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How to Use Color Psychology in Marketing

posted June 23rd 2017, 12:16 pm by Chloe Harbach

How to Use Color Psychology in MarketingIf you’ve been following our blog, you have a basic understanding of some of the emotional responses that are believed to be associated with specific colors. If you are feeling out of the loop, take a look at our last blog on color psychology here. Today, let’s take a look at how your company can utilize color psychology in marketing.

Understanding the Importance of Color Psychology in Marketing

Now this is going to seem paradoxical, so get ready. Here it is: color psychology needs to support your brand, but your brand does not need to be supported by color psychology. Yes, we are aware of how entirely confusing that is! Let’s break this down. 

You want your brand to be associated with a certain emotion or life-style (let’s call it a personality). To portray that personality effectively, you want to choose colors that reinforce your brand’s personality. The critical piece here is that you choose the associations you want to be attached to your brand, and then you choose the colors after this step is completed. The order is important because color associations are different for everyone. There are broad universals that generally work as principles; however, you cannot control if someone has an averse reaction to your color. (Example: think of a colorful medicine that you had to take as a child. Do you cringe at that color now? Think about that type of thing.)

How to Choose Colors for Your Brand

Ok, so then how can you possibly know how people are going to react to the colors you choose? Well, you can’t, exactly. The good thing is that that isn’t necessarily a problem. According to a this research study, it is more important to choose a color that’s color associations don’t contradict your brand than it is to pick a color that is exactly the emotion you want to evoke.

Example: You want to open a flower shop that has an association to happiness. You use the color yellow in your branding because you've heard that it is associated with this feeling. Now, this color may not evoke happiness in every customer, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have a problem. For most people, yellow doesn’t feel like a direct contradiction to flowers (perhaps because of sunshine), so customers are still comfortable shopping with you. Choose black and brown for your flower shop, and you may induce some different reactions!

So, direct reactions are unpredictable, but we do have the power to avoid the negative reactions that overt contradictions would evoke. Think of it as defensive offense.

How Color Can Help Drive Your Brand

According to this research study, people make quick judgements about products based on appearance, and sometimes up to 90% of that judgement is based on color alone. The importance of this fact is multiplied when you think about how important it is for your brand to be recognizable. People are much more likely to buy from a recognizable brand -- hence why logos are so important. (*Insert shameless plug for RedMoxy’s design team here*) If your brand has a color that reinforces your desired associations, your brand is going to be more memorable.

So, while this may seem complicated and abstract, it really does have important implications.

Related Post: Branding Your Visuals

If all of this is confusing to you, don’t worry! RedMoxy exists to help companies with their marketing and branding needs. Contact us here with any questions, concerns or needs you have. We are happy to help!