Color Psychology and Your Brand’s Colors

Color is the first thing people see when presented with something new and it the easiest aspect to remember. Those factors make color an important tool for interaction between a brand and its potential customers. The psychology of color is such that the colors associated with a brand play a major role in how that brand is perceived. Colors are an avenue for brands to communicate their message instantly with no need for words.

The Branding Power of Color

Studies have shown that consumers’ purchasing decisions are largely based on color. One study from the University of Winnipeg found that consumers made up their mind to purchase a product within 90 seconds and that between 62 and 90 percent of the decision was dependent on color alone.
 Basic facts About Color Psychology
 The significance of a color depends on the context; colors that are good for one type of product may not be good for another. For example, products that are meant to be dependable and rugged, may not want to use colors like pink or neon green.

Colors make brands recognizable, which is something that consumers prefer. McDonald’s golden arches on a red background are an excellent example of a brand that is instantly recognizable by color, so is UPS’s brown and gold logo.

Color preferences do differ along gender lines, according to some studies; however, the divide is not as simple and pink and blue. In general, men tend to prefer bolder colors and shades while women softer tinted ones.

Color Psychology and Choosing the Right Brand Color

Color psychology involves studying the reactions that people have to colors; when it comes to marketing it should dictate the use of color to deliver the right message about a brand. When choosing the colors that will represent their brand, the marketer will first have to decide what specific message they want to communicate. Color psychology is complex but while colors can mean different things to different people based on culture and industry, there are some universal meanings. Here are some of the more common qualities people associate with different colors:

Red
 This color creates urgency and a visceral reaction, which is why it is often used in clearance sales. Red is thought to embody energy, aggression and passion. On the negative side, it can also signal danger or being in debt.

Yellow
 Bright yellows are almost universally associated with the sun. For many people, yellow signals light and optimism. Some yellow shades are believed to stimulate creative energy and thought. It is grabs attention and so is useful for point of sale displays and similar marketing tools.

Orange
 Red and yellow combine to make a color that takes on characteristics of both. Orange conveys the energy of red mixed with the optimism of yellow.

Brown
 Brown is evocative of earthy simplicity and durability which may be a positive for some brands; however, it should be noted that brown is also reminiscent of dirt for some people.

Black
 Boldness and sophistication are qualities often expressed with black. It is especially effective for upscale/luxury products.

White
 Purity and cleanness are both represented by white, hence its popularity for medical and childcare goods.

Blue
 This color is thought to put people at ease since it brings the sky and the ocean to mind. It is well-liked by both men and women and is associated with qualities like serenity, dependability and security.

Green
 As with blue, serenity is strongly associated with green. Other qualities that green evokes include freshness and health, including nutritional health. Green is also particularly versatile in that different shades indicate different qualities; for example, a darker green may bring wealth to mind but light greens are seen as serene.

Purple
 Purple has historically been associated with royalty and wealth. That holds true today as its use is seen to indicate sophistication and class in some contexts.

Knowledge of color psychology and the different connotations that each color has can be helpful in predicting consumer response. Being able to predict the reaction to a particular color can have a tremendous impact on a brand’s success. Marketers should never lose sight of the fact that consumers instinctively know if a color is appropriate for a brand. Once the right color has been chosen, it should be used in the logo and on all of the company’s promotional materials; consistency is essential for linking a color’s perceived qualities with a brand’s message.

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