Innovation & design thinking: Skill-ToolKit: 028

Tool: Color as a skill/tool


How many of you believe color influences consumer’s buying habits?


– Believer, please read this article further to strengthen their belief!

– Nonbelievers, also read further to change your beliefs! Ha Ha Ha

Innovators and design-thinkers must have read and heard numerous times the color theory: RED – stands for Action and Urgency. BLUE – preferred by men. GREEN – associated with organic, etc. There are 95,70,50,000 links Google search shows when you type ‘Colour theory.‘ So we don’t need one more article on color. Therefore, I thought of sharing my experience by validating some and debunking a few color theories.


Let me debunk some Color Theories:


A stereotypical meaning of the Color theory is overused and abused, its somewhat a dead concept, we should say R.I.P. – 

For example – RED stands for achieving ( what a mess it created, today wherever you look, you see red color logos. Tell me which company owner doesn’t want to be an achiever, hence the red logos everywhere). Another one is BLUE – means technology (every Tom, Dick, and Harry wants his tech company logo in blue color, God-bless if not less them. Ha Ha Ha)


Color reflects the personality, in some categories, it does work perfectly but in many categories, it doesn’t. Furthermore, a country and it’s cultural influences the buying habit of certain products.

For example, a ‘car’ purchasing in the USA is different from India, maybe for certain extend car color could reflect the buyer personality in the USA (car is an individual’s personal mood of transportation and possession), but in India, only God can bless such theories!

Unfortunately, many colleges in India still teach European and American color theories and concepts! when these kids pass out from their college and get into profession they realize the reality!

– It sounds true in theory, but reality – if you ask a car owner in India, why he/she bought a ‘Red’ color car? what personality does it reflect? You will be shocked to hear the answers:

Answer1. The only red color car was on sale, so we bought it! (in this senior according to ‘color reflects personality’ theory, Red stands for ‘miser’! Ha Ha Ha)

Answer 2. ‘Red’ was the only available color in the showroom, which was giving huge discount! (according to ‘color reflects personality’ theory, Red stands for ‘opportunistic minded’! Ha Ha Ha)

Answer 3. Oho! my kid selected ‘Red’ color car. Because he likes his red color toy car, so wishes his Papa must have same color car! (According ‘color reflects personality’ theory, Red stands for ‘he/she doesn’t have any personality at all’! Ha Ha Ha)


Let me validate a few Color Theories: 


– Yes! Warm & Cool Color theory works. (it practically helps to produce tangible results)

– Humans are biologically wired to pay attention to bright colors (attracted to red fruit over green fruit because the color indicates ripeness and sweetness) theory works. Most of the food brands make use of this understanding very effectively and they grew billions of dollar companies.

– Women have larger color vocabularies than men and seeing more color gradations than men. We all see this theory working around us. For example, if you go to any clothing shop, 75 percent dedicated to women, sadly less than 25 percent of men, is the same. in the case of shoes, grooming products, accessories, and so on. if I start mentioning all the categories this article grows and grows and grows. Ha Ha Ha

No alt text provided for this image


In conclusion, Colors can be a potent tool – if you understand how to use them. Innovators and design thinkers require to seek color’s meaning from all the three aspects, psychological, biological, and cultural and decide.

Dharam is a purpose driven Brand Strategist & Designer and a Mentor with over 15 years of brand building experience


Brand Design Strategist