Color Psychology in Advertising, Marketing, and Branding
Color Psychology in Advertising, Marketing, and Branding
Color psychology has a special role in advertising, marketing, and branding. Did you know that according to Aristotle, all human perceptions are the result of seeing? According to their visual memory, consumers reach the first impression of products within 0.67 seconds. This first impression dominates 67% of the buying process and is the result of seeing color.
In the following, we will introduce you to the importance of colors and the concept of color psychology in marketing and branding.
What is color psychology?
Color psychology is the study of how color affects human behavior and decision-making. Their different colors and tones create distinct associations. Color psychology is also different depending on personal preferences and culture.Color in marketing can affect the way buyers perceive different brands and products. Therefore, it is very important to choose colors that match your business goals and target audience.
The importance of color psychology in marketing
Undoubtedly, among the five human senses, the vision has the strongest effect on consumer perception. According to research results, 83% of humans use the sense of sight as a message receiver. Vision can be considered the most important sensory tool. Humans react directly to color and shape.
Therefore, designers also use color to strengthen the visual memory of brands and improve their recognition ability. Colors contain messages and can cause certain reactions in the nervous system.
According to the seven-second color theory in marketing, consumers experience the first impression of products through visual memory within 0.67 seconds. Therefore, the first impression dominates 67% of the buying process, which is caused by colors. That is, humans, retain and recognize the color and shape of a product within seven seconds. 62% of people recognize product brands through colors after watching a three-second ad.
According to research, using colors to show messages has increased 82% of attention and 80% of brand recognition. Also, colors create a positive image and 83% of businessmen believe that the colors on the brand label lead to business success.
Colors are formed with the help of light, which in turn is a form of energy. According to scientists, people experience psychological changes in contact with different colors. Colors can stimulate, evoke and form different emotions.
Each color leads to different reactions. Colors with long wavelengths have a stimulating effect. For example, red is a vibrant color. Short wavelength also has a calming effect. For example, the color blue can lower blood pressure and pulse. Orange represents friendship, pink represents softness, and gray represents professionalism.
Goethe (1808) proposed the concept of the color circle in the first color theory and separated colors into positive and negative parts. Positive colors include yellow, orange, and red and represent self-expression, vitality, and ambition. Negative colors, including blue and purple, show obedience and admiration.
You can also see Shirley Willett’s color coding of emotions in the figure below:
The outer circle includes positive traits, the second circle shows six emotions, the inner circle shows negative traits, and the middle one shows depression. Colors symbolize abstract concepts and affect psychology and emotion. Each color has its own positive and negative characteristics to affect human emotions.
Until now, various definitions of attributes and emotions related to colors have been presented. All these researches have attributed certain attributes to colors that cause certain emotional reactions.
How do entrepreneurs use color psychology?
Each color has its effect on consumers CEO of Yellow Tree Marketing, used color psychology to better target his audience. According to him:
“I asked my clients what comes to mind when they look at different colors. The yellow color was very positive. It brings kindness, intimacy, and empathy, which was in line with my brand.”
Dan Antonelli, who runs marketing agency Kickcharge, looks to the competition for inspiration, saying, “We take a research-based approach to the application of colors in the market.” Using colors that your competitors haven’t chosen can help you stand out and increase brand awareness.
Go outside the traditional color wheel, suggests creative director Hilary Weiss: “When it comes to color psychology, people say I want a calm brand, so I’ll use green. Or I want to be high-end, so I use black. I am a staunch supporter of subverting such stereotypical expectations.”
Weiss uses three colors red, blue, and yellow to create its innovative and unique brand identity.
In the following article, we will discuss the psychology of different colors:
The psychology of blue
Blue is ranked as the world’s favorite color, with men preferring it more than women. Brands feel the same way: “This soothing color is the most popular logo color.”
Blue creates feelings of security, strength, wisdom, and trust. Social media companies (such as Facebook and Twitter) often choose blue to appear trustworthy. Because this feature is very important for businesses that need to store a large amount of user data.
On the other hand, blue color has negative meanings. There are few blue foods in nature; Therefore, this color suppresses our appetite. It can also convey cold and unfriendly feelings.
Blue Cross Blue Shield Association uses the color blue in both its name and branding. As a health insurance company, they have to strike a balance between collecting personal data and providing quality services. The color scheme of this company’s logo shows customers that they can trust and rely on.
the company when making important decisions.
The psychology of purple.
The purple color is a symbol of royalty and superiority. In the Roman Empire, high-ranking officials wore dark purple, which at the time was worth more than gold. Queen Elizabeth, I banned even non-royals from wearing purple.
Due to these old associations, purple create a wise, rich, and sophisticated aura. Brands can use this color to represent a superior service, product, or experience. But purple can also represent decadence, bad mood, and excess. So be careful to maintain balance when using this color.
Since the color purple has a more feminine connotation, Hallmark uses this tone to refer to its predominantly female audience. Also, this TV channel uses color to convey its unique offer of movies. Only a few brands use the color purple, so this color can make a company stand out.
The psychology of the color orange
This bright color represents self-confidence, creativity, and courage. Due to its fun nature, it is well suited for non-corporate brands. Also, orange creates a feeling of warmth; Because it is related to the sun.
However, this color also has not-so-sunny meanings. It can cause feelings of frustration, deprivation, and weakness. It may seem immature or ignorant. This is the difference between Hermès and Cheetos.
The iconic Nickelodeon logo is one of the most recognizable orange logos. As the color orange evokes feelings of creativity and even immaturity, it fits with their unorthodox programming and unorthodox brand. Only a company as beautiful as Orange could produce movies like SpongeBob Squarepants and The Wild Thornberrys.
The psychology of red
This powerful color is associated with excitement, energy, power, fearlessness, and passion. Salespeople use red buttons to convert buyers during sales because it creates a sense of urgency. Red can also have a physical effect. This color makes people hungry.
However, the color red can also enhance negative emotions. E color represents anger, warnings, danger, rebelliousness, aggression, and pain. Red police lights warn drivers to pull over, while stop signs force drivers to stop. Even Disney’s cartoon Inside Out shows anger as a fiery red creature. The red color in branding is effective when used in the right context.
For example, Coca-Cola has used this color as its signature for decades. The company’s red color encourages shoppers to consume its beverage products and goes along with its exciting brand tagline, “True Magic.”
The psychology of green
Without exaggeration, green represents life. Greens, which are reminiscent of grass, trees, and bushes, bring a feeling of peace, health, well-being, hope, and freshness. But due to its primitive nature, it can indicate dullness, stagnation, and mildness.
Whole Foods uses green because of its reputation for fresh, high-quality products. The brand bills itself as “America’s healthiest grocery store,” so using a color associated with health and growth aligns with their mission.
The psychology of yellow
Like orange, yellow represents youth and happiness. This is the color of smiling stickers, sunflowers, and plastic ducks. Brands use yellow to indicate optimism, creativity, extroversion, and warmth.
However, the brand yellow can promote feelings of fear, irrationality, and anxiety. Police tape, traffic lights, and street signs are all yellow. In other words, before you drown in this color, remember this cautionary tale.
McDonald’s golden arches make great use of the positive side of yellow. Yellow is tied with appetizing red and has created an association of youth and happiness for this fast food chain company. Happy meals with a yellow smiley face emphasize its kid-friendly reputation.
The psychology of black color.On websites, emails, and logos, you’ll see black everywhere. Black as the main color can make the brand appear sophisticated, powerful, and elegant. Many luxury companies (e.g. Chanel) use black to make their logos look stylish and beautiful.
But black indicates cruelty and coldness. People can even consider the color black as a symbol of evil. Consider Ursula the Sea Witch or Oscar in The Lion King.
While black works wonders in the fashion industry, this is not the case everywhere. For example, the color black is rarely seen in the healthcare industry because it is associated with death and mourning.Nike uses black and white ads and its logo to reinforce the power-focused brand.
The company centers it’s messaging around empowering athletes and helping customers become stronger people.
The psychology of white
If your business is looking for a clean and simple space, white is the ideal choice. White next to black gives a modern feel and can help achieve a pure, innocent, and, pristine look.
On the other hand, white can feel sterile, just like a soulless hospital. Maybe the lack of color makes your brand look simple, boring, and empty. The design here, like many colors, depends on the context. Some of the world’s most innovative brands, including Apple and Tesla, have white logos.
Black is to Nike what white is to Adidas. Unlike Nike, Adidas targets a less athletic customer group. They regularly associate with non-athletes including musicians, artists, etc. Therefore, the white color enables them to benefit from simple and universal appeal.
The psychology of pink
It is the most popular color to show femininity. Pink is functional for any brand that wants a younger, more imaginative, and more whimsical feel. For example, T-Mobile leans towards magenta to stand out from the competition.
However, pink also create childish or rebellious moods. As the buyers get used to this color, the sense of freshness will decrease. If you’ve ever been to Victoria’s Secret store, the pink walls are nauseating after a while.
For companies like Barbie, pink is the perfect combination of femininity and youth. The doll giant’s pink logo helps them market their products to a younger audience.
After years of study, there is no doubt that the psychology of colors affects human behavior. When it comes to marketing, color is a powerful tool for evoking emotions, conveying the right message, and influencing purchasing decisions. It is also a great way to connect with customers and show brand personality.
However, there are no golden rules about color in marketing. According to color theory, everyone experiences colors differently, and what works for one target audience may not work for another. The important thing is to choose colors based on brand personality and test different elements of the website to improve the click-through rate.