The Psychology Of Colour

One thing that is often missing from a marketing strategy is colour. Companies will spend a long time creating schedules for content, the content itself and various other vital components but colour does not feature. Colours invoke feelings and memories and as part of a robust marketing strategy should not be overlooked. The psychology of colour is something that has been extensively studied, and we already know an awful lot about how colours affect people and therefore need to harness this power when it comes to marketing our products and services.

Branding with Colour

If you were asked to think about a well-known brand and name the colour of their logo, you probably could – regardless of whether you use their products or not. Food and drink giants Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Cadbury, have all chosen distinctive bright colours, whereas computer Apple and social media masters Facebook have gone for more muted tones (red, yellow, purple, silver and blue respectively). Regardless of the why picking a colour scheme and sticking with it helps consumers identify with your brand. So when it comes to marketing materials, banners, images, posters, etc., it would make no sense to use colours that differ from your brand approach.

Traditional Opinion on Colour

When the psychology of colour was first introduced, and even today, you will hear a lot about the traditional opinions. All of the brands above have probably had this information presented by their highly paid marketing experts and happily bought into it. Red is traditionally conveying excitement and passion, yellow offering happiness and vibrancy, purple opulence and luxury, all the sort of things you want people to feel and think when they are hungry and thirsty. Silver is said to signify trust and balance, a grown-up presentation – perfect for someone like Apple (you may also notice that they colour their icon apple white on some occasions as they attempt to straddle age barriers and convince younger people they are not dull and boring). Blue was the obvious choice for Facebook as it endears trust. Incidentally blue and green together are said to be the closest to global appeal you can get, speaking to both men and women, across all age groups.

Personal Tastes

The problem with traditional views is that it doesn’t take into account personal opinion. For some people red might be dangerous, I met someone once who found yellow offensive, so are you not somewhat stuck between a rock and a hard place? To a point, you have to ignore personal tastes and work with your brand. If you are marketing to a predominately male market because you sell car parts and motor oil, the chances are you are not going to feature pink. John Deere, the tractor specialists, have a green and yellow logo to work with fields and corn – makes a lot of sense.


The overriding factor is making sure you have considered peoples eyes. Certain colour combinations can appear to ‘jump’ when placed next to each other. For some people, contrast can be the deciding factor on whether to stick around and check out a company or retreat to the search results before they get a headache.

In Short

Colour is vital to your marketing from more than just an aesthetic point of view. Customers are influenced by colour, so do have a look at what your branding colours are believed mean from a psychology point of view and see if you are on the right track. Finally, make sure any material you put out looks and feels consistent with your brand regarding colour and style.

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