Colors play a huge role in successful branding and marketing.
85% of customers say that color is one of the primary factors when choosing to buy a product or service.
The use of color in your marketing has a profound impact on the overall experience of your customers.
Think about it, colors affect people in a deeply psychological and often completely subconscious manner. They have the power to drive people to take action. They have the power to change someones emotional state. They have the power to make the customer experience overwhelmingly positive or negative.
So what is the approach for your brand?
Important Note: The color palette of your branding should always cater towards your ideal customer and reflect the emotional response you wish to stimulate in the potential customer.
Colors have the ability to create an emotional state like calm, excitement, happiness, or anger – the key is understanding your customer and choosing colors that connect with them (the age group, gender, and culture of the audience should all play a factor in deciding what colors to use).
If you are selling Harley Davidsons your branding colors should appeal to the “biker” demographic (dark colors like black, grey, silver etc). While if your selling My Little Pony dolls, your colors should appeal most to young girls (pink, purple, white etc).
At the end of the day, the goal is to use colors to create a connection with your target customer base.
Below are the most common meanings and emotions associated with each of the main colors.
Although different people react differently to colors, here are the most common emotions associated with certain colors.
Here are a few examples:
Black is Powerful and sleek… it communicates power, high-class, sophistication, and expensive luxury.
Based on color psychology black is the signature color of sophistication (think “black tie events” and the “little black dress”), it dominates high-end product packaging and can even make inexpensive or compliated products seem more upscale and “simple”.
Black is the color of power and authority but be careful because in excess it can be intimidating and unfriendly (like a biker dressed in all black).
Blue represents trust, security, and calm.
It is often used by banks and financial institutions. Physiologically, blue is calming, it reduces tension and fear.
Blue is the safest color to use in most applications, implying honesty, trust and dependability. It is a great color to use if you are seeking to make people feel secure.
Green is the easiest color for the eye to process. It’s relaxing and often relates to wealth.
Darker shades of greens tend to relate to money, wealth and prestige, while lighter shades of green relate to growth and freshness.
Light greens are used to connect with eco-minded clients (think organic, non-gmo, vegan product packaging).
Agressive, often used in calls to action (subscribe, buy, sell, etc)
Physiologically, orange vitalizes, inspires and creates enthusiasm.
It conveys affordability, but be careful because too much of it can suggest cheapness.
The color is associated with fairness and affordability, which is why you’ll find it at stores offering good value, like Home Depot and Payless Shoes.
Psychologically pink is linked to compassion, nurturing, love, and romance.
Its feminine and youthful in its softer shades and more passionate and energetic in its deeper shades.
Scientists in the Journal of Orthomolecular Psychiatry found that seeing pink slows people’s endocrine systems and tranquilizes tense muscles.
Marketers often use pink to attract women and young girls (think Victoria’s Secret and Hello Kitty).
Creates Urgency. Clearence or Sale
It excites and motivates but in excess it can cause anxiety and tiredness
Although plenty of website use this color (and still find success), I would warn that, just like a stop sign, a red placard can make consumers hit the brakes. It serves as an alarm, triggering a more careful consideration to what is being offered.
That being said, in some cultures Red is considered a lucky color and would be great to use, so know your market.
Royal and calming. Often used in beauty and anti-aging products.
Purple reigns supreme in the beauty industry, especially in the category of anti-aging products. When people see it, they think of royalty. Consequently, it makes them feel like a queen and want to purchase it.
In branding, white suggests simplicity and purity.
Physiologically white is calming as it creates simplicity, organization and efficiency out of chaos. But too much of it can give an impression of sterility, coldness, and detachment.
It’s also considered modern and honest, which may be why you see it on all of Apples branding (clean and simple).
Is linked to building curiosity and is often used to grab attention.
Physiologically, yellow stimulates the brain…. It increases the analytical processes and our logical reasoning. Yellow stimulates the logical side of the brain and mental clarity which can help in decision making. It inspires original thinking and creative ideas.
Brown is a strong, reassuring color that is comforting and reliable.
It relates well to businesses that promote down-to-earth and outdoor websites. Be aware that while many men love brown due to its strength, security and practicality… Women can find brown to be boring and too earthy, even dirty.
It’s about testing and finding out what “turns on” your ideal customer. Think about who you are marketing to and select your colors based on the customer.
Sex: Color preference can differ from men to women. Men tend to like blue and orange while women are drawn to reds and yellows. Women also have broader spectrum of colors and sense subtle shade variations much more easily.
Age: Viewer age plays a role in color choice as well. Young adults and teens are often excited by bright, vibrant colors and contrast. Older people tend to be more interested in more conservative color schemes such as blues, grays, and browns, without glaring contrasts that can tire the eye.
Culture and nationality: In the USA and most European cultures, the color white symbolizes purity and marriage. However, in Japan and China, white is a color of bad luck and red is the traditional color of new brides. If your brand is aimed at attracting international customers, make sure to learn the cultural beliefs of your visitors.
What’s “The Best” color to use?
Blue seems to be a universally safe choice among different cultures, ages, and genders, evoking feelings of peace and calm for most everyone… but again, I can’t stress enough, it’s all about the demographics of YOUR customer and appealing to them.
If you would like any help or have questions, contact me anytime.