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Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding

News & Blog

If color affects sales, does the right color increase sales? Whether your customers are aware of it or not, colors affect their decision-making processes. If used properly, it can be a great tool to increase sales. Remember that at the end of the day, color psychology is not a set of rules. It is more a set of guidelines that help you appreciate and understand your customers better.

There are a number of things that can affect how an individual person interprets color, including:
– Colorblindness
– Context
– Culture
– Gender
– Personal Preference

In one particular study called Impact of Color in Marketing, researchers found that 62-90% of quick judgments made about products can be based on color alone.

Color Emotion Guide

The Color Emotion Guide provided is not the ending point in this discussion, but merely the beginning. It demonstrates how the many logos and color schemes can be organized into 8 primary groups:

Rainbow = Diversity
Red = Excitement, Youthfulness, Boldness
Orange = Friendliness, Cheerfulness, Confidence
Yellow = Optimism, Clarity, Warmth
Green = Peacefulness, Growth, Health
Blue = Trust, Dependability, Strength
Purple = Creativity, Imagination, Wisdom
Gray / Black = Balance, Neutrality, Calmness

Language and Color Perception

These are not hard and fast rules, but it does give us insight into the human condition. Did you know that there are cultures that do not have words for certain color like we have in English? Some use the same word for pink, red, and orange. Others use the same word for dark green, dark blue, dark brown, and dark purple. Language is an integrated part of culture. One can use language to gain understanding of that culture. English has 11 basic categories of color: black, gray, white, red, pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and brown. If we are to categorize the vast variety of human emotions into a handful of groups, it would be easy to associate specific emotions with one of these eleven colors.

Branding Personality and Color Schemes

Branding a business is much more than logos and color schemes. It also encompasses company values and its unique identity. Jennifer Aaker is a psychologist and Stanford professor. She found five core dimensions that play a role in a brand’s personality:

– Competence
– Excitement
– Ruggedness
– Sincerity
– Sophistication

For example, high fashion is considered sophisticated, whereas camping gear is rugged. There is a strong psychological connection between color and a person’s perception of a brand’s personality. Certain colors do align with specific personalities, such as brown with ruggedness, purple with sophistication, and red with excitement. However, it is more important to portray the personality you want versus trying to align with stereotypical color associations. It is also important to know your products and your customers. Harley Davidson and Suzuki both sell motorcycles, but they have very different clients. Is your product more masculine or feminine? Is it more urban or rural? John Deere markets tractors to farmers who grow crops. Green is a common color in farm country. That is a good reason why John Deere’s logo is green. The Oakland Raiders on the other hand are a NFL football team based in the big urban city of Oakland, California. Its colors are variations of black, white, and gray. It has a completely different market and a completely different personality. At the end of the day, you want to have a color scheme that portrays the brand’s personality you want it to have.

Color Preferences by Gender

Men’s most favorite colors in order of popularity:
– Blue
– Green
– Black
– Red

If you are marketing to men, you may want to consider using some of these colors.

Men’s least favorite colors in order of least popularity:
– Brown
– Purple
– Orange
– Yellow

If you are marketing to men, you may want to avoid using these colors.

Women’s most favorite colors in order of popularity:
– Blue
– Purple
– Green
– Red

If you are marketing to women, you may want to consider using some of these colors.

Women’s least favorite colors in order of least popularity:
– Orange
– Brown
– Gray
– Yellow

If you are marketing to women, you may want to avoid using these colors.

Marketing and Color Coordination

It is important to use a color palette that portrays the brand personality you want to have. You also want to coordinate colors that complement one another. For example, look at common and memorable color combinations out there is the market:

Green / Yellow: BP, John Deere
Red / White: Coca Cola, Target
Red / White / Blue: Domino’s Pizza, NASA, NFL, Pepsi
Red / Yellow: Denny’s, DHL, McDonald’s, Shell Oil

Red and yellow are often used because they complement each other and grab your attention. Red, white, and blue are the colors of the US flag. This color combination aligns itself with the brand identity and personality of the United States.

There is a lot to think about when selecting a color schemes to market and brand a company. Color does effect how we emotionally perceive and respond to a business or product. It is not a one size fits all approach, but it is something you need to think about when you develop a logo, website, and business cards.

1040TaxBiz can help you brand and market your new or existing business. Contact us here to find out how.

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