Friday, 7 October 2011

Bright and Beautiful, the Importance of Colour

Colour plays and importand role in our everyday lives, but how much time to we spend consciously thinking about it?

As retailers, it's important that we do this all the time, keeping colour top of mind.
Why is colour so important?  We have natural physiological reactions to colour as well as behavioural and cultural reactions.  Almost everyone has a favouite colour, there are colour trends for fashion and for home, and we associate certain holidays with certain colour schemes.  There are people who dedicate their entire careers to colour.  You can find colour experts, behavioural psychologists that study colour, and even an international colour authority!

Obviously you can't please eveyone in one shot, so how can you apply colour to your store in an effective way?
First is colour blocking. 

By gathering items of a same colour together, you can create a display or section that's easier to look at, allowing the customer to gravitate to colours that appeal to them.  It works with regular merchandise, sale merchandise, or even just odds and sodds that you're trying to gather together for an appealing look.

In a display or a section, you can create a colour story, choosing specific colours to pull together for a certain look.  Then block those colours together in certain spots and combine them in others for a great overall look that's easy for the customer to shop.

Secondly, is colour trend.

Many people are very on trend as far as what is in this season and those colours will sell best for you.  So how do you know what's going to be in next season when you're ordering? 

One option is to consult with the International Colour Authority, an organization based in the UK that uses a panel of colour experts to determine future colour trends with great accuracy.  This is an expensive option, but will give you the most accurate colour forecast, far in advance. 

Are you like most of us and don't have the extra cash to spare for a colour report?  Your suppliers may have already subscribed to the international colour authority and be well aware of colour trends for the upcoming seasons.  As they are product developers and importers, it is important for them to be onto trends before everyone else! 
Lastly, use magazines.  You won't always get the information far in advance, but they're full of current trends and trends coming in the near future.  They're even known to set trends, of course!  Whether it's fashion, gifts, or home decor, look to your favourite magazines to guide you in the right direction and keep you on track.  Looking for a higher tech option than magazines?  Have a look at sites like Pinterest for trends!
When all is said and done, your intuition will help guide you in the right direction, just remember that strong colour blocking often leads to strong sales and an organized looking store.  And...  When in doubt, remember that customers shop first by colour, followed by everything else.  When in doubt, consult an expert to help you make the best of your store.

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