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The Psychology of Red

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The Psychology of Red

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Last week Guy Kawasaki had an interesting post on his blog about the color red. It has always been known as a powerful color - warning labels, stop signs, and danger signs use red the world over. Now, a new German study has concluded that red provides certain advantages for athletes. A study of tae kwon do matches noted that referees awarded 13 percent more points to athletes wearing red than athletes wearing other colors. Other studies have also shown that athletes in red out perform athletes wearing other colors. In golf Tiger Woods has long had a tradition of wearing a red shirt on the last round of a tournament and we all know the success he has achieved (of course, he could wear lime green shirts and still probably win just as much).

Red is a vibrant, rich color. Many of the largest companies in the world have adopted red as the company color. Coca Cola, Canon, Toshiba, Wells Fargo, and Toyota all feature red predominantly in their logo. The simple fact is that red stands out from almost all other colors, particularly lighter colors, and there is some evidence to suggest that most of us are attracted to red.

The psychology of color is a huge topic in its own right, but you can read this article from the UK for a quick synopsis. When it comes to product labels red can certainly make your product stand out. But as Kawasaki says, it is not for every kind of product. Red is not soft and soothing, so it is probably not the best color for lotions, balms or essential oils, but for many products it will work well. With one caveat. If your competition are all using red, then using an opposite color like green or blue might actually allow your product to stand out more on the supermarket shelf.