Saturday, August 25, 2007

From Bright Yellow Bajaj Scooter to Pink Scooty…..

Some time back one of my friends’ picked up an alto, and he choose the pearl silver color. According to him he simply picked up the color because he liked it, logic being his mobile was also of the same color so …... But, then over the next few days, we noticed that the color which he had chosen was infact the most popular color for new cars in the city. Which made us think on the choice of colors that a consumer would make when he makes a purchase, whether he or she would follow though inadvertently, a market trend or get influenced by a new color in the market---sort of getting influenced by the choice of crowds or, sort of wisdom of crowds maybe. Questions about whether color and a product category have some linkage and similarly is there a regional variation in the color choice????

Infact ,brand guru Al Ries recommends that a brand should try and associate itself with a color early in it's life and own that color. The example given by him is that of red and coke. In the initial days Pepsi was not tied-up with any color but now it is closely associated with Blue. He has written an interesting post in his blog on the linkage and he goes on to emphasize that name and color are two of the most important decisions in marketing and should not be taken lightly.

In certain categories color would have a more important role to play say in durables versus FMCG. Though, there is the switch that Kit Kat has made in Japan from Red to blue and the ritual that students follow of eating it before exams…. Anyway back to durables, If you have bought a durable in the recent times chances are that you would have to shell out close to 500-1000 /- more for a specific color , as is happening with my fridge purchase, there was a 1ooo/- premium for certain color and the sales person himself made it very clear that the premium is just for the color and obviously there are consumer who wouldn’t mind paying a premium for color though I am was not one of them.

There is a interesting new item in Business standard on consumer color choice. The article says that color infact could be an additional differentiating point in the market place where technology alone might not be sufficient. It make one wonder if technology can be copied how long will it take a competitor to come up with a similar or infact an even better color range. The case of Scooty has also been highlighted where in a total of 99 shades are in offer for the consumers, thus choice for the Indian consumer is increasing rapidly from the days when one had to not only wait for a Bajaj scooter, he had to take home whichever was given , even if it was a bright yellow color ......



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