Suppose you’re walking downtown, craving some good food and a welcoming atmosphere. You spot two restaurants. One has a neon red sign above the door that reads, ‘Open.’ The other is adorned by a green sign that says, ‘Welcome.’ Which restaurant do you pick?

The impact of colors: on brains and actions

Here’s the thing with colors: they affect our brains. And since our brains direct our behavior, the right color can make people take the desired action. But is there such a thing as ‘the right color?’

Well, sure there is. But what’s ‘right’ differs per culture. In China, for example, the color red represents good fortune. It’s a popular tint, and people respond well to it. On our side of the world, though, red equals alarm. It tells us something’s wrong, and we need to stop whatever it is we’re doing. Just think about red traffic lights and stop signs: they tell us not to do what we otherwise might. Green, on the other hand, is considered a ‘safe,’ warm, and welcoming color. In fact, it’s ingrained in our language: ‘greenlighting’ means ‘giving permission to go ahead with something.’

It’s all about your target audience!

Back to the two restaurants. We would be much more inclined to go with the green sign, whereas in China, people would probably feel more attracted to the red sign. What does this teach us?

There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for Visual Management. When trying to convey a message through visualization, you need to consider your target audience. Don’t just think about what you want to tell them. Presentation is key. The visual way in which you provide information largely determines whether or not your message lands with your audience. So make sure you know their cultural background. If you take the time to familiarize yourself with their beliefs, habits, and expectations, your information sharing strategy is much more likely to succeed!

Want to explore your Visual Management opportunities? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to perform a Quick Scan and discuss your information sharing strategy.