What Shampoo Teaches Us About Marketing Colors

When I’m looking for shampoo, there are many different products to choose from. This makes me indecisive. I can’t just grab a random bottle and go. I need the best shampoo for my hair washing needs.

Recently, I was thinking about shampoo brands and the messages that they convey. Just by looking at the color of the bottle we’re actually receiving many messages about the product. This is because of color psychology and the hidden meanings of colors.

I went to a grocery store and took pictures of some shampoo to demonstrate this.

White & Blue

The color white is pure, balanced, and neutral.
Blue represents reliability and trust. These concepts and colors form a message.

Doves represent peace, so it’s appropriate that Dove has designed their brand to reflect this.

Beige, Brown & Green

Using the natural colors of beige, brown, and green, this shampoo brand is emphasizing their holistic product.

The avacado on the bottle contains some green. Green is symbolic of nature. The color beige is considered to be calming and warm. Overall, this color combination supports the natural impression.

Red, Gold & Purple

Red signifies power & energy. The color is eye-catching and summons attention.

The color gold relates to success and extravagance. It’s no coincidence that L’Oréal is colored in gold. It’s a statement about their reputation as a global cosmetics company.

A touch of purple brings some balance to the mix. Purple, can represent dignity and wisdom.

First Impressions Make a Difference

Your first impressions influence your experience. For instance, if you see “luxury” shampoo, this might justify paying more for it. When using it, perhaps you feel the quality difference between your expensive luxury shampoo vs cheap shampoo. This difference could be a placebo effect.

Our impressions can create bias. Something we have an initial bad impression of causes us to seek more bad things to confirm our belief. Similarly, if something gives us a good impression, we might try to find supporting reasons why it’s good.

Pay attention to shampoo bottles, and the subtle messages that colors can provide. You’ll be surprised by how much we assume about a product just based on it’s design.