Using Color – Ace Is Not Tide

Let me tell you a story. I lived in Argentina for a year and a half. Upon arriving, I went to the store to buy some everyday essentials. I noticed that the grocery store I was in had a brand of laundry detergent that was packaged exactly like Tide, except that it was called Ace. (This website has a picture and a description if you read Spanish.) Now, when my sister was young, she was allergic to every detergent except Tide. Naturally, my family always used Tide. So what did I do? I bought Ace.

After a few weeks I started to get a rash, which I first attributed to sweating while walking around all day, every day in the sun. However, the weather grew cooler, and I still had a rash. I then tried switching detergents…turned out that it was the Ace that gave me the rash. Apparently, Ace was not Tide.

To make matters worse I moved to an area where Ace wasn’t sold. A few months later I moved again, but this time into an area where good ol’ Ace was sold. Again, I saw Ace in the store, and somehow I had forgotten all about the rash. I thought it was Tide again and bought it. I then thought to myself, “You Cat are really dumb, don’t you remember, Ace is not Tide!”

So, moral of the story is that color in packaging is a very powerful marketing technique. It’s all about brand recognition. I’m sure you’ve even noticed some stores placing their generic brands next to the real thing with similar labeling. It is there to make sure you equate the generic brand with the more expensive brand name version of the same product, and it works! It makes you more certain that the quality will be just as good as the expensive product.

How can you use color in your marketing? Next week I’ll have a review for you of a book about color in marketing that I read and found pretty useful.

del.icio.us this! · digg this!

Comments are closed.