Spring is in full bloom in local shopping venues this season. Retail windows are displaying poppy red skirts, acid green slacks, emerald jewelry and accessories incorporating sun flower yellows and vibrant oranges. All retailers are participating including Abercrombie, J. Crew, C. Wonder and Coach; even men’s ware is not exempt from the trend. In addition to merchandise retailers are splashing show windows to feature walls with vibrant colors to both draw customers into the store as well as to guide them to through the space.
Product designers are realizing that there’s a market for appliances and housewares in colors other than black or stainless steel. Kitchen Aid’s electric mixers come in Candy Apple Red and Toffee. Apple’s newest iPod’s come in anodized colors of Citrus, and curiously unnamed blues and pinks. Even the classic Fiesta dinnerware has made resurgence, along with all things from the fifties. It used to be that during recessions that people would stop wearing color because the clothes cost more, but with fast fashion and product cycles that turn over three to four times a season, shoppers are looking for that quick mood pick-me-up.
The emotional power of color in my mind is best exemplified by the “Soul Mate” paint commercial. It’s a quirky spot for Ace Hardware’s Clark + Kensington paint with a woman shopping for just that right shade of puuuur-ple. She sees a half-dozen men, emblazoned literally from head to toe in various shades of violet and purple. Every square inch is covered including the models clothes and faces, as she describes the perfect color to the salesperson he narrows down the choices. As she scans the men err-colors her gaze settles on the perfect shade of purple; she similes and he waves. The analogy is that selecting a color is like selecting a mate, there’s a strong emotional connection that’s been created.
Bottom Line: Retailer’s need to understand color’s underlying emotional connection with their customers and leverage that connection by integrating color components of their merchandise, retail environment and brand.
Image: Ace Hardware