Marketing and branding are just as strong as the colors you employ. You'll be using them in your logo, website, and advertisements, so it's important to pick wisely. Instead, you should put some thought into the colors you employ for branding and advertising. How? The trick is to learn about color psychology and find ways to use it.
What exactly is color psychology?
The study of how different hues affect people physiologically and psychologically, leading to observable behavioral changes, is known as color psychology. Seeing red makes you mad and seeing blue makes you calm, but this isn't quite that straightforward. The color red has been linked to an increase in blood pressure, whereas the color blue has been linked to a drop by medical researchers.
Moods may be greatly influenced by color selection due to its power to influence human behavior. Choosing the proper paint colors is essential for creating the desired atmosphere in your house, as stated by Architectural Digest. Colors with a high temperature have a stimulating effect, while those with a low temperature have a calming effect.
We move on to discuss how the psychology of colors might affect your brand and advertising campaigns in the next section.
Let's examine the importance of color psychology in marketing.
Whether or not you're aware of it, color may play a significant part in advertising. Whether or not they know it, the colors you choose for your logo and other forms of marketing collateral will have an effect on the audience's mood.
Bottom line: You need to consider color psychology when you’re building your brand and creating your campaigns.
An explanation of how to utilize color psychology in advertising
Knowing what color psychology is and how much of an impact it can have on your marketing, we can go on to discussing how to employ color psychology to increase your campaign's success.
1. Educate yourself on the fundamentals of color psychology
If you want to use color psychology in your advertising, a basic understanding of the topic will go a long way. We already discussed how the color red may make people feel more alert or anxious, whereas the color blue can have the opposite effect and make them feel more relaxed. If you want to appeal to people's emotions with your advertisements, here are some additional basic color connections to think about:
Red: excitement, passion, anger, danger, action, anxiety, power.
Orange: playfulness, friendliness, creativity, warmth, enthusiasm.
Yellow: happiness, optimism, warning, joy, originality, enthusiasm.
Green: Youth, vibrancy, vigor, nature, growth, stability.
Blue: Calm, stability, depth, peacefulness, trust.
Purple: Royalty, luxury, romance, introspection, calm.
Note the overlapping details. When expressing a feeling, you can use any number of colors (and variations thereof).
2. Go straight to the heart of the matter
Whether you're updating your brand's color scheme or selecting a color scheme for a new advertising campaign, you should always begin with the feeling you want to evoke in your target audience. Must we inspire terror in them? Curiosity? Confidence? Refer to these samples of emotive ad copy for ideas.
When you know what you want to achieve, you can pick the proper hue.
As an illustration, consider this advertisement for Lego products. The slogan reads, "Make your own tale."
The advertisement features Lego versions of Darth Vader and Leia relaxing in the sun. This is a humorous scenario in which Star Wars figurines are used to create a whole new narrative. That warm, welcoming hue orange was chosen for the backdrop is not surprising.
3. Look to other brands for ideas.
Looking at advertisements, websites, and brands and noting how the colors make you feel is the best approach to improve your own use of the psychology of color. Check out Bloomscape, a plant-selling website popular among Millenials and Gen Z.
There's a fine line between rustic and hipster in the use of forest green for the typeface and the bar across the top. Cream adds a soft, natural touch, and the light peach, a clever update on Millennial pink, is a nice complement to it. The many shades of green are softened by the terracotta planters and splashes of red and orange in the arrangement. The impact has inspired me to take better care of my own plants, and I may even treat myself to a couple of succulents.
4. Make sure everything fits in with your brand's image.
According to research conducted by Reboot, an SEO firm, 78% of participants remembered the logo's primary color whereas just 43% remembered the company name.
Make sure the brand color is consistent and used consistently throughout all of your marketing materials if you want people to remember your brand by its color. That's why it's crucial to use colors that are in line with your brand's identity; the most successful companies understand this. Do you remember when Dunkin' Donuts changed their name to just "Dunkin'"? All those variations on a theme, using the same timeless color palettes.
The ubiquitous orange, pink, and brown that serve as Dunkin's brand colors can be seen on just about everything. The use of a wide range of colors and styles prevents your brand's identity from feeling too one-dimensional. This brings us to the second piece of advice, which is to provide oneself a good canvas.
5. Establish a color scheme for the company.
It's important to maintain brand cohesion in your marketing materials, but you also don't want to be too boring. The situation can even appear spammy. The answer is to establish guidelines for the colors to be used inside.
A brand color palette should be established if one does not already exist.
Some examples of popular color schemes are shown below.
Analogous – Colors next to each other on the color wheel.
Complementary – Opposite colors that create high contrast.
Monochromatic – Different shades or tones of the same primary color.
Check out the no-cost design tool Coolors for some assistance in creating the palette or ideas. It has premade palette examples and can make new ones for you based on a given hue or even an image.
6. Keep cultural context in mind.
No two people have the same color perception. Indeed, MIT scholars discovered that linguistically-based differences exist in the vocabulary and syntax used to describe hues. There is a wide variation in the number of color categories used, with some communities using as few as three and others using as many as twelve.
Therefore, the study of the psychology of race cannot be considered universal. For this reason, it is crucial to consider the target audience's cultural background before developing a marketing strategy. This handy visual reference should serve as a great jumping off point:
7. Include some cool blue tones
Don't worry if you've come this far and are feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of having to remember cultural context, stick to a palette, and rely on the foundations of color psychology. It will take some time and effort to learn the fundamentals of color psychology and use it into your marketing strategy.
A short rule of thumb till then is this: if in doubt, add blue.
According to a global survey, blue is the most well-liked hue. That might be a contributing factor to why so many of the best recognized firms in the world use blue in their logos. Social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, American Express, and IBM are only the beginning.
So, blue is the color to choose if you want an easy way out.
8. Have people vote on color schemes
Now, this may seem counterintuitive to what has come before. But the truth is that it's impossible to know how people will react to any one hue, let alone variations on that color. This is where split-screen or A/B testing comes in. You may find out what your audience likes by running an A/B test with two distinct backdrop colors for your adverts or buttons on your website.
Take advantage of that data. Doing so is the most effective application of color psychology in business. Verify, and keep verifying.
Put the power of color theory to good use.
Keep in mind that regardless of what you do, color psychology will have an impact on your marketing. The public will form opinions about how effectively the hues you choose for your brand represent your company. In other words, if you give them a red, green, or blue button, they'll respond faster. This is true whether or not you utilize the science of color theory in your branding and advertising.
You would be wise to turn that to your benefit. As a quick refresher, here are some of the ways you can put color psychology to work for your marketing efforts:
Master the fundamentals of color theory.
Feelings should come first.
Study competing products to spark creativity.
Establish a color scheme for the company.
Don't forget to factor in cultural norms
If you can, include some blue.
Maintain coherence in your brand's messaging.
Conduct audience color testing.
Best of luck!
Salty Red Dog Marketing, LLC is a marketing agency in Red Bank, NJ, Westport, CT, and everywhere in between. We service businesses with marketing strategies, digital marketing, social media, and consultations.
Phone: NJ: (732) 802-6205 // CT: (203) 429-9671