Ambience: sounds of department store, push carts,
Walk into a department store and you’re typically assaulted with selling messages, but some of these messages may be subliminal, including the background colors. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.
Metzner: So, their logo is red. Their doors are red. We’re going into a red environment now.
Bagchi: Exactly. There’s a lot of exposure to red. And their carts are red, as you can see. Everything is red. Even the service people wear red T-shirts. So, my perception is this red will probably evoke more aggression, and because prices are fixed, my sense is that this would lead to aggression, which would actually reduce purchase likelihood and purchase postponement.
Rajesh Bagchi is an Associate Professor of Marketing at the Pamplin College of Business at Virginia Tech. His research indicates that the color red encourages aggressive behavior, which influences our buying habits.
Bagchi: Now, because their backgrounds are all red all of the aisles, if you notice, all the background are red. So the exposure is pretty intense.
Metzner: And so, how’s that going to affect me, as a consumer?
Bagchi: I think our sense is that it actually will create more arousal and more aggression, and it is likely to reduce your willingness to purchase. It reduces the amount you are willing to pay, and you want a better deal.
And if you walked into a story where the predominant color was blue..
Bagchi: … you would be less aggressive, and you would not be trying very hard to find a great deal. So, you’ll be easily satiated, and so, you’d be more likely to purchase.
So, if Rajesh Bagchi is right, why would any store choose red as its predominant color?
Bagchi: It is not always clear if managers are fully aware of the consequences of their presentation. That is where we try to study and see. Maybe it is intentional manipulation. Maybe sometimes it’s unintentional consequences.
I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet.