Ray worked with B-2-B and Consumer clients throughout the world ... including USA, Canada, Mexico, Asia, the South Pacific, Europe, the Middle-East, Central & South America, Africa.

This website is a compilation of Ray's 10 years on the Web.

The Works of Marketing with Ray INDEX

February 11, 2003 • Volume 2 Issue 33

All About Color

The world we live in is in color.

The pair of kids I call granddaughters don't know about black & white. Their entire life has been one of color.

Color is an expression of happiness. You should have fun with color. Almost everyone reading this remembers when a handful of basic colors was it. We got along just fine with "only" 16 colors. Then Crayola came out with a box of 64 - the variety seemed almost endless.

Ditto with computer screens. There was a time you had a choice - black & white was dominate. You paid extra for color. It wasn't that long ago I recommended a web site NOT be designed with the "new" 256 color chart. It was far too much for the clients audience. Today there are something like 17,000,000 (17 million) color options on the computer you're using to read this. Amazing.'

Every so often there is an article with a title along the line of"Color Matters". Well, it does. Would "Big Orange" build trust for IBM? I don't know anyone who believes it would.

And what about "old fashioned" brown? The only large company I know that uses brown is UPS. They know it so out of style they've created an entire advertising campaign about their color and what it means to their customers.

Green seems to suppress response. Which is key to direct marketing success. If you're Irish and St. Patty's Day is important to you, you use green. If you're selling golf course property, you use green. Yet, generally, it doesn't work well as a marketing color.

Some colors send a universal message - others vary by geography, ethnicity and even income. Gold and silver are universal - they're high-end worldwide. When 5000 consumers were asked color preferences from a choice of 100 - 55% picked one of 3 colors; red, black, blue.

Age can make a difference. The under 12 crowd, brought up on the 256 color computer, expect a lot of visual action. The 20 something age group "sees" color differently than senior citizens. Wealthier folks differently than those with a lesser income. College grads unlike those with a high-school education. Hispanics like "hot" colors. .. African Americans prefer black and white.

Colors do "change". Meaning, how they are used and what they mean. Ask any fashion retailer and you'll learn what's hot today may be discounted tomorrow. Color, like words, can have more than one definition. Here are a few. The base for these thoughts came from a recent issue of Business 2.0;

Color Symbolizes. . . Used by. . .
White purity, cleanliness brides & "good guys", high-tech, light manufacturing. .. BOSE, Pillsbury, Intel
Black power, death, mystery, masculine, classy funeral services, "bad guys", heavy manufacturing, upscale clothing. .. Harley-Davidson, Duracell, Brother, Hyatt
Pink femininity, calm, fragile ladies & young children's products, cosmetics. .. Mary Kay, Mattel(Barbie)
Red power, active, movement, loud, rescue fast food, blood, fire, pharmaceutical, consumer. .. Avis, Coca-Cola, Red Cross, Dodge trucks, Oracle
Orange cheap, movement, construction, energy budget products. .. Home Depot, Budget Rent-A-Car, EasyJet
Yellow light, future, caution, "hot" products fast food, consumer products. .. Kodak, National Geographic, Hertz, Super 8 Motels
Green money, growth, environment financial services, ag & nursery products. .. John Deere, Smith & Hawkins, Gateway Computers, FedEx (ground), British Petroleum, National Rent-a-Car
Blue trust, authority, security, "comfort" financial services, high-tech. .. American Express, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Swanson Foods, Microsoft, Allianz Group, Forbes, Philips, Pepsi-Cola
Purple royalty, spirituality,"new age" women's clothing, religious products. .. many Christian churches, Yahoo, PeopleSoft, FedEx, Crown Royal Whisky, The Kingdom of Thailand

Lighthouse International and 3M Imaging have produced considerable material on color. How it works with our eyes and brain - how we take it in, interpret what it means and respond.

For most color contrast is better then blends or screens for reading. Just this morning I re-arranged the icons on my new computer, as the background and the icons had matching colors, and were becoming one. Moving them to a stark background made reading easier.

Light on dark works when it comes to color. Not always so for reading. .. reverse type is difficult. Unless it large, bold, and in small amounts. Yet, for instance, the effectiveness of a light yellow against a dark green or black can be striking.

Color is "measured" by hue, lightness and saturation. The 3 perceptual attributes of color. Hue is associated with elementary color names. Hue enables us to identify basic colors, such as blue, green, yellow, red, purple(which is a combination of blue & red). Hue seems to move in sequence from one to the next - much like a rainbow. Contrast, with control.

Lightness corresponds to how much light appears to be reflected from a surface, in relation to nearby surfaces. We've all seen art that looked different from different angles, different perspectives. Light makes contrast. Light can be too light - or too dark. This is especially important when we mix text and color together. The contrast so the words are readable is what makes light important.

Saturation is the degree of color intensity. How it is different from a white, black or gray of the same or similar lightness. i.e., slate blue is similar to gray. It so lacks saturation it is almost gray. A deeper blue, with the same lightness, has deeper saturation. Again, choice of color affects depth of contrast. Meaning, does your reader get your message in words, as well as color? They must for effective communication.

For two decades I've included a "game" with my seminar presentations. I ask 5 questions - the audience gives 5 short answers. Usually a word, maybe two.

One question is "name any color". I've done this hundreds - maybe a thousand times - in 46 countries on 6 continents. With all women. All men. A younger audience, an older group. Every skill level on earth. And, before I ask the question, I know what the majority will say. As people we are more alike than unalike. Everywhere.

The world's favorite color is blue. In second place worldwide is red. After that it's a horse race between green/yellow/black. Purple, a mix of red & blue, has grown in popularity. Brown has fallen off. White is somewhere in the middle.

Mix it all, and you quickly see color does make a difference.

... a loose thought

A magazine recently ran a "Dilbert Quotes" contest. They were looking for people to submit quotes from their real life Dilbert-type managers.

Here are the finalists. EnJoy!

  1. "As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday and employees will receive their cards in two weeks." (This was the winning quote from Fred Dales at Microsoft in Redmond, WA.)
  2. "What I need is a list of specific unknown problems we will encounter."(Lykes Lines Shipping)
  3. "E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It should be used only for company business." (Accounting manager, Electric Boat Company)
  4. "This project is so important, we can't let things that are more important interfere with it." (Advertising/Marketing manager, United Parcel Service)
  5. "Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule." (Manager Accounts Receivable, Organization name withheld)
  6. "No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've been working on it for months. Now, go act busy for a few weeks and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them." R&D supervisor, Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing/3M Corp.)
  7. "My Boss spent the entire weekend retyping a 25-page proposal that only needed corrections. She claims the disk I gave her was damaged and she couldn't edit it. The disk I gave her was write-protected." (CIO of Dell Computers)
  8. Quote from the Boss: "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say." (Marketing executive, Citrix Corporation)
  9. My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled for Monday. When I told my Boss, he said she died on purpose so that I would have to miss work on the busiest day of the year. He then asked if we could change her burial to Friday.He said, "That would be better for me." (Shipping executive, FTD Florists)
  10. "We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees." (Switching supervisor, AT&T Long Lines Division)
  11. We recently received a memo from senior management saying: "This is to inform you that a memo will be issued today regarding the memo mentioned above." (Microsoft, Legal Affairs)
  12. One day my Boss asked me to submit a status report to him concerning a project I was working on. I asked him if tomorrow would be soon enough. He said, "If I wanted it tomorrow, I would have waited until tomorrow to ask for it!"(New business manager, Hallmark Greeting Cards)
  13. As director of communications, I was asked to prepare a memo reviewing our company's training programs and materials. In the body of the memo in one of the sentences I mentioned the "pedagogical approach" used by one of the training manuals.
    The day after I routed the memo to the executive committee, I was called into the HR director's office, and told that the executive vice president wanted me out of the building by lunch. When I asked why, I was told that she wouldn't stand for perverts (pedophiles?) working in her company.
    Finally, he showed me her copy of the memo, with her demand that I be fired-and the word "pedagogical" circled in red. The HR manager was fairly reasonable, and once he looked the word up in his dictionary and made a copy of the definition to send back to her, he told me not to worry. He would take care of it.
    Two days later, a memo to the entire staff came out directing us that no words,which could not be found in Sunday newspaper could be used in company memos. A month later, I resigned. In accordance with company policy, I created my resignation memo by pasting words together from the Sunday paper. (Taco-Bell)


Most of the world has a Valentine's Day. A day of the heart.

For almost everyone it is this week. .. Friday, February 14. For others another time. If I remember right - in Brazil it is in June.

Well, now or later, Anonymous has a thought on the general topic of love;

"Life is not measured by the breath we take but by the moments that take our breath away."

"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.

"It IS What's Next!"

Already I've shared this story with health care organizations, a database marketing business, a direct marketing firm, a DM association - and several others. And I'm ready to bring it to your group. (Visit It IS What's Next!)

When you have a need for a 40-90 minute program, I'll give you this different, interesting, meaningful, warm and true action presentation. To your club. Your company. Your organization. Your association. Any group you have. At any place. At any time. For any reason.

ItISWhat's Next!is available to you as a Keynote Address. As a special program. As an opening or closing presentation. As a different / unique session.

Interested? Visit the web site @ It IS WhatsNext! And E-mail me Ray@RayJutkins.com and let's make it happen. I look forward to hearing from you. Soon.

Thank you!

Magic Marketing Minutes

PRoductivity Building Blocks

Great copywriter Tom Collins has created 6 PRoductivity Building Blocks which will help your Direct Mail copy be more effective. Here they are:

  1. The PRoduct- what's unique about your product or service? What's the USP - the Unique Selling Proposition?
  2. The PRospect- who is your audience? Who needs this product or service? Who is the marketplace your message is going to?
  3. The PRoblem- why does this audience need this product or service? What are you offering that is going to meet their needs? What problem is it going to solve?
  4. PRomise - what will your product do for the marketplace? What do you promise? What are its applications -- how do you promise it is going to perform?
  5. PRoof - why should anyone believe you -- what is your guarantee? Do you provide facts and figures? Do you provide testimonials? Do you provide a case history? Prove to me why I should buy your product!
  6. PRoposition - what is your deal? What is your offer? Why should the marketplace respond? And, why should they respond now?

6 points --PRoduct,PRospect, PRoblem,PRomise,PRoof, and PRoposition. Answer each of these 6 points and your Direct Mail will be more successful.

The Works of Marketing with Ray INDEX

Top of This Page

Contents by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.
Design by William F. Blinn Web Design, all rights reserved.