Is Your Communication Color Blind?

Color plays a strong role in communication – have you considered this variable in your subtle messaging?  Notice how hospital walls are usually painted a soothing calm green?   While I could go on about the different attributes of various colors in different contexts, let’s stick with clothing colors here, for the effect they have on communicating.

The two strongest colors in all contexts, due to the message they send are BLACK and RED.   

Do you think this lady means business?

Does  this lady stand out in a crowd? 
Black is very aggressive, a power take-charge color, very serious and lends great authority to the wearer.   But it can also be overpowering, especially on a female, making her come across to some as cold and calculating (but also credible and smart). 

So very aggressive is the color black that according to a recent study when a professional hockey team changed their uniforms from blue to black mid-season, they received substantially more penalty minutes per game during the latter games in the season.  The refs were certainly subconsciously affected by the color black.

Red jumps out and really gets the wearer noticed.  A study conducted in a public square showed a normal female in a plain white dress  receiving no undue attention whatsoever.  But when that same female was put in the same square, in the same plain styled dress, only in red, she received head turns from males and plenty of attention.

I remember a local politician who went on to prominence on the national stage, who began her career as “the lady in red“.  She wore prominently red dresses and received lots of attention and lots of votes – enough to win.  Do we even remember her stand on the issues?  Pretty smart marketing from whomever packaged her image.  She is still in politics today but she no longer ties her marketing image to red; she doesn’t need to anymore.  The color red did its job, now her reputation is established.

Here’s another look at colors communicating loud and clear – 
Who stands out the most?

Who looks the smartest and most professionally credible, but may also be a tough cookie?

 Who do you like the most, appearing nice and friendly?

Gentlemen, all this information applies to you too.   The subconscious brain is not color blind, but is gender blind! 

COMMUNICATION TAKEAWAY:  When you are selecting the predominant color to wear, consider the impact that color will communicate and make sure it is the message you want for the audience you will be seeing.

QUESTION: Do you have any colorful stories/examples around this topic?

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