Colour Psychology in Marketing

The branding of your company can determine the way it is viewed by others, and how customers perceive your brand as a whole. It can attract new customers, but can equally make older customers feel at home with your company. One of the key concepts of brand identity that can influence this interaction between business and customer is your brand’s logo. Logos should always match and enhance the personality of a company, whilst being memorable. Many of the most successful logos (such as Coca-Cola and Apple) are simplistic, meaning that a customer can ‘fill in the blanks’ with positive experiences they have had with the brand.

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A key part of designing a logo is the colour palette used. The most effective logos use one to three primary colours, all of which have different connotations and create different emotions and responses in a customer. For example, green is often linked to health and nature, whilst red can be linked to determination, but also to energy, warmth and excitement. The colour chosen will have a massive influence on how the brand is perceived. In fact, researchers have found that up to 90% of the initial judgements made by customers about products are based on colour alone.

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COLOUR IN SPECIFIC INDUSTRIES

Often, within specific industries, there are colours used regularly to promote the same sets of emotions. For example, brands in the food industry such as McDonald’s and KFC use the colour red, as there is a large amount of research suggesting that it stimulates hunger. It also stands out easily, but can indicate anger so must be used carefully. Blue and pink are often combined when selling sugary products, such as sweets and ice cream, as they suggest a sense of playfulness and sweetness, for example in brands such as Baskin Robbins.

In the world of designer clothing, black is used to convey a sense of elegance and luxury, for instance Ralph Lauren and Chanel. Car manufacturers tend to use silver to provide a sense of luxury and quality, as seen in Toyota’s logo, or blue to give a sense of consistency and calm, like the logos used by Ford and Volkswagen.

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THE EFFECT OF AGE AND GENDER

Joe Hallock collated a lot of data surrounding the idea that colour is interpreted differently depending on gender. The majority of both males and females liked blue, with 57% of males and 35% of females ranking it as their favourite colour. Again, male and female agreed on many of their least favourite colours which included orange, brown and yellow. However, 22% of men voted purple as their least favourite colour compared to only 8% of females. This shows the collated enjoyment of the colour blue in both genders, and the inconsistency of opinion in regards to the colour purple between genders.

Age also affects the preference of some colours according to psychologist Faber Birren. Younger children seem to like colours such as yellow and orange, whilst older people again preferred blues and greens. Therefore, many brands who have children as their target audience, such as Nerf and Hot Wheels, use yellows, reds and oranges in their branding to attract them.

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SO… HOW CAN YOU USE COLOUR IN YOUR BRANDING?

USE VIBRANT COLOURS

Ads that are in colour get read up to 42% more frequently than the same ads in black and white. Make sure your social media posts are light, bright and inviting, not dark and gloomy, as this will repel social media users.

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PICK A COLOUR TO REPRESENT YOUR BRAND

Decide what you want your brand to represent, and pick a colour that links to and complements this idea. You could use blue to create the idea of trustworthiness and reliability, or use red to grab attention to your brand and to convey excitement and determination.

USE RED IN CLEARANCE SALES

Red grabs customer attention and creates a sense of urgency, which would encourage people to purchase items from the sale.

USE INVITING COLOURS ON COVER PHOTOS OF SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS

Use warm colours such as yellows, oranges and browns to invite and encourage people to visit your social media accounts.

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AUTHOR: MILLY DAYER