From the moment we wake up, we are constantly surrounded by shapes.
They are essential to our daily lives and significant in our decision-making processes.
Psychologists have long studied how shapes affect human behaviour, and retailers have capitalised on this knowledge by using shapes to influence our shopping habits.
In this post, we will explore the meaning of shapes in psychology and retail. We will examine how different shapes impact our emotions, behaviour, and perception. By the end of this article, you will have a deeper understanding of how shapes can be used to influence our thoughts and actions.
The Psychology of Shapes
The study of shapes in psychology is known as “geometric psychology,” it examines how different forms affect our emotions, behaviour, and perception. Researchers have found that shapes elicit various emotional responses, from calmness and tranquillity to excitement and anxiety.
For example, circles are often associated with feelings of unity, wholeness, and harmony. Squares, on the other hand, are seen as stable, reliable, and balanced. Triangles are associated with excitement, energy, and aggression, while rectangles are seen as practical, efficient, and organised.
It’s essential to note that the meaning of shapes can vary depending on cultural and personal experiences. For instance, the colour red is associated with luck and happiness in Chinese culture but is often associated with danger and warning in Western cultures.
The Role of Shapes in Retail
Retailers have long recognised the power of shapes in influencing consumer behaviour. They use various shapes to create specific emotional responses in shoppers and to guide them.
For example, circular shapes, such as round logos and curved displays, are often used to create a sense of harmony and unity. Retailers use these shapes to create a welcoming and inclusive environment that encourages shoppers to stay longer and feel more comfortable in the store.
On the other hand, angular shapes, such as square and rectangular displays, are used to create a sense of stability and reliability. These shapes are often found in stores selling practical and durable products, such as hardware and furniture stores.
The Power of Circles
Circles are one of the most powerful shapes in retail. They represent wholeness, unity, and harmony and are often used to create a sense of community and inclusivity in stores.
One of the most famous examples of the power of circles in retail is the Target logo. The red and white bullseye is a circle, and it has become one of the most recognisable logos in the world. The circle represents the idea of hitting the target, which is a metaphor for finding what you need in the store.
Retailers also use circular displays to create a sense of flow and movement in the store. Circular displays often promote new products or special offers, encouraging shoppers to move around the store and explore new areas.
The Stability of Squares and Rectangles
Squares and rectangles are the most stable and reliable shapes in retail. They represent order, organisation, and efficiency and are often used in stores that sell practical and durable products.
For example, IKEA is known for using square and rectangular displays. The displays are designed to showcase the products in an organised and efficient manner, which makes it easier for shoppers to find what they need. The square and rectangular shapes also create a sense of stability and reliability, which is essential in a store that sells furniture and home goods.
The Energy of Triangles
Triangles are the most energetic and dynamic shapes in retail. They represent excitement, movement, and aggression and are often used to create a sense of urgency and excitement in shoppers.
For example, clothing stores often use triangular displays to promote new products or special offers. The triangular shape creates a sense of movement and energy, encouraging shoppers to explore the collection and discover new items.
However, it’s essential to use triangular shapes carefully in retail. Too many triangles can create a sense of chaos and confusion, which can be overwhelming for shoppers.
The Playfulness of Circles and Squares
Circles and squares can also create a sense of playfulness and fun in retail. When circles and squares are combined, they create a sense of balance and harmony that is both playful and inviting.
For example, toy stores often use circular and square displays to showcase their products. The combination of circles and squares creates a sense of balance and playfulness that is perfect for a toy store.
The Importance of Colour
While shapes play a significant role in retail, colour is also essential. Colours can evoke powerful emotional responses and influence our behaviour meaningfully.
For example, red is often associated with passion, excitement, and urgency, while blue is associated with calmness, trust, and reliability. Yellow is associated with happiness and optimism, while green is associated with growth and harmony.
Retailers use colour to create specific emotional responses in shoppers and guide them towards purchasing. For example, red and yellow are often used in fast-food restaurants to create a sense of urgency and excitement, while blue and green are often used in healthfood stores to create a sense of calmness and harmony.
In conclusion, shapes play a significant role in psychology and retail. They can elicit powerful emotional responses and influence our behaviour meaningfully. Retailers use different forms to create specific emotional responses in shoppers and guide them towards purchasing.
Understanding shapes’ meaning and using them carefully in retail is essential. By using shapes effectively, retailers can create a welcoming and inclusive environment that encourages shoppers to stay longer and feel more comfortable in the store.
Shapes are essential to our daily lives and significantly impact our emotions, behaviour, and perception. By understanding the meaning of shapes in psychology and retail, marketers can create more effective marketing campaigns and a better customer shopping experience.
So, the next time you’re in a store, take a moment to notice the shapes around you. You might be surprised at how much they influence your thoughts and actions.