Have you ever been wondering why certain brands decided to use red or purple? Which traits do people associate with blue? Do you think that something such as color could influence our choices? The psychology of color has all the answers.
Our brain uses colors to recognize traits about everything that surrounds us. It is a very natural thing. Since forever we have been equipped with the natural ways of spotting what is dangerous, what is safe, and what will grant us survival. Moreover, the colors are very important in our culture — let’s take the traffic lights for example. Red lipstick is believed to be more sensual than a nude one, and a white wedding dress intends to symbolize innocence. But it is worth highlighting that colors have meanings not only in nature and in culture, but also in marketing.
The psychology of color focuses on how different colors and shades impact our minds and even behavior. When it comes to marketing that field of study researches how they can influence the consumers’ impression of a product or a brand, as well as decision-making processes. If you analyze the most popular brands or marketing materials, you will notice that many colors are repeating. And it is not a coincidence. Just as with flags, the colors used in marketing and designing brand identity are supposed to bring up some feelings. Have you ever been wondering what every color is intending to demonstrate and tell you about the company or a product? We have prepared a small guide for you.
Red is associated with passion. That color stimulates the human body by raising heart rate and blood pressure. It creates a sense of urgency (both positive and negative) and as a result of that is frequently used for signalizing sales or any type of alerts. Funnily enough, it is believed to encourage appetite and because of that is often used by fast-food chains.
It is associated with water, peace, and reliability. The associations that blue brings have a calming effect on the mind and can provide a sense of tranquility and space. It can give the viewer a sense of security and is believed to induce a feeling of trust that we could have towards a brand. According to some studies, blue is the most common color used for conservative corporate brands.
Associated with health, tranquility, and nature. It is a very versatile color and much depends on the shade being applied because green can be successfully used to symbolize money and wealth, just as for promoting environmental issues. Green stimulates harmony in the brain and encourages balance.
Purple might not be the first color that would come to our mind while talking about the psychology of colors, but it is very widely used in marketing. It is associated with wisdom, respect, and royalty. It is believed that purple stimulates the problem-solving area of the brain as well as its creativity. A good observer will notice that purple is one of the most popular colors in the beauty industry (especially for anti-aging products).
The first associations that might pop to mind while thinking about orange is that it is cheerful, friendly and confident. It is believed to bring a feeling of warmth due. It is considered to be light and fun and that is why it can be used by non-corporate brands. According to some researches, many people find this color… cheap. So, using it for a premium brand wouldn’t be the best idea.
The most optimistic color of all, that can induce happiness and creativity. Yellow is also the color that is most noticeable for a human eye that is why it can be powerfully used alongside other colors. But also in excess, it can cause anxiety and frustration — feelings that no one would like to be associated with their brand.
It is often associated with authority, power, stability, and strength. Nowadays it is one of the favorite colors of luxurious brands, because of its elegance and clarity. It is a very versatile color often used in fashion or sports, but it wouldn’t do good in anything health-related.
Most often mixed with other colors. It is believed that white might give an impression of cleanliness and modernity. But if used in excess it might deprive a brand of any personality. According to some branding specialists white, just as much as white can be used when we need the consumer to focus on some abstract features of our brand or to make the typography stand out.
Why does it matter?
According to some studies even up to 90% of our judgments about products can be based on color alone and 80% of clients believe that color is responsible for brand recognition. Of course, we should remember that sometimes color perception is different depending on the cultural background of our audience, but it is still important to think it through and apply some of the principles. Choosing the right colors might help a brand to communicate more effectively and a good marketer should always have that in mind.