The Psychology of Color: How to Use it for Effective Marketing

Does the choice of colors used in your logo really affect how people perceive your brand? YES!

Do you feel calm when you’re standing in a lush green field under the bright blue sky? Do you feel hungry when you see red and yellow together? Does the bright orange make you feel warm and cheerful on the inside?

This shows how colors are able to influence human emotions and moods. Color psychology studies the influence of colors on the human mind and branding agencies in Ahmedabad apply it to marketing.

But…

What is color psychology?

A study shows that people make up their minds about products within 90 seconds of coming across them. And 62-90% of the assessment is done on the basis of colors.

Branding and marketing is all about first impressions. If your brand, product, or even digital appearance appeals to the right audience, then it is going to sell.

But how does one appeal to the right audience through appearance? Colors are powerful tools for communication and using them in the correct way can determine whether you’ll make sales or not. Given the ubiquitousness of colors, you’d expect there to be more studies on the role of colors on the human mind. But there aren’t nearly enough of them.

There is some basic information about the color spectrum that everyone is aware of. For example, warm colors include red, orange, and yellow whereas the cool colors include blue and green. But one needs to have information about the color psychology in branding to be able to use them effectively.

By making correct use of aesthetics and color psychology, brand reputation management services can boost a business effectively.

Miconceptions

The problem is that most of the theories and content on this topic is full of misconceptions and baseless ‘facts’. The internet is full of baseless information on all topics but more so on the topic of color psychology. Here’s an example of the same:

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You can rest assured though, since this article about the psychology of colors in branding is really all you’ll need as a guide. Read on to understand the importance of colors in marketing in detail.

Colors And Marketing

A company performed an experiment with their website on the role colors play in driving customers. They found that red Call-to-Action buttons outperformed the green ones by 21%. Which is to say, that when the button was red in color, more people clicked on it.

As evident, colors make a significant impact on purchase. So, how can you use them to work in your favor?

Color psychology deals with studying the impact of colors on human behavior. Decades of exploration shows that colors have the power to influence our perception and enhance an experience for us. For this reason, they are popularly called the mother tongue of the subconscious.

‘Exciting red and competent blue’, is a study which also proves that colors influence the perception of a brand. It tells us that according to the impression a brand makes visually, its customers are decided.

For example, the color red is said to induce hunger. Food-related brands like Zomato, McDonald’s, and KFC amongst others flaunt a bright red logo, with their brand reflecting the color everywhere possible.

Thus, according to the impression you want to make for a brand, you can select the color and the visual appeal for it. There are five dimensions of brand personality, and you can categorize yours under one of them.

Psychology Of Colors In Business

As you know by now, color psychology shows that different colors stir different emotions in users. Green is associated with homeliness and nature, silver with sophistication, and so on.

Thus, the color you use for your brand gives it an impression. And vice-versa, you can create an impression you like for the brand with the help of the correct color choices. We will discuss both the aspects. In order to find which identity and color suit your brand the best, you just have to find an intersection between the traits in brand identity and colors.

Types Of Brand Identity

Color psychology in advertising depends upon the five brand identities. There are colors associated with each one, which makes it easier for brands to influence their potential customers.

  1. Exciting
  2. Sophisticated
  3. Sincere
  4. Competent
  5. Rugged

1. Exciting

These brands cater to an audience that is spirited, energetic, and loves trendy things. This group likes to be up-to-date with contemporary articles. Hence, the brand also takes up a jovial and energetic appeal to make it relatable for the users. From the perspective of color psychology, warm colors are used more often for these brands.

Colors– Red, Yellow, and Orange.

2. Sophisticated

These brands serve the premium group, who are affluent, love classy things, and indulge in luxuries. They love charming and unique things but like to keep them elegant and simplified at the same time. Such people are often conscious of the brand image and go for ones which are well-established or sophisticated in look and feel.

Colors– White, Black, and Silver.

3. Sincere

Such brands are down-to-earth, usually family oriented, and show sentimental values. They cater to a family audience and are friendly and sincere in services. These brands want users to trust them and thus create an empathetic brand impression using color psychology.

A sincere appeal is difficult to pull off and maintain. However, brand reputation management services help you with creating such an appeal.

Colors– Blue and Brown.

4. Competent

Such brands are generally intelligent, successful, and reliable. They are a class-apart, and their users know it. The identity is embraced by corporate and technical companies which are confident in their services and are leaders of some kind.

Colors– Blue, Green, and White.

5. Rugged

These brands provide services or products which are outdoorsy and tough. They cater to an audience that is strong, adventurous, and frequently on the move. Thus, creating an impression of adventure, exploration, and bravery is what they usually aim at with the use of color psychology in branding.

Colors– Black, Yellow, Crimson.

Colors And Their Impact On The Human Mind

We hope that you have found the correct place for your brand in one of the above-mentioned categories. Now that half the work is done, it’s time to move to the other half. This list will help you understand the impact of color on consumer purchase behaviour.
Let us go through some colors and see what feelings people associate with each one of them. This will allow you to understand the psychology of colors and use them in your branding effectively.

1. Red

Red is a strong color that stirs powerful emotions in the viewer. It stands for power, appetite, passion, energy, and excitement. Thus, it is most suitable for brands which want an exciting and bold identity.

The color is also prominent when it comes to making users take an action. The color is bright and inviting, and thus attracts more users towards it. Thus, as per color psychology, it is a good option for Call-to-Action buttons like Book Now or Call Us or Buy Now.

red

2. Blue

Having association with peace and reliability, this color is often used by conservative brands. It helps in building up trust amongst users by reflecting loyalty.

Since it is a color associated with men, companies that target men as customers use it often. It is a good option for brands that wish to show serenity and sincerity, as blue resembles water.

The impact of this color on marketing is that of a professional and trusted company. Such brands often spell authority and have dedicated customers.

blue

3. Green

Color psychology names it synonymous with health, nature, and harmony, the color green demands careful usage. A harbinger of hope and growth, it works well for brands who envision betterment of their customers as well as themselves over time.

Nature’s favourite color, it is also used by brands which are related to nature welfare or information, like Animal Planet.

green

4. Yellow

Yellow color in marketing represents optimism, warmth, and happiness. It is often used by creative brands, as the color is bright and inviting. A reflector of friendliness, enjoyment-oriented brands should use it often.

As per color psychology, people are most likely to receive yellow as the color of energy and youthfulness. Thus, using it for targeting a young audience that is adventure loving and active is recommendable.

For example, Harley Davidson makes use of yellow and black to create a youthful and adventurous mood for the brand.

yellow

5. Orange

Orange speaks of happiness, confidence, warmth, and courage. A color representing innovation, companies use it to give a jovial impression. Non-corporate brands which are light and fun, like Amazon or Penguin Random House, give out a casual and cheerful aura to their customers.

Looking at the color psychology behind it, orange also signifies cheapness, so if you want your services or products to come off as affordable, you can opt for orange.

orange

6. Black

The second name of sexy, color psychology says that black is the color that shows resplendence and authority. A popular color for fashionable brands, it carries an aura that is elegant, bold, and rich. For carefully crafted products that are expensive and exclusive, black is the go-to color without a doubt.

black

7. White/Silver

Curving away from boldness, white and silver reflect luxury, but in a suave manner. These colors can be targeted at an audience which is affluent and older. They carry a simplicity within them and give the brand a minimalistic appeal.

white-silver

8. Multicolor

From the perspective of color psychology, multicolor brands are usually targeting all customers. They have no particular gender, age group, or financial status to attract. Such brands show that they are welcoming, all-inclusive, and fun. Multiple colors bring in a jolly mood and work best for brands which are targeting everyone at a time.

multicolor

Color Preferences According To The Gender

Pink is the color of women and blue of men, right? Wrong. Check out the pie chart below.

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From what we can see is that against general misconception, both men and women prefer the color blue. Other popular colors are green for men and purple for women.

This pie chart is actually taken from a study done on nearly 2,000 men and women to help figure out ‘Humanity’s Favorite Colors’.

You must be wondering why this information is important when it comes to color psychology in marketing and branding.

Well, the thing is that when you are selling products or services, you’ll be targeting an audience. And when you target audience includes people of one gender, this data can be very useful in helping you select the color palette.

For example, if you are selling perfumes for women, purple is a good color to use for your website. It not only combines the aesthetics of both blue and red, it is also preferred by a large number of women.

Another study done by 2 doctors, Anya Hurlbert and Yazhu Ling focused on the perception of colors by men and women.

What they found was that when we are talking about shades, tints, and hues, women tend to prefer tints (colors with white added to them) and that men gave more preference to shades (colors with black added to them). The image shown below explains the difference in the perception of color as per color psychology in detail.

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Conclusion

When used correctly, colors can help you evoke certain moods and influence consumers’ buying behavior. We hope that this blog post was of use to you and that you understand color psychology a little better than you did before. Implementing this information, you can easily use colors to your advantage for your brand.

Moreover, building a suitable brand reputation is a grave task. It requires ample of creativity, logic, and calculation. If your brand makes a good impression, it is more likely to grow and be a favorite amongst consumers. Hence, it is crucial to hire a brand developer in India, where the market is vast and so is the competition.

RareDevs is a branding agency in Ahmedabad, which provides digital marketing services. We help in developing and maintaining a brand identity as per the requirement of your business. To know more about us and the services we offer, feel free to get in touch.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in October 2018 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy.

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