Previous research suggested that unlike marketing goods, marketing services required manipulating the physical environment as well as price, promotion, production, and place. This indicates a role for interior design in the marketing strategy of a service business. Research also indicated that little was known about the effect of the different environmental components, especially the color component on consumers' responses. Most color research in marketing is in advertising and packaging but most of it is proprietary and thus unpublished. The objective of this study was to analyze the effect of color on subjects' evaluations of a bank and its employees. The choice of banks was motivated by the fact that banks have a high degree of familiarity among potential subjects. An experiment was designed in which subjects were provided with an illustration of a bank's interior and asked to evaluate the service quality at that bank. The illustrations were computer generated and were identical except for the color scheme. The study used monochromatic color schemes, manipulating the hue (warm and cool) at two value levels (dark and light), generating four treatments (light-warm, dark-warm, light-cool, and dark-cool). A convenience sample of 486 college students, in two lower division classes, was used. Subjects were each assigned a treatment at random, and asked to rate the banks and their employees on eight criteria: reliability, responsiveness, competence, courtesy, access, communication, security, and understanding. The treatments were in the form of 5 1/2 X 4 inch computer printouts attached to the last page of a questionnaire package. The experiment was conducted at the beginning of class time and subjects were given directions by the class instructors. The experiment took subjects an average time of five minutes to complete. The study investigated the effect of color on subjects' evaluations of the eight dependent measures in terms of three independent variables: value, hue, and subjects' gender. The data collected indicated that value had more effect on the dependent variables than did hue or subjects' gender. Banks with dark color schemes were thought to be more reliable, more competent, and safer. Banks with a light color scheme scored significantly better in terms of courtesy and communication, and scales relating to access. In terms of hue, warm color schemes had a higher mean score on courtesy, while the cool color schemes scored higher on competence. Warm hues were found to be more aesthetically pleasing and more familiar than the cool ones. Gender yielded an effect only on the responsiveness variable where mean scores of female subjects were higher than males' scores. Although the study had some limitations the results indicated that there is potential for using specific color choices in bank interiors to foster a desired image. Specifically value can be varied throughout a bank interior to communicate different messages to customers. Dark values could be applied in the teller area to project the impression of safety and privacy that customers need. In the loan department light values can be used to communicate consideration and accessibility. Findings from this study can be of use in other service oriented businesses with role demands similar to banks.Previous research suggested that unlike marketing goods, marketing services required manipulating the physical environment as well as price, promotion, production, and place.
|Title||:||The Effect of the Color Scheme of a Bank Interior on Subjects' Evaluations of the Bank and Its Employees|