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color innovation


Post Written By Sandie Glass, Owner of Innovation ROI

A Strategic Full Service Ideation & Research Company

When innovating, there is one powerful strategy that most leave as an afterthought for commercialization – and that’s color innovation.  Color is more than just a visual sense. It can effect someone’s emotions and is often used to express a mood or trigger a feeling.

Understanding your customers’ connections to certain colors could determine the success or failure of your new product at shelf.

According to research complied by web design and marketing company WebPageFX, people make a subconscious judgment about a product in less than 90 seconds of viewing, and a majority of these people base that assessment on color alone. In fact, almost 85% of consumers cite color as the primary reason they buy a particular product, and 80% of people believe color increases brand recognition. So does innovating with color have your attention now?

We are programmed to respond or react to color from the time of birth. The most obvious –  color differences geared towards gender differences –  are pink for girls and blue for boys. While these colors tends to stay true to gender distinction while shopping for cosmetics and toiletries, the most noticeable is the pink/blue aisle differences at the toy store.

One example of how a brand took advantage of color innovation was the Lego brand. Historically Legos have been thought of as a toy for boys and they continued this emphasis with seemingly endless iterations of Star Wars, police, and ninja-themed sets.

The brand re-strategized their target market after recognizing the high demand for female engineers. The company realized they could capitalize on getting girls interested in engineering from an early age with toys that allow girls to be creative and/or build/construct. In 2011, Legos created the Lego Friends line for girls. The blocks are still the same Legos blocks; they have just taken on a more female-friendly color palette. Color innovation in its simplest form.

The Lego Group reported that the  Lego Friends color innovation became the company’s fourth-bestselling line in only its first year (behind Star Wars, Ninjago, and Lego CITY, and surpassing superheroes), helping the company record the best financial results in its 81-year history, with a 25 percent increase in revenue globally (to $4.04 billion).

This illustrates that we shouldn’t underestimate the purchasing power of color and how seemingly small changes using color innovation can create substantial impact to your bottom line.


Innovation ROI is a leading up-front innovation consulting firm that has over 22+ years of expertise collaborating with top corporate innovation teams to create incredible, actionable business—building ideas. You will get a Return On Insights through our Collision Point™ process, where INSIGHTS and IMAGINATION intersect to create powerful strategic ideas for success. Learn more about Innovation ROI at www.innovationroi.com or listen weekly to The Innovation Café Podcast with Sandie Glass on iTunes or Stitcher Radio where you will learn about new techniques and information to successfully drive your innovation efforts.