View all Blog

Why colour matters in tech purchasing decisions

White, grey and black smartphones against pastel blue background
Arnel Hasanovic/Unsplash
Apr 09, 2022 By WGSN Insider
Consumer Tech

Smartphone brands are known to release new colours of a product months after its initial launch. But does this really entice new buyers even though the tech is the same?

“Colour has a huge influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions: 70-90% of consumers say colour alone is a primary reason for purchasing a product,” Reiko Morrison, Head of CMF at WGSN Consumer Tech, tells Business Insider.

“Smaller tech devices such as phones, wearables and portables have become personalised accessories where people are able to express their personalities through the use of colour.”

Also, materials used to build smartphones have become more premium and worthy of showing off instead of being covered with a case, so companies that offer multiple colourways and frequently refresh their colour line-up will see increased sales.

iPhone in three different colours
Ameen ALmayuf/Unsplash

Is there a shift towards brighter colours?

A portion of consumers still prefer minimalism and muted colours, but there is definitely a newer movement of consumers who crave more vibrant colours and colour combinations. 

Part of this is driven by our need to escape the pandemic doldrums. Our response to colour is visceral and emotional, so the brighter hues tend to cheer us up instantly. 

Younger, digital-native generations are also gravitating towards vivid colours on tech products that are similar to those they’re used to seeing on-screen. This trend of colours that became popular in the digital world and then applied to real-life products will remain strong in the coming years.

Phone covers in different designs

What makes a trend?

Colour trends don’t happen instantaneously, but form over time due to many factors. WGSN tracks macro drivers that form our trend research methodology known as STEPIC, which stands for society, technology, environment, politics, industry and creativity. 

We analyse these macro drivers to understand consumers’ values and needs, such as the need for creative energy after two challenging years of the pandemic. Tracking how these elements change over time allows us to know which colours will resonate with consumers and why.

WGSN subscribers can explore the palettes that will make the biggest impact on tech products this year in Consumer Tech Colour Forecast 2024.

Share article: