Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What does the colour of your car say about you? Next trend: eharmony for the car market?

Did you know that your personality makes you choose a certain colour of your car? Or is it the other way around... Hmm. I recently found some interesting data on how you can tell a person´s personality by checking the colour of their car.

According to research from Pantene Color Insitute, CNW Marketing Research and a NZ crash study:

Those who drive black cars are known to be aggressive, and sometimes even dangerous. They like to be seen as super competent drivers and see their car as an extension of their wilder side and assumed great driving abilities. Unfortunately, the driving skills of those operating black vehicles do not always measure up to their supposedly superior abilities.

Those who drive silver automobiles can come across as the cool, calm, James Bond types, but they may appear aloof as well. For reasons unknown, they too are seen as drivers who are dangerous, although not so much as the drivers of black cars.

For some reason yellow has been known in the past as a colour of cowardliness. In car drivers this would be a rare tendency. Most who purposely buy a yellow car are not the cowardly type, they are usually idealistic and may just like the novelty of such a bright sunshine colour; they are normally quite happy with themselves.

How about blue? Blue car drivers will tend to exhibit traits of strength and be a person who is steadfast and loyal. Blue is known as a calming type of colour, and their drivers are the more cautious types who think issues over more before proceeding.

Green is a popular choice nowadays. There are many beautiful variations of greens, from the metallic teals to the emeralds, and all the way to the virtually fluorescents. Drivers of green automobiles may be thought of as individuals that are concerned about the environment but can this colour can also give the impression that a driver may be envious and jealous. While it may be rare there are some that find the color green associated with hysterical types.

White and cream coloured cars show personalities who lean toward purity, cleanliness and innocence. There are drivers of white vehicles that are status seeking, extrovert drivers as well. These car drivers have traits of self-control and independence. They are normally safe drivers.

Red, especially the candy apple reds, really dress up a vehicle. Those colours exhibit energy, zest for life, activity and vitality. In the past red has been seen as a colour for romance, also for devilishness.

The softer side of red is pink. Usually exhibits personality traits of affection, warmth and gentleness. Pink has a psychological tendency to make one less aggressive.

Gray cars indicate coolness, calm and conservative personality traits. They will only rarely bring out strong emotion. Drivers of gray cars like their work and are dedicated to it.

Is this relevant or just quirky? Are people REALLY spending their hard earned dollars on a car of a certain colour just because they are “innocent” or “active”? Should marketers of cars even bother? Is a strategic planner who brings up the issue of colours insane? Lol.

I think all of this is evidence of cars (or shoes, boats or other things we buy to show off) not being a choice of the brain but one of the heart. Fuel-efficiency, size of the engine or other rational, practical traits of a car are of course of importance – but I am a true believer of that people buy brands to build identity. To tell others who they are. To send the world a signal. “This is ME and I belong to THIS tribe”.

Which means car makers need to have deep understanding of themselves before building their brand strategy. When you know what your brand will bring out in people, you know what kind of people who will see you as a perfect match, who will find that your car feels so comfortable and “right”. Like eharmony for cars and car buyers; the online dating site uses personality tests to find The One - perhaps cars should do the same...

Colour is just one of many factors, and I don´t suggest car marketing managers should go to their boss and say “Hey, let´s only make silver coloured cars!”, but don´t laugh or call the research flippant. This is more important than you think.

The beautiful grass car in the picture is a marketing stunt to celebrate Sony’s commitment to offsetting carbon emissions caused by their corporate travel, they created a living breathing grass car and parked it around various public locations in Sydney, Australia. http://howwemove.blogspot.com/2011/07/i-love-ads-but-i-also-have-this-secret.html

Thanks to CarInsurance.com (your online source of auto insurance, you can get a free quote then proceed all the way through purchasing and printing your policy at the convenience of your desk.) for info. :)

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