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Color Psychology: How can you use them effectively in Marketing and Branding?
Color represents a large part of your branding, and therefore, it is an enhancing aspect of your marketing.
What is the first thing you think of when we talk about a big yellow "M"? You probably instantly thought of Mcdonald's.
Or, for example, what colours do you associate with Facebook or Twitter? Blue, correct?
Beyond this, in a Digital Synopsis article, we found that 93% of buyers focus on the visual aspect of products, and color is one of the most important, with 84.7% of users saying that this is the primary draw card when they make a purchase.
It's right there where the theory of color psychology comes from. Today at Codedesign, we want to dive deeply into this subject to see how we can use it to our advantage within our marketing and branding efforts.
So sit back and enjoy this article.
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What is Color Psychology?
We can adjudicate the first color psychology theory to the German poet and artist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1810. In his book "Theory of Colours," the artist stated that different colors could evoke various emotions in individuals, describing, for example, yellow as a "gladdening" tone and blue as a "melancholic" one.
Although the scientific community rejected this theory, in 1942, Psychologists Kurt Goldstein expanded Goethe's work by conducting experiments on five patients to see how specific colours could affect their motor function.
The experiment looked at different red and green objects to see how they could affect their balance problems and tremors. The results showed that red seemed to increase their symptoms while green decreased them and improved their overall motor function.
After this experiment, Goldstein concluded that red was a stimulating color while green would be a stabilizing one, and he argued that his patients could improve their state just by seeing the colour.
Although scientists did not validate Goldstein's discovery, the fact is that color theory is still a topic of debate in the scientific world. Therefore marketing has gained some influence on it.
As marketers, we seek to know how we can use psychological tricks to make our customers buy, that is the basis of our discipline, and that is where we get ideas about colors and how they could be adapted to our brand.
This issue is of such importance that in the "Impact of color on marketing" study, researchers found that up to 90% of snap judgments made about products can be based on color alone.
So we could take color and its psychological meaning as a guiding light to build our branding. BUT - and this one is big - there is a misconception about this theory, and if you want to master it, or at least manage it to a certain degree, there is something we need to know.
The Cultural perception of Colors
So, although we want to determine that a color could generate the same feeling for all customers, this idea may be a little simplistic.
What could make the scientific community raise an eyebrow in distrust of the psychology of color is that the experience of colour depends on personal experiences, even on the cultural spheres of each society, as a study by the National Library of Medicine points out.
In specific contexts, we can assume that the colour red is associated with anger since we usually take on this hue when we get angry. But in another field, red is associated with love or medicine.
Our ideas about colors vary greatly depending on our culture or upbringing.
For example, while we Westerners can associate the color black with death, in the Far Eastern, it takes on the opposite meaning, representing health, prosperity and hospitality.
In the following graph, courtesy of a Bootcamp.UxDesign article, we can see what meanings are given to each color according to culture:
Observing this, we should not throw in the towel and think that the psychology of color is useless for our branding. This topic is quite relevant for brands, and there is much cloth to cut to use in our favor.
How to choose the right colors for your brand?
As we stated earlier, choosing a color for your logo, website, and all other branding and marketing pieces is not as easy as looking for a color chart, finding the one that "conveys" trust and reliability and suddenly stamping it everywhere.
Your brand's feelings, mood and personality require a little more work. However, there are several things about the color psychology that can help you.
Choose a color that combines with your brand.
This part is an intuition exercise as you'll pick a color that fits your niche, and everything goes down to your experience with colors.
If you are a Vegan restaurant, chances are that you'll choose green tonalities, as this goes well with brands that try to be eco and animal friendly.
This part of a brand building may be a sketch, as with the following tips, you could drastically change your choice or even spice it up with more colours.
Choose a color that fixes your Brand's Personality.
As we mentioned above, colors can affect purchasing intent from your customers. Nevertheless, the most critical thing isn't the color itself but the personality you want to portray with them.
Jennifer Aaker, a Psychologist and Stanford professor, conducted studies on "Dimensions of Brand Personality," and in its paper, she points out five dimensions for a brand's personality:
Once you figure out what you want to convey with that personality, chances are that you'll find a color mix, textures and designs that show your brand's personality.
The right color appeals to your audience.
Knowing your audience and their preferences will help you better choose the colors that best suit their tastes.
Depending on their age or gender, or also depending on your niche, the tastes for each color will change. Here we give you a list of the preferred colors for each age group and gender according to Vengage:
Kids 2-10 years:
- Male: Artic Blue, Lime Green, Ambar Yellow.
- Female: Cupid Pink, Lavender Grey, Tiffany Blue.
Teenagers, less than 19 years:
- Male: Charcoal Black, Demin Blue, Splashed White.
- Female: Jade Black, Crimson Red, Tangerine Orange.
Young adult, 20-30 years:
- Male: Caroline Blue, Quartz Silver, Hickory Brown
- Female: Sand Gold, Cherry red, Eggplant Purple.
Adults, 30-40 years:
- Male: Oxford Blue, Powder Blue, Earl Grey
- Female: Dull Magenta, Emerald Green, Heather Purple
Middle Aged, 40-55:
- Male: Pebble Black, Misty Grey, Smokey Teal.
- Female: Apricot Pink, Pine Green, Pantone Plum
Senior Citizens, 55+:
- Male: Suave Mauve, Pale Beige, Snow Blue
- Female: Frosty Lime, Crepe Pink, Candle White.
Use the right color to differentiate your brand
In a Help Scout article, we found a study that reveals that our brains prefer instantly recognizable brands, so color represents an essential element when we create our brand. A journal article suggests that if you are a new brand, you should pick a rare colour within your niche to differentiate from competitors. This tactic is backed up by the psychological principle known as "the Isolation Effect," which states that if something "stands out like a sore thumb," it augments its chances of being remembered.
Choose a color with a catchy name.
We saw a common trend when we looked at the color preferences by age and group. We don't find typical colors like blue or green; instead, they are more specific and fancier if you like them, so we have denim blue and emerald green, for example.
The thing is that although we all perceive colors differently, the name of these can have a different effects on consumers.
In the study "A rose by any other name ...," people evaluated products with different color names, such as makeup items, and those with fancier names were preferred.
For example, there is a different effect when we put "mocha" on a product instead of just "brown," although they can be the same tone.
A study on "Color and Shopping Intentions" found that this name colour effect also applies to a wide variety of products because they are more pleasing to the eye than their essential colour names.
The Psychology of colors in Marketing.
Now with these tips in mind, it is a great idea to check out the most common attributes for each color and see how we could use them or even mix them to create the right personality and an excellent image for all our branding and advertising. For this, we'll take some references from the article Digital Synopsis.
Let's analyze these colors.
- Encourages appetite. Fast food franchises like McDonald's use it.
- It creates a sense of urgency, an alarm.
- People associate it with excitement, passion and even love.
- It emanates high energy and gets attention
- It stimulates the human body, raising blood pressure and heart rate.
- It's the most preferred color by men
- Peace and stability
- Security and trust
- Most common color used in offices and conservative brands
- Tranquillity and space, a calm mind.
- Young people associate it with maturity.
- Health, tranquillity and nature. Although, poison can be associated with it too.
- Money and wealth.
- Stores use it to make customers relax
- Brands use it to address environmental issues
- Green stimulates harmony in the brain, balancing mind and body.
- Royalty, wisdom and respect
- This color stimulates the problem-solving and creativity areas of our brains
- Beauty and anti-aging brands tend to use it
- Represents a creative and wise brand
- Cheerfulness and optimism
- While yellow can make babies cry, orange can show caution
- It's an excellent option to draw impulsive buyers and window shoppers
- Stimulates logic and enthusiasm
- If you use it too often, it can create a feeling of anxiety in users
- Authority, power, strength and stability
- It's a symbol of intelligence
- If it's used too frequently, it can overwhelm people
- Practicality, timelessness and solidarity in life
- Too much grey could lead to a feeling of nothingness
- Although it is an exciting color, it could lead to feelings of depression or old age death
- Purity, cleanliness and safety
- It can spark a sense of creativity if customers associate it with a clean slate
In marketing, only some aspects should go through the careful study of all aspects of your brand. To succeed in this line, we need to take care of the professional part of our marketing but, above all, the visual aspect since it is the first thing customers will notice about our business. The colors and their combination will help you convey that image that you want so much from your brand, whether you are a new business or want to renew your energy with a rebranding. Whatever your situation, at Codedesign, we offer you a professional hand to help you empower your brand and take it to all your ideal clients, thus reaching all your professional goals. Contact us, and let us guide you in your digital marketing.
Codedesign is a digital marketing agency specializing in e-commerce and B2B online marketing. Our digital team utilizes the latest digital marketing tools and strategies to help clients reach their business goals. We offer comprehensive services such as website design, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, performance marketing, social media marketing, CRM and marketing automation, email marketing, and more. Our experts create and implement customized digital marketing campaigns to increase website traffic, generate leads, and drive sales. Our expertise in e-commerce and B2B marketing allows us to understand the nuances of the digital marketplace and create effective marketing solutions tailored to their client's needs.
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