Researchers found that a particular tint of blue light (identified by an emission spectrum centered at 460 nm; i.e., “actinic blue”) enhanced purchase interest of hedonic products (e.g., Nutella chocolate cream, Rayban sunglasses, Swatch watches), but not utilitarian products (e.g., Dash detergent, Mentadent toothpaste, Johnson’s baby shampoo). The comparison white light did not differentially enhance purchase interest of the two types of products. Furthermore, the blue light had similar impact in situations where the light was part of the physical space (simulating actual store environments) or as online shopping backgrounds on mobile devices. The researchers explained the results in light of previous research showing that blue light encourages creativity, imagination, exploration, and risk-taking.

Suggested Action: When marketing hedonic products, consider blue lighting (identified by an emission spectrum centered at 460 nm; i.e., “actinic blue”) either in the brick and mortar retail atmosphere or as background lighting within online shopping displays.

Gianluigi Guido G., Piper L., Prete M.I., Mileti A., and Trisolini C.M. (2017). Effects of Blue Lighting in Ambient and Mobile Settings on the Intention to Buy Hedonic and Utilitarian Products. Psychology & Marketing, Vol. 34(2): 215–226, DOI: 0.1002/mar.20984.

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