Brands are advised to enforce color as an extension of intellectual property (IP), helping drive cultural capital and offering memorable consistency while capturing consumer attention as they continue to grapple with uncertainty and volatility.
In a sample report, WGSN Insight strategist Candice Medeiros said consumers are in a constant state of flux with factors including rising inflation, the climate crisis, and declining trust in institutions have made disruption the new default.
This has reshaped shopper priorities, driving emotionally charged purchasing that is increasingly driven by status and cultural clout, she said.
“Retailers should forge more meaningful relationships with their customers by anchoring their brand in a color narrative to create familiarity and rhythm in expectations,” she added.
Medeiros cited as examples of leading companies with a signature color as their IP, including Tiffany & Co. (blue), Cadbury (purple), Acne Studios (pink), Coca-Cola (red) and Snapchat (yellow).
“Reinforce consistency by using your brand’s hero color(s) as a status signifier.
“Color that extends beyond seasonal categories, packaging or store design alone will be imperative to support a retailer’s identity and enforce its archetype,” she said.
Medeiros said brands can also use color on a large scale and with authority, creating over-the-top pop-ups, window displays, and merchandising.
“Experiment with large swathes of monocolor rather than mixing several tones together,” she said.
Using color as a tool for new navigational narratives, Swiss brand Freitag in July shaped its new Shanghai store around a bright yellow walkway, creating a subconscious path for shoppers to discover different areas and product categories.
Amid uncertainty and volatility, the report said color will play a key role in capturing consumer attention, eliciting emotional responses via mood-changing experiences and products.
“Brands that focus on the physiological and symbolic impacts of color – tones that can calm us, energize us, or even unite us – will appeal to a growing number of consumers with new chronic emotional perspectives and realizations,” it added. – Press release