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How Does Colour Affect Marketing?

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Group of people considering colours for marketing

The colour of things can influence consumers’ buying patterns, additionally it can affect their overall perception of the brand.

This is why if you want to be successful in marketing and branding, you should know how colour psychology affects your audiences, as well as how it makes your brand come across. Colours can even affect the impact of potential customers buying items, so a lot of thought needs to be considered when choosing colours for your branding or marketing strategy.

This is especially apparent in the marketing of the products or services, the role of visuals becomes undeniably crucial. The expression of a feeling, mood or imagery that is associated with the brand, product or message ultimately stems from colour. Keep reading to see what colours will suit your brand best as we explain the psychological impact of colours and what connotations they have! After reading this blog, you will be able to understand basic colour psychology.

Colour Psychology:

Pink - Some people associate this colour with all things feminine and girly, which is why in marketing, when appealing to young girls, people sway more towards pink tones. There is also the connotation of romance or public holidays like Valentine’s Day. Each different shade of pink may define different messages for example, baby pink is associated with baby girls, whereas a shocking pink may be Barbie related.

Yellow - The first thing that comes to mind when you think of yellow is bright and intense, possibly the idea of warmth and energy, due to the connotation of the sun. Yellow can quickly grab attention, but it can also be abrasive when overused and can lead to visual fatigue.

Green - This colour has strong associations with nature and immediately brings to mind lush grass and trees. As it is so heavily associated with nature, green is often described as a refreshing and tranquil colour.

Orange - Orange can be a very energetic colour. Much like other bright colours like red, it can be very attention-grabbing, perhaps why it is often used in marketing a lot. People describe orange as bright, happy, and uplifting much like yellow.

Blue - This colour is often (like green) found in nature. For example, blue in the daytime sky or the dark blue of a deep pool of water. Maybe this is why people describe blue as calm and serene. However, being a cool colour rather than warm blue can sometimes seem icy, distant, or even cold connoting sadness.

Red - In colour psychology, the colour red provokes the strongest emotions. While cool colours like blue are considered calming and quite peaceful. Red is considered the most contradictory of the colours and is the warmest. The fiery hue has different emotional associations, linking to passion and love as well as contrasting emotions; power and anger. Hunger is also triggered by red, which is why fast food places include red in their logos.

Black - For some people, black associates attractiveness and elegance. The colour oozes sophistication, which is why high-end brands (for example, jewellery and perfume) like Chanel utilize black in their branding and advertisements. On the contrary, throughout history, this colour has been tied to death and all things evil and bad, so this may connote a negative response on viewers.

White - This colour can represent purity or innocence associating terms within bridal, biblical and newborn babies. White is bright and can create a sense of space. This is why designers often use the colour white in their marketing as well as interior design, where it is used to make rooms seem larger and more spacious.

Purple - Connoting a powerful impact on people’s moods, often being described as mysterious, spiritual, and imaginative. Purple is viewed as rare and intriguing, which is why brands use it to bring in people in their marketing. Purple often connotes royalty and can be associated with high wealth, adding to sophistication.

Brown - This tends to feel like an earthy colour, sometimes seeming drab and boring, but can also have connotations of isolation due to camping and tent colours. Light browns such as beige, caramel or possibly cream are often used as popular neutrals in design and fashion.

Grey - Grey isn’t technically a colour but colour experts suggest that people who prefer grey in their homes and in their cars don't want to stand out and instead like being subtle.

How Colour Can Affect Marketing:

When it comes to marketing and branding, people’s choice of colours and what they are drawn to ultimately relies on their personal experiences or distinct feelings with that colour. This is why it is extremely important to find a middle ground yet still find colours that have higher rates of an emotional response. Use of the correct colours in marketing can increase brand awareness, engagement and therefore, potentially sales.

Colour Within Marketing Figures

  • Approximately 65% of the population are visual learners (Inc, 2017).
  • 90% of customers make a purchase decision on the basis of visual impression (Management Decision, 2006).
  • Attention span to colour advertisement is 50% higher than a black and white version (The Economic Times, 2018).
  • Use of appropriate colours can increase brand awareness by almost 80% (CEO, 2018).

Contrast Matters

Contrast is how colours stand apart from another, making text or objects distinguishable from the background. Often, people assume a difference in colour is what creates contrast, but that is not technically true. As you might have two colours which are completely different but, have no contrast because their tone is the same. To test out colours, turn them into grayscale and see the difference. For example, yellow and orange - despite being different colours - they do not have much contrast due to being similar tones.

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