
  2. Choose the colors that best match your brand’s personality
  3. Establish both primary and secondary colors for your brand
  4. Validate your color selection with your target audiences to see if they have any strong positive or negative reactions
  5. Select your brand’s colors and implement across all of your communication touch points

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