The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding

Updated: Nov 12, 2020

One of the reasons why I’ve chosen Marketing as a major in my studies is because of its close connection to Psychology. Colors, shapes, messages (in any form of content), persuasion in it, subliminal messages, etc. It’s all part of Marketing and it’s all part of Psychology.

Narrowing the targeted clientele

The buyer is in the hearth of all Marketing efforts. However, we don’t sell our products or services to all potential buyers out there in the market. Instead, we narrow the choice. We narrow our targeted audience – our clientele. We do that by differentiating them by their demographics and psychographics. Demographics like age, gender, level of education, geographical location, income, marital status, etc. Psychographics like values, attitudes, behaviors, habits, etc. This also links Marketing with Psychology.

Understanding consumer pain points

Even though we did narrowed-down our clientele by their age for example, we still need to pay attention to other factors that influence buyer behavior. For example, we cannot approach with the same message all millennials even though they belong to the same age groups. If some of them live in urban and others in rural areas, they don’t have the same habits, interests, and behaviors. Regardless of the same age group that they belong to, they are different. In the same way, married couples have different needs than singles, even though they are of the same age. These different pain points require marketers to differentiate their products and position them in a way that the target consumer recognizes the product as something that solves their problems.

Understanding the consumer buying cycle

A – Attention, I – Interest, D – Desire & A – Action

AIDA is one of the oldest management models still in current use. It is principally used in marketing as a way of describing the 4 stages that people go through when accepting a new idea or buying a new product. It’s known as a sales technique. It was championed by Edward Strong in "The Psychology of Selling and Advertising" in 1925 to describe what happens in a sales funnel. Again, we meet Psychology in Marketing and Sales.

Changing consumer’s behaviors

Marketing tactics essentially play on the consumer’s emotions for example by instilling fear, uncertainty, doubt, awe or happiness. This is another example of how Psychology is being incorporated into Marketing.

In brief, there is the whole Psychology behind Marketing. These two sciences simply go hand in hand with each other.

The psychology behind brand colors

Men and women perceive different colors differently. For example, 57% of men vs 35 % of women like the blue color. 23% of women like the purple color.

The psychology of colors can help your business establish trust and familiarity by eliciting the right emotions. Your brand colors can tell more than you can imagine about your business. The most popular brands in the world have a strong association with their logos. Their colors tend to reflect their branding. Colors have the power and the ability to increase brand recognition and affect total sales.

Your brand should be recognizable by its colors. With the choice of the right brand colors, you are sending write a message to your target audience. You should integrate your brand colors across your site, your landing pages, your local your products, and any other collateral that you are creating.

If we analyze the world's top brands we will notice that blue seem s to be the winning color as it shows up in 33% of the top 100 brands. Red comes second by showing up in 29 % of the brands and black or greyscale make the 3rd most popular choice with 28%. Finally, 13 % use yellow or gold.

95% of the top 100 brands only use one or 2 colors. Companies want to maintain consistency by staying simple in their branding. Only 41% of those companies involved text in their logos.

Colors elicit different responses from humans. There are two main categories of colors: warm and cool. Warm colors tend to be associated with that energy, while cool colors are linked with calmness and security. Logos should be simple, distinctive, recognizable, and rememberable.

What are the hidden meanings behind colors?

Blue is the most popular color choice for the top brands. It reminds people of the sky and the ocean so it brings calmness. Blue is associated with trust, security, and confidence. It's trustworthy, dependable, responsible and confident.

Green is a color that represents calmness, safety, and freshness. Green is also associated that held and feelings of peace and serenity. It represents wealth, health, prestige, generosity and safety.

Red evokes a passionate and visceral response. It increases your heart rate makes your breath faster and is generally associated the energy, excitement, and passion it's one of the attention-grabbing colors while it can also be provocative.

Yellow evokes a feeling of positivity. It's associated with the sun, warmth, motivation, hope, creativity, and optimism. The yellow color stands out and is therefore appealing. Yellow is psychologically the happiest color in the color spectrum. 75% of the pencils sold in the US are of yellow color.

Orange represents optimism. It's a mix of brightness up yellow and passion and energy or red. It's creative and cheerful color playful outgoing evokes a friendly and address feeling.

Brown represents simplicity, stability. It represents stability and strength without taking bold moves. It's associated with earth and can also remind people on dirt that's why it should be used carefully.

Purple is a sophisticated yet mysterious color. It's often being used by a higher-end product since its associated with royalty and elegance. It's mysterious and therefore linked with spirituality. It can somehow bring a magical element to your branding.

Black is also a very popular color with brands. It's one of the most classic options. NIKE, Adidas, Apple, GUCCI, Prada, CHANEL, D&G, MONT BLANC, Sony, Jack Daniels, Puma, Ferrari, Disney, HP, ESTEE LAUDER, Tesla, The New York Times, Jaguar, Harley Davidson, Nissan, …

Black is one of the most classic options. It's both classic and sophisticated and it can make a brand stand out. It works perfectly with luxury products blending the classic and powerful elements. Black can be combined with other colors to add a stronger emotion without losing the classical appeal. It represents prestige, value, timelessness, sophistication, power.

White color is associated with simplicity purity and cleanliness. These are the reasons why it's extremely popular in the healthcare sector, in the cleaning business, but also in the child-related businesses white can also bring a feeling of trust. White is pure, noble, clean, soft.

With all of that been said, we can conclude that Psychology and Marketing go hand in hand with each other and cannot be analyzed separately. 

Check out my other blog post "Who is Your Biz Mentor? here.

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