We live in an age of visual culture. A camera phone is carried in more than 2 billion pockets. Full color LCD screens are everywhere. Obviously, this creates a new paradigm with new opportunities.
We humans are, by nature, very visual beings. 30% of our brains are devoted to visual processing, whereas touch accounts for 8% and hearing only for 3%. (source) So it should come as no surprise that content with relevant images gets 94% more views online than content without relevant images. (Source) A modern brand cannot do without visual content to connect and engage consumers. Moreover, the content should preferably be interactive. Without images, most marketers feel they simply cannot fully tell their brand's story.
It is no wonder that images and interactive media have become an important part of the paint marketer's toolbox. In the paint industry, color visualizing tools emerged already as early as 20 years ago. We've come a long way since then. The tools have become much easier to use, more realistic and a lot cheaper. Today, consumers can easily and freely upload a photo of their own home to virtually apply new colors before buying a can of paint. The advantage of painting virtually is that new colors can be tried out safely, without all the work and costs of repainting if they don't like it. So visualizers tend to make people more confident and makes them try bolder colors. For the marketer, it is a chance to show the value and transforming power of the paint's color.
For your inspiration, here are 3 examples of powerful use of color by brands:
Fiat were not the first, nor the last ones in the car industry to use color as a way to add more value their product. But they sure did a great job. Nowadays, the Fiat 500 is available in a myriad of color options, not only for the paint, but also for the upholstery and interior. Fiat even added textures, two-tones and more. The real neat part is that while they offer a nearly infinite amount of options, the result always adheres to the overall image of the car, which is a cute life-style fashion statement, referring back to the 1950-ties.
The Valspar brand of paint recently launched 'Ask Val', a very well designed website to help people pick paint colors. Even though it lacks a visualizer, and the 'Discover Your Color Personality' doesn't always quite match everyone's preference, it still remains a strong statement on brand and design.
Not the first, not the only ones either, but Nike also did a great job on customising their products. Today, Nike shoes can be had in a huge range of color options. But like Fiat, with a limited but smart palette of colors that adheres to the overall design. And like Fiat, the key is not so much the color options as it is the color combinations that can be created. Here's a sports shoe in a Colorjive Widget for you to play with.