Home Business & Management Color Psychology: Useful in branding and marketing

Color Psychology: Useful in branding and marketing[In 2020]

Color Psychology refers to the study of how different colors affect and stimulate human brains. Researches show that a large percentage of people show the same pattern when exposed to different colors.
I think this is probably because of the years of evolution of human brains. Though it is not totally correct because it is a fact that different colors are perceived differently in different groups of people. Thus a certain balance has to be made while making use of this science in your marketing efforts.
If done correctly it can place your brand image at the place where you want it to be. Certain research concluded that 90% of quick judgments about a product is done based on its color itself.
So now that you know how important is a color for your brand, let’s dive into the deeper aspects of it!

A wall painted with different colors

What’s in it for me?

  1. Use of color theory in marketing
  2. How reliable is Color Psychology
  3. Emotions that different colors trigger
  4. Color Psychology used by big brands
  5. Make use of Color Psychology for your brand
  6. FAQs

Use of color theory in marketing

Colors envoke feelings. It evokes different emotions, and many researchers have also emphasized the fact that color is one of the important elements in brand recall. That is why marketers use it for branding and marketing purposes.
Choosing the right color for your brand can make your brand stand out from the crowd, also choosing the wrong color can also damage it. Thus, it is wise to spend a lot of time choosing the right colors.

By using colors in a well-informed manner, you can get your audience to see what you want them to see, and perceive as you want your brand to be perceived. For example, choosing the wrong colors in your content or logo can lead to less readability, hard for people to understand, or remember.
For example, a test was conducted on the checkout page of an e-commerce store. Two similar checkout pages were made, the only difference was, in one web page, the “Buy Now” button was colored in green and the other page had it in red. And, it was seen that the webpage with the red “Buy Now” button had 21% more sales.
By doing nothing else but just changing a button color can bring such a hike. That does not mean if you apply this strategy, you will get similar results. It depends on a lot of other factors.
In this case, the rest of the elements on the web page had a greenish tint. Thus, the red button pooped out more than the green. You have to understand the mechanics behind it and try to incorporate it into your brand.

How reliable is Color Psychology?

To be honest there is much controversy about the degree of effectiveness of color psychology. Different researches show varied data about different colors. The fact is that the effects of colors are dependent on previous personal experiences, such as there culture, upbringing, etc. Thus I or anybody else can not give you a sure shot mapping of each color with a certain emotion.
For example, green is widely considered an environment issue centric color but financial companies are also using green for there branding. Few big brands whose presence is in many different geographical locations tend to face issues of an inconsistent brand image because of the fact that different societies perceive the same color in different ways.

Because of these factors, there are certain marketers who discard the use of color psychology totally but that’s not recommended at all. It may take a certain amount of research and work to get the perfect color or mix of colors for your brand but it’s worth the hard work. Its a one-time work and the kind of effects in have in the long run is tremendous. 

Emotions that different colors trigger

To help you choose the right color(s) for your brand, I am listing out colors and some
consistent emotions that they trigger in most people:

Primary Colors(Set of three colors that make all the other colors):

Showcasing the 3 primary colors(Red, Blue and Yellow)
  • Red: It represents passion, energy, danger, urgency, aggression. Heavily used by food brands because it stimulates appetite.
  • Blue: Universal color of professionalism, trust, integrity, calmness, stability, reliability, and success. This is the reason most corporate brands use blue color.
  • Yellow: Shows feeling of joy, and youth fullness. Thus many youth-oriented brands use it. It also stimulates hunger like red.

Secondary Color(Created using the primary colors):

showing the different shades of secondary colors
  • Green: It is a soothing color, representing freshness, growth, natural, organic, financially sound. Used by most organic products, environment, and finance-oriented brands.
  • Orange: Spreads feeling of youth, positivity, cheer, approachable. Another color used by youth-oriented brands.
  • Purple: Represents magical, mystery wonder, and royalty. Kings of the past used it effectively and currently, luxury brands also use it.

Some other greatly used colors:

  • White: Ideal for showing peace, simplicity, clarity, purity.
  • Black: Gives a very sophisticated feel when combined with white. But also denotes other dark elements so use cautiously.
  • Brown: Associated with manliness. Gives a solid, earthy feel. But if not used well it can give a boring feel to. Used by traditional brands.
  • Grey: Represents maturity, stillness, authority. But it can also give a dim or monotonous feel. Used by brands who want to be authoritative.

Color Psychology used by big brands

Few facts:

According to a source, out of the top 50 unicorns:
38% unicorns including Uber, Vice, WeWork use black, grey, or white.
20% of the top 50 unicorns, like IBM, Dropbox, and SpaceX focus on blue as their primary branding color.
Red makes up 16% of companies including Pinterest and Airbnb.
Yellow is at 12% (including Snapchat), and green at just 6%.

To take some more inspiration lets dissect some of the iconic brands and how they
use colors:

McDonald’s

Using McDonald's logo to explain color psychology

It uses Red and Yellow in its logo and mascot. Both colors are appealing to young people.
Red is used to trigger appetite, and create a sense of urgency, thereby customers buy their items in a hurry and leave quickly.
Yellow represents cheerfulness and optimism. Thus it creates a sense of optimism about the brand which is further fueled by their tagline “I’m lovin’ it”.
Their mascot in an orange-red attire further stimulates energy, excitement.

Fanta

Their brand is dominated by orange color, which represents cheerful and warm. I very efficiently draws the buyers who are attracted to bright colors, mostly the young crowd.

Starbucks

Surprisingly it is the only top brand that uses green as their primary color. But works really well for their brand. It represents relaxation. Inviting people to take a coffee break and destress.
The mermaid on their logo further stimulates association with nature.

Barbie & Victoria’s Secret

They use pink color for its brand. Pink primarily is focused on female audiences. Pink color revolves around femininity, playfulness, immaturity, and love.
They must have chosen the color pink keeping in mind their audience, the female population.

Make use of color psychology for your brand

Above are the list of few colors and emotions attached to them, and also how the renowned brands use colors in their branding. But the actual list of colors and emotions that they can trigger based on the geographical and cultural preferences need much deeper research.

You can refer to books or other blogs on this topic, and if possible you should definitely reach out to your target customers and try to understand how they perceive different colors.
You can make them fill forms or use some other method to do so. This will give you the right insights to pic color(s) for your brand representation. Or if your budget allows you can also hire a professional to do so. That would save a lot of your time. But either way GOOD LUCK! for the branding journey of your organization. Also if you want to read a detailed about brand building, I have got that covered.

FAQs

Can we use color psychology in the workplace?

YES! We have thoroughly discussed in the blog how colors impact people. So if you choose the right colors for your workplace, it does effect the mood and overall productivity of a employee.

Top colors for a men focused business?

Research on a group of people shows that the most liked colors of men are: Blue, Green, Black.
But it may vary for your audience based on what culture and place they come from.

Top colors for a women focused business?

Research on a group of people shows that the most liked colors of women are: Blue, Green, Purple.
But it may vary for your audience based on what culture and place they come from.

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