About 90% of consumers make snap judgments about brands based on color alone, and 85% of shoppers say that color is the primary reason they buy a particular product. Clearly, marketers must be careful choosing which colors they use to promote their brand.
People make common associations between emotions and colors — white with cleanliness, red with anger, and yellow with happiness. While this is mostly true, color and context have a significant influence on someone’s perception of color. For example, the red in the American Red Cross logo can represent health, but not when looking at the McDonald’s, KFC, and Coca-Cola logos. It is essential for the colors to communicate the brand’s personality effectively.
Nevertheless, specific colors are better at generating emotions than others. Here are some universal feelings and associations that each color conveys:
• Red — Urgency, passion, excitement, love, energy, speed, life, health, blood, danger, warning, and anger
• Blue — Trust, security, quality, high tech, reliability, intelligence, peace, serenity, calmness, masculinity, loyalty, and sadness
• Green — Nature, earth, environmentalism, all things natural, money, wealth, luck, new, jealousy, envy, and greed
• Yellow — Happiness, brightness, energy, warmth, fun, friendliness, and irresponsibility
• Orange — Cheerful, optimistic, successful, friendly, impulsive, enthusiastic, cautious, sluggish, anxious, cheap, and ignorant
• Purple — Luxury, quality, wealth, ambition, courage, and enigma
• Pink — Love, nurturing, caring, sweetness, femininity, and sex appeal
• Brown — Warm, dependable, rugged, the outdoors, organic, earth, natural, dogmatic, and conservative
• Black — Serious, quality, high tech, power, strength, authority, intelligence, fear, evil, death, and darkness
• White — Purity, simplicity, cleanliness, innocence, safety, and emptiness
• Gray — Practical, timeless, high tech, stable, intelligent, old, gloomy, sad, and conservative
• Gold — Wealth, money, luxury, quality, and egotism
• Silver — Luxury, quality, sleek, dull, and indecisive
As fascinating as color psychology is, it’s worth noting that individuals’ interpretations of colors don’t always align with each other. What’s relaxing to one person might be unsettling to another. Still, it’s important to understand the general associations with each color and to use that knowledge to enhance your branding and marketing efforts.
What colors do you use to market your brand?