Using Colours to alter Consumer Behaviour and Product Success

  • Page, Tom (Electronic Product Design in Department Design and Technology Loughborough University) ;
  • Thorsteinsson, Gisli (Design and Craft Education Department University of Iceland) ;
  • Ha, Joong-Gyu (Industrial Design in Fine Art Education Department Gyeongsang National University)
  • Received : 2011.10.31
  • Accepted : 2012.01.30
  • Published : 2012.03.28


This paper aims to present colour theories and show how they can be used to explain consumer's preferences of some products over others. It will, furthermore, attempt to link these theories to the design industry and look at how colour associations determine product success. Due to associative learning and personal preference, the colours of objects can cause consumers to either favour or dislike products over those with identical functions and efficiency. Age and gender affect the preferred colour choices of the individual, making some products more popular to particular groups of potential consumers. Designers can utilise colour theories to ensure that they use the most appropriate colour schemes to maximise and appeal to their targeted market successfully. A survey was conducted with 100 participants. It demonstrates the associative links between colours, emotions and product categories. It can be shown that the colour of an object can contribute to its success or failure in the market based on a number of different criteria. The design must use colour confidently to evoke certain emotions or connotations and must be carried out appropriately. The designer also has to consider whom it is that be viewing it and making the decision of preference.



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