Using Color Psychology to Improve Your Business

Color PsychologyEnvironmental psychologist Sally Augustin, Ph.D., teaches individuals and businesses how to use color to help them achieve their goals. Whether you’re a supervisor looking to renovate your store, or a manager deciding what color to paint the office, color psychology can help us in our pursuits for success.

According to Augustin, the color of a wall can actually influence the way a person perceives temperature.  For instance, cool colors like blue, green, and light purple have a tendency to make us believe it is colder, while warmer colors such as yellow, red, and orange can cause us to think it is warmer.  Business owners can use this philosophy to their advantage by saving on heating and cooling costs.  If you are based in a colder environment, painting a waiting room a warm color might cause others to think it is a few degrees warmer than it really is.  While you should always keep your thermostat at a reasonable and safe temperature, it may still allow you to keep the temperature a few degrees lower.

The color green has been linked to broader thinking and creativity! I LOVE creative writing, so maybe this is one of the reasons I love this color?  According to Augustin, “There is a positive association between nature and regrowth” when it comes to the color green.  Likewise, Augustin argues that painting a work area green could help your employees be more productive.

Did you know that red sports cost more to insure? Forbes.com contributor Amy Morin writes, “When humans see the color red, their reactions become faster and more forceful”.  Yet, this burst of energy, though powerful, is only momentary and red ultimately reduces our analytic thinking.

University of Rochester psychology professor Andrew Elliot maintains that “athletes are more likely to lose when they compete against an opponent wearing red, and students exposed to red before a test are likely to perform worse”.

Red has long been connected with concentration difficulties and feelings of defeat due to our memories of teachers using red pen to mark up our papers and tests.

While yellow usually isn’t a popular color, research surveys have shown the color blue to be the most preferred color among large groups.  Historically, when our ancestors saw the color blue like a clear blue sky or a watering hole, it was a good sign.  Painting an office building blue, therefore, is “likely to satisfy the majority of the people”.

What colors can you incorporate in your office to encourage excellence in others?

Click the link below to be redirected to the webpage for Sally Augustin’s business, Design with Science:

http://www.designwithscience.com/aboutsally.html

Click the link below to watch a PBS segment on the psychology of color in our business and personal lives:

 

 

The Difference Between Customs and Habits

Pre Black FridayHappy belated Thanksgiving to all of the readers out there! Despite the inevitable stress and chaos that the holidays may bring, I hope you had the opportunity to spend moments with family and ponder the many things that we have to be thankful for!

In a similar vein, words cannot express how thrilled I was to read about the decades old “blue laws” in the states of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine that have banned the new fad of shopping on Thanksgiving day.  I know everyone may not agree with me on this idea, but I would support a similar ban on professional sports activities on Thanksgiving Day, as well.  Before I get myself into trouble, I should note that I am in no way against the notion of watching football on Thanksgiving with the family.  However, in order to watch the game, it requires athletes, staff, and spectators to be away from their families on a day when we are meant to be surrounded by loved ones, while pondering the things we have to be thankful for.

Perhaps I am a little old school, but some things I like to keep close to tradition.  It is my traditional way of thinking that has led me to wonder where do we draw the line between customs and habits?  It holds true to the customs of the first Thanksgiving to gather with our friends and family and profess our love and gratitude.  Yet, what about the new trend of shopping on this sacred day, or going to sporting events instead of seeing our families? It’s true that the three wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to honor the birth of the newborn King, Jesus. I’ve always believed that gift giving is okay, as long as we  remember the reason behind why we do the things we do around the holidays.

The idea of football on Thanksgiving is actually really nice, provided you are with your family for the day.  Wouldn’t it be great if we could all just go back to playing touch football in the yard with our families instead of leaving them to watch a game on Thanksgiving?

That said, I do believe it is wonderful that certain states are prohibiting America’s newest spin on a sacred holiday. Even when it’s masked with the phrase “pre-Black Friday” it does not cover up the underlying truth behind the activity: going shopping on Thanksgiving Day instead of being with your family. New traditions can be fun and I believe activities like wearing the same pjs, exchanging ornaments, or watching a movie as a family will only enhance the holiday experience. It’s when our actions keep us away from our families that we begin to see a divide between custom and just habit.

We could all use a reminder of what the holidays really mean.  So, I encourage you all to stay with your families this holiday season if you can and to keep Christ in Christmas! As always, please remember to encourage excellence to others in all that you do!

Amazon Drones: Savvy or Just Creepy?

The Lone Drone

Perhaps a little bit of both.  If you have not heard the update, Amazon has publicized their future intentions of using drones to deliver purchases within 30 minutes to specified destinations.

To the left, is a photo of a “lone drone” eerily flying in the air in route to a delivery destination.  Aside from the question of necessity, the greater issue may come from a safety standpoint.  Developers are concerned about potential malfunctions in the sensors, which could result in an Amazon drone abruptly landing on somebody’s head!

What are your thoughts on this new idea?  Is it likely to go through, or do you think there will be too many problems to iron out?  As always, please remember to encourage excellence in your everyday endeavors!!

Click below for direct access to the article on forbes.com:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/nishacharya/2013/12/05/how-amazons-drone-will-transform-government/

Christ in the Workplace

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By: Suzanne Ostrander

I have posted various blog entries in the past highlighting the focus of customer service as the pinnacle to marketing success within small and large corporations.  However, I’d like to be bold enough to perceive the issue through a larger, often unspoken lens: Christianity.

The separation of church and state has taken public schools and companies to a place of such neutrality that we have become not only unbiased, but often desensitized to the relevance of Christ in all avenues of our lives, including school, work, and our children’s extra curricular activities.

Most publicly owned companies have slowly morphed into a perspective of viewing Christ as “the elephant in the room”, when even though He is felt in our hearts and daily actions, He is neatly tucked away for fear of offending others.

Let’s take a look at another company who does the opposite. 

Since opening its doors to customers, Chick-fil-A has established its principles on the practice of Christianity. Some marketing professionals might view Chick-fil-A’s decision to close on Sundays as “foolish” by losing a full workdays’ worth of business.

However, compared to the 50% annual turnover rate of the average American corporation, Chick-fil-A maintains an astounding 3% yearly turnover rate.

Dan Cathy, President and COO of Chick-fil-A, has maintained that it was an easy decision to stay closed on Sundays:

“Jesus Christ did not die for a company, He died for individuals, personally.” Thus, by centering its establishment on Biblical principles and acknowledging the Lord in all ways, Chick-fil-A has found success.

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” – Matthew 6:33 NI

I believe that Chick-fil-A has it right.  They are doing exactly what we are taught in the book of Matthew.  Seek ye FIRST (not second, third, or somewhere in between 5th and 10th, but First) the Kingdom of God.

What are your thoughts on Christ in the business world, and all other avenues of life? Have you experienced different results when adhering to Matthew 6:33 in your career? I would love to hear from you. God bless! 

 

The Biggest Mistake Marketing Professionals Make

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By: Suzanne Ostrander

Econsultancy has conducted a recent study indicating the biggest mistake companies make in the marketing and sales arena.  The study yields a result that lies directly parallel to the outcome of a separate study by Vizu.  Essentially, both cases show that the primary objective of marketers and advertisers is to promote sales, rather than establish relationships.

Why is this marketing strategy potentially catastrophic?  To begin with, think about the phrase: “it’s all about who you know” and how it holds true to so many business pursuits.  If marketing professionals are placing a higher emphasis on sales numbers while undermining the importance establishing and maintaining relationships, suddenly “who you know” comes back to haunt you.  In addition to the cold, hard facts about a business, product, or service, most customers want to hear a story or an example of how it has worked in the past. The key is to present your pitch in a way that the consumer can relate to.

In other words, it essentially becomes counterproductive for marketing specialists to focus only on sales numbers, while neglecting their relationships with clients or potential consumers.  Eventually, the lack of time spent on customers will begin to have an adverse effect on monthly and yearly sales reports.

We’ve all heard the expression “time is money” as it relates to the business world.  It seems as if more and more marketing professionals are taking this concept and reversing it, instead of using it for their benefit.  For instance, sales associates who are driven only by their numbers have a tendency to spend less time with their customers, in an effort to make the most sales by the end of the work day.  In the short run, they may beat the more methodical and personable sales associate.  However, in the larger scheme of things, is quality or quantity more important?  The answer is both.  You cannot launch a successful, long-lasting product without spending time to nurture the relationships with your individual customers.  Time is money, which is why the quality of sales is essential for long-term success.

For access to Steve Olenski’s article on marketing relationships, click here:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveolenski/2013/09/09/the-catastrophic-social-media-content-marketing-mistake-marketers-are-making/

Click below for a youtube segment on tips to building successful relationships in marketing:

http://youtu.be/kEet48exy7I

Relationships are the network

When I worked for Sun Microsystems, we had a tag line, “The network is the computer”. Well our relationships are our network that becomes our reputation and ultimately, our character.

I’m reading Michael Ellsberg’s book entitled, The Education of Millionaires. In it Ellsberg cites interviews with successful people who have learned how to leverage relationships to achieve success. Remember my favorite author, Richard Koch? He methodically and scientifically lays out how loose connections in our relationship network ties us to our accomplishments.

I urge you to read more Michael Ellsberg and apply what he advises.

PS. I haven’t forgotten my friend, Perry Robinson. Putting some things together for him now for his new business venture.