The vast majority of drivers are in the wrong-coloured car for their personality.
That’s the surprise finding of a pan-European study by Nissan, which reveals a staggering 86 per cent of those polled made an incorrect choice in the showroom.
The research found that even though there are now more vibrant exterior colours and personalisation options than ever before, car buyers are still too conservative when it comes to picking paint.
The study was carried out by Nissan to celebrate the personalisation options on the all-new Micra hatchback. It found that approximately a third of those surveyed should have opted for more striking shades like orange instead of traditional grey and black, based on their personality type – and the Japanese carmaker aims to put that right.
To help consumers, Nissan has turned to technology and developed an innovative Chatbot in conjunction with acclaimed colour psychologist Karen Haller. Delivered via Facebook, it determines the user’s personality and presents the perfect Micra colour match for them.
Both the research and Chatbot were developed using Haller’s expertise in the field of colour psychology. With more than 20 years’ experience, she has worked with many global brands to understand the colour choices consumers make.
The new Nissan Micra is available in 10 ‘bold’ exterior colours, including vibrant Energy Orange and Pulse Green. The personalisation programme allows for contrasting shades to be added to the bumpers, doors, wheels and door mirrors. In addition, elements of the seat, door trim and dashboard can be modified with interior personalisation. Nissan have dubbed this approach ‘Nissan Micra Psycolourgy’.
On sale since March this year, approximately 22 per cent of Micra customers are personalising their car – which is more than originally forecast. Affordability has been key to demand, with customers spending €400 on average to get the personalised design they want.
For the research, questions were devised to quantify an individual’s personality through analysis of their behaviour and preferences. This technique is commonly used to indicate a person’s primary personality, for example, as part of the screening process during job interviews.
The findings showed that 86 per cent had chosen the wrong-coloured car for their personality type, with approximately two-thirds opting for more traditional and conservative colours.
38 per cent are currently driving a grey or black vehicle, while 53 per cent claimed colour had impacted their vehicle choice. Of those, more than half claimed to have selected their favourite colour.
Based on the 5,000 responses across Europe, high-energy colours such as orange should top the table. These signify energetic, fun and optimistic traits in someone’s personality.
Haller commented: “Social factors come into play with colour choice. For example, in times of economic uncertainty, it’s common for people to play it safe and pick a car with a neutral palette – such as black, white or grey. So I’m not surprised that two-thirds of motorists are driving more conservative shades.”
“Often colour choices are based around aspirations and black is often seen as an aspirational colour, associated with high-end technologies and innovative brands. It may be that far from playing it safe, they are choosing what they perceive as the finer things in life.”
Human response to colour goes right back to early childhood and it is not always determined by symbolism or an association, but by in-built ‘hard wiring’ over which we have no control.
People react to colour in different ways, and with psychometric analysis an expert like Haller can understand the relationship between personality types and colour association.
Priyanka Gaitonde, a Senior Colour Designer at Nissan Design Europe, commented: “The design priority for the all-new Nissan Micra from the very beginning was to put the customer at the heart of the vehicle. The new Chatbot is an innovative way of extending what we set out to do in the design studio, to guide customers on the colours most suitable to them.”