What's in a (Color) Name? Part 2 in a 4 Part Color Series

There is a funny graphic circulating social media right now that shows two people standing facing each other, separated by a vertical line of stacked multicolored dots.

On top of the person on the right it says "Normal People". On top of the person on the left it says "Artist". The "normal person" is pointing to the colors and lists the most obvious 7 colors…like red, purple, pink. The "artist" is pointing to the same multicolored dots and lists 29 colors…like maraschino, cayenne, maroon, plum, eggplant, grape, orchid…get the point? As the artist, I think it's very clever and true!

This brings me to color names and how they influence our preferences consciously or subconsciously.

Think about how different your gut reaction might be to the color
"pea green" as opposed to "spring meadow ",  just because of the name.

Would you get as excited over "dirt brown" (yes, this is an actual paint color name) as opposed to "toasty" or "down home" or "hickory" or "brunette"?

We are emotional beings and words and names can trigger memories or experiences. A simple word can conjure up a reaction and manufacturers know this.

Did you know that for some, this is their actual job? That’s what the do, they create the most fabulous and marketable names for colors. That goes for all industries from wall paint to nail polish.

I read an article that said when they started, OPI nail polish decided to go against the norm of other companies that named their colors in a more utilitarian way like red #37 and maroon #5. They chose instead, to take a more fun approach and name their polish colors after destinations they traveled to and landmarks they visited. Which would you choose…pink #27 or "Barefoot in Barcelona"?

Successful names spark a connection. It could be to a location, a time period, a feeling, a desire, etc. Whether the consumer realizes it or not, that connection can ultimately cause someone to make a choice between two or more items. 

Have you been drawn to a color simply because of a great, descriptive name?

Until next week,

CLICK HERE to read part 1 in the color series

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