Colour Psychology in Marketing
The Psychology of Colors in Marketing
When it comes to the way a brand presents itself to the world, there are no accidents.
In most cases, every logo and talking point is carefully considered, ruthlessly focus-grouped, and closely analyzed before it’s presented to the public.
One of the most important considerations for a business is the color or colors they use to identify their brand. Colors can leave a lasting impression and elicit a wide range of reactions and emotions, making it an important thing to consider when creating your logo, painting your offices, or designing any of your marketing materials.
So what exactly do those colors mean?
The Psychology of Colors in Marketing
This color is one that stands for being “trustworthy, dependable, fiscally responsible, and secure.” Makes sense when you think that this is the color is central to the identities of Facebook, WalMart, AT&T, and probably your town’s police department.
Yellow is considered an optimistic color that has the benefit of being bright enough to grab a consumer’s attention from a distance. It makes sense that Denny’s and McDonalds both use yellow in their logos since they’re eager to attract hungry travelers on the interstate.
Considering using orange in your business branding? Fast Company calls orange a “friendly” color that is used by everyone from Nickelodeon to Hooters. Entrepreneur says that orange tends to appeal to an upscale market, and that lighter oranges can work well in beauty salons, restaurants, and even hospitals.
Red is a tricky color for markets. Fast Company says it stands for “excitement,” but that it also can cause an excitement in consumers that isn’t always welcome. Entrepreneur agrees, saying, “Count on red to evoke a passionate response, albeit not always a favorable one. For example, red can represent danger or indebtedness.” In addition, red is often used to announce big sales, which might not be the vibe you’re looking for.
Green is the easiest color for eyes to process, according to Fast Company, and also one that brings to mind (what else?) money; Entrepreneur calls it a serene color that brings to mind health, freshness, and serenity. All these things explain why green shows up in the logos of brands like Whole Foods, Land Rover, and Starbucks.
Purple is a strong color with strong connotations. Fast Company says it’s the go-to color if you’re looking to portray your brands a imaginative or wise (see Yahoo! and the SyFy Network). They note it can also be a soothing, calming color, which is why it’s a popular way to promote anti-aging products. Entrepreneur says a light lavender can evoke feelings of nostalgia and sentimentality (e.g., the Hallmark logo).
Depending on what shade you go with, pink can be used to say a few different things about your brand. Hot pink evokes feelings of fun and youthfulness, while pale pinks are more romantic. However, any shade of pink is going to lend your brand a feminine touch.
Brown is considered a dependable, sturdy color that also happens to be good at hiding dirt. This may explain why it’s the color of UPS and other trucking companies. However, note that the dirt connotation can be a turn off for some customers—so maybe don’t give your bridal boutique a brown logo.
Black means business. That’s why it’s the preferred color for glamorous evening wear and stretch limousines. If you’re looking to convey drama and sophistication, Entrepreneur says this color will do the trick. Fast Company wholeheartedly agrees, calling this the color of upscale luxury items.
When you use white in your logo or marketing materials, you’re telling people you have nothing to hide. Fast Company points out that Apple, Wikipedia, and Honda all rely on white for their branding. Entrepreneur calls it out as one of the more eye-catching colors, and notes that it can also denote purity and cleanliness.