Colors can make us feel certain emotions, allowing them to play a very powerful role in branding. Using color psychology, you can build a strong, relatable brand that speaks directly to your customers.
In this blog post, I will go over color psychology and why it is essential for your brand. But first, let’s go over some stats about color:
▪ 80% of users said they are more likely to identify a brand if they consistently use the same color(s) on their branding material (Source: Tailor Brands).
▪ Colors influence 90% of customers’ first impressions (Source: Review 42).
▪ Color influences 85% of shoppers’ purchase decisions (Source: Review 42).
▪ It takes 90 seconds of initial viewing before a consumer makes a judgment about your product; that is why it is essential to ensure that your colors represent your brand (Source: Tailor Brands).
▪ 93% of shoppers focus on visual appearance when considering a purchase (Source: Review 42).
Color psychology is how colors affect our human behavior. For example, how we make purchasing decisions based on color.
Does the color of a shirt determine if we will make a purchase? Does the color of a package persuade us to purchase from one brand over the other? Does the color of a website’s CTA (call to action) button determine if we will click on it? The answer to these questions is yes!
Color plays a more significant role in our purchasing decisions than most think. But it is important to note that how each of us interprets colors will be dependent on our upbringing, location, values, gender, and a variety of other factors.
Colors are very important in marketing since they invoke feelings and emotions in your customers.
By having the right colors for your marketing, you will be able to stand out from the crowd instead of blending into the ‘sea of same’ within your industry. By strategically using your brand colors, your target audience will trust your brand, which is one of the most essential parts of marketing. It will also allow you to portray your brand the way you want and share your brand’s unique story.
On the other hand, having colors that don’t make sense for your brand can potentially damage your brand’s image. For instance, having colors that don’t resonate with your target audience will make it so that they ignore your brand since they will associate it with something they can’t relate to.
Color influences how people think and behave towards your brand and how they will process the information. That is why it is so essential to understand the meaning behind each color.
Yellow is the color of sunshine and happiness. Yellow symbolizes positivity, optimism, hope, warmth, and summertime. But it can also be associated with a warning color.
A touch of yellow in your branding will associate your brand with something positive. For example, you can use yellow as a banner color on top of your website’s page to promote an upcoming sale or free shipping. Using the pop of color will draw people’s eyes to that section.
SuperGoop is a sunscreen brand that does a great job using yellow in its packaging. Its primary colors are white and yellow, with a hint of blue, for its logo. Their brand resembles summertime and happiness, which their packaging definitely represents.
Other brands that use yellow in their branding are Post-It Notes, National Geographic, and Ferrari.
Orange is associated with cheerfulness, creativity, fun, adventure, playfulness, enthusiasm, success, and balance.
Brands like the children’s channel Nickelodeon use orange to express creativity and enthusiasm to their target audience. You can even use orange as a CTA (call to action) button on your website, like the infamous Amazon ‘Buy Now’ button.
Other brands that use orange in their branding are Mastercard, Harley Davidson Motorcycles, Dunkin Donuts, Cotopaxi, and Home Depot.
In color psychology, red is the most intense color, which can also provoke the strongest emotion. Red captures attention and is often associated with passion, desire, determination, excitement, energy, action, and danger.
When using red in branding, it is essential to use it sparingly. For instance, you can use it on a CTA (call to action) button, which will tell the customer that it is urgent to make a purchase. You will also see red on sales tags when stores mark down prices.
Red also encourages appetite; that’s why brands like Coca-Cola often use it in their branding. It is also associated with excitement; that is why YouTube uses it in its branding to showcase the excitement of watching videos online and the excitement of pressing play.
On the other hand, the jewelry brand Cartier uses red in the branding and packaging to symbolize passion and romance.
Other brands that use red in their branding are Lego, Target, Netflix, Adobe, and Chick-fil-a.
Pink is often used in brands that have a large female target audience; since, in color psychology, it is associated with feminity.
Pink is also associated with playfulness, unconditional love, and immaturity. That’s why brands like Barbie have done so well; they know their target audience. For instance, the girl’s section at the toy store will have noticeably more pink in its packaging than any other color. That is because they know that young girls are drawn to the color pink.
Even brands like Victoria’s Secret have the Pink collection, marketed to girls in their teens to early twenties.
One brand I love is MixHers, a health supplement company for women. Their packaging is very feminine, fun, and playful. They’ve done a great job understanding their customers and creating branding that women would be drawn to.
Green is associated with nature, health, growth, generosity, freshness, vitality, and money. The color green can also be associated with envy.
Green would be a perfect brand color for the health and wellness space. By having bits of green in your branding, you would be able to express your brand’s values. For instance, Whole Foods’ branding is green to showcase that they prioritize wellness and health.
Other brands that use green in their branding are Starbucks, John Deere, Land Rover, Fidelity, and Spotify.
Blue is associated with peace, harmony, trust, stability, quality, and calmness. The color blue can also be associated with coldness and depression.
Some businesses use blue in their customer guarantee, trust certificate, or free shipping. Doing this strengthens the trust of the consumer.
Many businesses out there use blue in their branding, for instance, Gap, Skype, Twitter, Oral B, Facebook, HP, Goldman Sachs, IBM, GE, American Express, and SalesForce, to name a few.
Purple is known as a royal color in color psychology. The color purple is often associated with nobility, wisdom, power, and luxury. You need to be careful about how much you use the color purple since it can cause feelings of frustration.
The color purple makes for a great accent color to your branding or can be used for your logo. Saie Beauty does an excellent job at using the color purple throughout their website and product packaging.
Other brands that use purple in their branding are Yahoo, FedEx, Wonka Candy, Hallmark, and the LA Lakers.
Black is associated with luxury, power, prestige, elegance, and sophistication. On the other hand, it is also associated with darkness and can feel a bit scary.
Many businesses use black in their logo (our studio being one of them!) One of the advantages of using black in your logo is that it is easy to read.
The color black is popular within the fashion industry; a great example would be Chanels branding. Their branding has an editorial design and uses several black and white photos. They also use black as an accent color throughout their website.
Other brands that use black in their branding are Prada, The New York Times, Gucci, and Nike.
White is associated with purity, simplicity, innocence, cleanness, goodness, and humility. It does have a different interpretation, however, depending on where you are in the world. So keep this in mind if your target audience is outside North America.
The haircare brand Olaplex uses white within its brand packaging to symbolize cleanness. And Olaplex’s secondary color is black to represent luxury.
Brown is associated with comfort, nature, and security.
The color brown tends to be used for chocolate brands, such as Godiva, M&Ms, and Hershey’s Chocolate. It is also used in Dreyers Ice Cream and Nespresso’s branding.
Brown can also be used for a company that sells natural goods since brown is known for being an earthy color.
Grey is associated with balance and neutrality. On the other hand, grey can also be associated with loss and depression.
A balance between black, white, and grey can give your branding and website a clean and neutral look.
Some brands that use grey are Apple, Mercedes-Benz, BBC, WordPress, Wikipedia, Forbes, and Lexus.
By understanding who your customer is on a deeper level, you will be able to choose brand colors based on the feelings you would like them to have towards your brand.
Effective branding always has its target audience and ideal customer in mind. Branding should never be about us, but instead, the customers that we are serving.
By telling your brand’s unique story and connecting it with your target audience, you will create a brand that people can relate to, which is a critical part of marketing your business.
Before choosing your brand colors, first, write down how you would like your target audience to feel about your brand. Doing this will make it easier to find colors representing those feelings.