Colour is everywhere, and whether you know it or not, colours end up giving you emotional experiences and affecting your purchase decisions. Understanding colour psychology can help entrepreneurs choose the right brand colours which can make your brand easily recognizable even in a sea of competitors. More importantly, picking out the wrong colours can drive your prospective customers away.
By using colour psychology correctly, it’s possible to influence the decision-making process of your target audience, improve brand awareness, and increase conversions.
What is colour psychology?
Colour psychology refers to the study of colours and how they affect behaviours and perceptions. In brand marketing, colour psychology helps understand how different colours affect consumer behaviour and purchasing decisions. Consumers can prefer one brand over the other just based on the colour. According to a study, up to 90 per cent of consumers make initial first impressions about a brand based solely on its colours.
When it comes to branding, we need colours everywhere -- From the product packaging to the brand logo and even website design. Each of these colour choices can have a major impact on your brand’s sales and conversions.
Moreover, the same colour can have different meanings depending on the gender, location, values, interests, and behaviours of the end customers. That means it's not just about picking a universally functional colour, brands need to choose colours for marketing that resonate with their target audience.
Meanings of colours under colour psychology
Red: Brands that use red want to convey a feeling of excitement, energy, action, and even danger. It also encourages appetite, which is why many FMCG brands and restaurants have red in their logo.
Brands that use red: YouTube, Netflix, Puma, Nintendo, Lego, Coca Cola, Burger King, and KFC
Yellow: It signifies optimism, positivity, happiness, and youthfulness. It is also considered to rev up appetites in people.
Brands that use yellow: McDonald’s, Subway, Ikea, Snapchat, and Nikon
Blue: It is more of a calming colour that conveys security and trust. As a result, it is majorly used by tech companies, banks, and car manufacturers.
Brands that use bank: Visa, American Express, Intel, Facebook, Volkswagen, Hyundai, and PayPal
Black: In colour psychology, black signifies power, sophistication, elegance, and mystery. That is why many fashions and sports brands use primarily black in their logos.
Brands that use black: Vogue, Chanel, Gucci, Adidas, Nike, and Ray Bans
Green: It is connected to money, nature, health, and generosity. It is primarily used by brands that want to focus on nature and growth
Brands that use green: John Deere, Whole Foods, Tropicana, Animal Planet, and Starbucks
Pink: This color is usually associated with femininity and calmness which is why a lot of women-centric brands use different shades of pink.
Brands that use pink: Hello Kitty, Cosmopolitan, Victoria’s Secret, and Benefit
How to choose the right brand colours according to colour psychology
1- The colour should fit what you are trying to sell
While it is important to know the meaning behind every colour, the right colour for your brand will be the one that fits with what you are trying to sell. The customers’ perception of the colour also depends on the type of products or services that you offer.
For instance, green would mean money and prosperity if a financial app like Intuit Mint uses. But if a food or beverage company like Tropicana or Whole Foods uses green, the colour signifies nature and organic produce.
2- The colour should showcase your brand’s personality
For instance, Apple as a brand that aims to offer products that can uncomplicate things for its end customers and make it easier for them to manage their everyday tasks. This is in turn reflected in the brand’s main colours - -white along with different shades of black and grey. The colour scheme is used for the company’s website, apps, and other marketing materials.
3- The colour should appeal to your target audience
As mentioned above, people perceive colours differently based on their gender, environment, age, and cultural background. When it comes to tints, shades, and hues, men generally prefer bolder and darker colours as compared to women who prefer softer colours.
Similarly, brands that target kids use a spectrum of rainbow colours along with fun typography to make the brand seem more friendly
4- The colour should differentiate your brand from competitors
Research has revealed that customers usually prefer brands that are immediately recognizable by our brains and colour makes up for an important factor in helping people identify brands. The isolation effect also states that if an item or product stands out completely from others, it is likely to be remembered.
For instance, most cab-hailing apps choose to go with yellow and/or black colours which are the basic colours of the taxi in most parts of the world. But Lyft decided to choose pink as its main brand colour in order to stand out from its main competitors like Uber. It also helps in creating a more long-lasting impression on the customers.
The truth is, there are no clear-cut and direct guidelines when it comes to choosing colours for a brand. While research into the psychology of colour can help immensely, the right colours also depend on a lot of other factors like your products, target audience, market positioning, competitors, and price point.
Instead of experimenting with different colours and risking your brand identity, you can work closely with expert designers at Prrowess who can help you pick out the right colours that completely align with your brand’s values. Prrowess offers unlimited graphic design services which means you can get unlimited designs done by dedicated designers for a fixed monthly price.
Take a risk-free trial with 10 days 100% money-back guarantee at Prrowess to see how we can help!