Colour speaks louder than words

Colour can have a huge impact on customer experience, engagement and store sales


Colour is an element of visual language that people process before they are consciously aware of it. It pops out at us in the early stages of vision.  This is why colour together with strong photographic imagery grabs our attention. We recognise objects more quickly when their colours reflect what we see in the physical world.

We use colour to
  • speed visual search, find our way around and improve usability – especially road, bus and train maps, directions,
  • enhance meaning and to communicate mood
  • show associations and we see this with the use of party colours in political elections.
  • express metaphors. Seeing red or green with envy are common expressions
  • make functional products appealing and manufactured products more visible

We also use our brand to stand out and strengthen brand identity. Green has always been a traditional nursery/garden centre colour because of its association with nature and it conveys freshness. Even so, for a long time garden retailers have been more adventurous with their use of colour because of the studies that show colour increases brand recognition by up to 80%. A good reason to be consistent when using store colours too.

To assure consumers of safety and reliability, a lot of organisations use hues of blue, the colour of trust but it can also represent sadness and depression. Yellow brings us joy but yellow with red can put us ‘on edge’. Yellow and orange will transmit positive feelings and a lot of energy and enthusiasm and green and blue will generate a feeling of relaxation and serenity. White and neutral colours if used well can be classy, clean and respectable. Over-use can produce a boring ambience.

Recognise how colour influences consumers – that is, pastels induce feelings of warmth, intimacy, serenity; vibrant palettes excite or stimulate.

Colour influences perception. All the chromatic combinations we have seen as an individual have affected our personality, our perception of things, our way of thinking and interpreting things.

People have got used to using and working with colour and it plays a bigger role than we realise. Through the wonderful colour available in the natural world, garden retailers are in the best position to help them translate colour directly to the garden.

Colour conveys the happy, healthy, relaxing image of gardening. It is an important factor in influencing the purchase decision. Who can resist the fresh bright colours of spring or the warm tones of autumn? Customers are desperate for ideas to use it and hungry for inspiration.

Encourage people to think of colour schemes for their garden when they are planning to redecorate their living room. Colour blocking and colour coordination are simple concepts to use throughout the whole centre from living to décor to garden care to plants.

We can use colour to present every product imaginable in our stores through colourful green life; point of sale material and signage. Every colour used tells a story that will determine how shoppers perceive your merchandise. It can have a huge impact on customer experience, engagement and store sales.


- Joy Lamb