How the Psychology of Colour Can Affect Marketing


Posted on 19th April 2018 by Emily
Filed under Business Advice


Colour can have a huge impact on the success of marketing materials, so we've been thinking about the different colours we use in marketing and the effect they can have on your customers.

We are not going to make any dramatic sweeping statements about colour in marketing, writing off one colour as only evoking negative emotions. The truth is that it’s a little more complicated than that as there is a lot of personal preference involved. However, this doesn’t mean that colour doesn’t make an impact on consumers. In fact, one study found that,

“People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62-90 percent of the assessment is based on colours alone.”

So, what do consumers feel about the colours we use in our marketing materials?

The Colour Must Match the Product

One of the most important elements when choosing the colours to use when marketing your business, brand or a specific product is to ensure that the colour matches what you’re promoting. Some colours can evoke a particular feeling or are most often associated with certain products.

For example, when you look at the biggest fast food brands, you will notice that most of them share common colours in their branding. McDonald’s, Burger King and KFC all use the colour red, suggesting that consumers often associate this colour with the fast food industry.

This can be seen through the colour used in other industries. Tech companies often use blue in their branding – Dell, HP and Facebook, for example.

Think About the Emotion You Want to Evoke

It is important to understand why your customers buy your products and how it makes them feel. The use of colour can help to support the emotion your product or brand makes them feel. This means that colours can mean different things to different brands and products.

For example, the colour purple can cultivate a feeling of luxury – something that can be seen in the branding of companies such as Cadbury and Hallmark. However, when used by other companies, it can have more fun and laidback connotations, such as the live streaming platform, Twitch, or the television channel, E4.

While we don’t want to make blanket rules about the emotions associated with different colours, there are some typical reactions to think about when choosing the colours to use in your marketing and branding:

·        Red – can evoke excitement and can seem bold; often used by food and beverage companies.

·        Blue – can represent trustworthiness and strength; often used by tech companies.

·        Yellow – conveys optimism and warmth; used by companies such as Nikon, IKEA and CAT.

·        Green – can feel peaceful and represent health; often used by companies associated with the environment, such as John Deere.

·        Orange – feels friendly and cheerful; used by companies such as Amazon, Fanta and Papermilldirect!

·        Purple – can represent luxury or creativity; used by companies such as Cadbury, Yahoo! and Aussie.

·        Grey – offers balance and neutrality; used by trusted brands such as Apple, Wikipedia and a number of car manufacturers.

Consider Brand Personality as well as Product

While the marketing of your product is obviously important, it’s essential that you don’t compromise your brand personality through your marketing campaign. When a customer purchases one of your products, they are also buying into your brand, so they should be able to instantly recognise your brand behind the product.

This can be achieved through your colour choices. If you use your branding colours and other complementary shades in your marketing, this can help to ensure that it is recognisable as yours.

Finding the right colour for your branding and marketing is not an exact science, but by considering these points, you may be able to identify the shades most likely to get a positive response from your customers.

To find out more about Papermilldirect and our trade accounts, please visit our website where you can contact a member of our team.

Tagged: Marketing, Colour

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