Why Color Matters in Marketing
posted June 21st 2017, 3:52 pm by Chloe Harbach
If you are looking to rebrand or drive your branding further, it is critical that you think about what colors you are going to be using for your next venture. Keep in mind that color psychology in marketing is not a hard science, and that personal experiences and memories linked to color are much more powerful than umbrella statements about color. This should give you a good launching pad for branding, though.
Now, it is likely you’ve heard at least a little bit about color psychology, but let’s dive a little deeper than “blue is calming.” Here are some basics that you should know about the psychology of color in marketing.
Yellows, oranges and reds are known to generate feelings of warmth and enthusiasm. They can stimulate passionate feelings of excitement but (buyer beware!) sometimes anger. Thus, they should be paired with other colors so that customers can associate your brand with more positive feelings.
If you are familiar with Les Miserables, then you know that red is the color of “the blood of angry men” and also “the color of desire.” These are clearly two opposing things (both of which are true), but the general principle gives us a good look at what red does to people. The color is associated with passion, excitement and high energy. It often stimulates a feeling of urgency and immediacy. It is believed that this color physically stimulates the body, raising heart rate and blood pressure. (We know those feelings of excitement here at RedMoxy!) Oh, and it also stimulates appetite. Think about this the next time you walk into a restaurant...
This is a color often associated with friendliness and confidence. Well, now you know what you are wearing on your next date! Some believe that orange also stimulates the logical side of the brain, promoting analytical thinking. Before you go painting your office this color, though, note that too much orange is known to increase feelings of anxiety.
As the color of sunshine, is it any wonder that yellow stimulates feelings of youthfulness, joy and optimism? All that happy does have a downside, though. Yellow can be seen as unstable or childish if it is overpowering.
*Insert clever double entendre-y joke centered around the word cool.* Let’s relive that moment where we said that blue is calming. That belongs right here. Cool colors (blues, greens, purples) are associated with calmness and peacefulness. They come with a bit of warning label, though. Too much “cool” can be a turn-off for many people because these colors, if overused, can make people feel cold, sad and alone.
A favorite color for many, blue is often associated with peace, tranquility and reliability. People often choose to wear blue because it is makes them appear to be more friendly and trustworthy. (Hey, we've got your next job interview outfit set for you now, too!) Interestingly, blue is said to curb an appetite as people often feel content in a room full of blue.
Not surprisingly, this color is associated with health, freshness and vitality, as it is often associated with nature. It is often associated with money or wealth (think of all the banks that use the color green in their branding!), so think about the life and vitality of your wallet! It is also believed to stimulate decisiveness and make people feel relaxed.
As you’ve likely heard before, this color, like green, is also associated with money and, not only so, but also royalty, wisdom and respect. Furthermore, the color evokes feelings of mystery, moodiness and harmony. It is also believed to stimulate feelings of ambition in people. Now you know what color to paint your employee’s offices!
These are colors that are great when paired with others, but can make people feel bored or sad when used alone.
Channel your inner Broadway nerd, again. Black is “the color of despair,” and that really is true. If you’ve ever been to a funeral, you know that black is the color of mourning. It has more positive qualities, too, though. Black is also the color of stability, strength and power. It is associated with intelligence and class -- as in classiness. Like orange, this color can be overwhelming if it is overpowering.
This is a color that is absolutely timeless and practical. It is perfect for pairing with other colors and should be used that way, as it can stimulate feelings of sadness, loneliness and depression when used extensively.
Ahh, the absence of color. This, dare we call it, “color” is often associated with purity and cleanliness. No wonder it is so popular in interior design! It is also believed to stimulate creativity in people because they look at large white spaces as fresh starts.
It is important to be aware of the way that you are making people feel with the brand associations you are portraying (oh, and, besides marketing, this is a pretty great real life tip, too -- you're welcome). Think about the feelings you want your brand to evoke, then build your color palette off those ideas.