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Color Is Expensive - Marketing Lessons from the Rainforest

Color Is Expensive

Marketing Lessons from the Rainforest

By Michael Q. Pink, Founder of Selling Among Wolves

In the rainforest, there are numerous wealth building secrets built into the most fruitful, abundant ecosystem on the planet. Today, I want to share with you some marketing principles gleaned from the orchid. Walking through the Panamanian rainforest with our guide from the Smithsonian, I was struck by something she said… "In the rainforest, color is very expensive."

I thought it was very unusual language for a scientist, so I inquired further. She went on to explain that it costs more energy for a plant to produce color than it does to produce the green you see in leaves. I learned that some trees go so far as to shed all their leaves to preserve energy so they have enough energy to produce colorful flowers. The reason, I was told, was marketing. The trees had to attract customers. They used flowers to do this. Without the birds or the bees or the monkeys checking out their flowers, they would never pollinate and thus not be fruitful. So they spend a significant amount of resources to generate new business. You might call that… advertising.

In fact, the flowers and orchids in the rainforest combine three factors of design, color and scent to transmit a message to a niche market with the purpose of attracting customers to pollinate.


An orchid must expend the valuable resources to create color and market its product or it will perish. Without color, we could not see or perhaps only barely see (as in glass) any physical object. In effect, color announces the presence of something in this case a flower. For all practical purposes, color is to the flower what headlines are to an ad. If the headline grabs your attention, you are much more likely to read the article. Headlines are the ad for the ad!

I once read about an advertising consultant asked to review an ad for his client that was running weekly in a national publication and pulling reasonable results, or so they thought. After studying the body of the ad he determined that it was basically good so he only changed the headline. That resulted in a 10% increase in sales. He changed it again and sales went back to their previous level. He tried a third time and sales increased by 500% and held at that level each time the ad ran for a full year! What a difference a good headline can make!

The next time you are advertising a product or service, think of color not only as something that has aesthetic appeal, but also as a metaphor for a strong headline. Spend more time on your headline than you would on the body of the ad. It is the most important. So much depends on it!

So, a question I have for you today is: If God (as He expresses Himself in nature) thinks it wise to spend resources on marketing, do you think we might be wise to do the same?

This and other powerful marketing lessons can be found in
The Orchid Element: How to Promise Boldly, Create Demand & Dominate Your Target Market, Disc 7 of the 7 Wealth Secrets of the Rainforest audio coaching program from Michael Q. Pink.

Learn more about this program here.

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