Colour Psychology in Branding

Did you know that ‘colours’ influence purchasing decisions? Yes! Visuals are a powerful part of marketing and the colours you use to market your brand can increase or decrease conversions to an unbelievable extent.

The next time you are making a branding decision, don’t just go by your favourite colours. Go for the ones that represent your brand values and provoke the right emotions. The best branding companies create an entire palette of colours for each brand they work for and never stray from it.

The impact of Colour Psychology on Brands

Colour Psychology is a field of science dedicated to the study of link between colours and human behaviours. Its power on the market can be estimated by the difference it has made for brand awareness and sales.

  • Signature colours increase brand recognition by 80%. In a study, as high as 78% were able to identify the primary colour of a brand.
  • 90% of customers focus on brand colours while making a purchasing decision.
  • While coming across a brand for the first time, 60-90% of the audience judges it solely based on colour. So, the influence of colour on brand perception cannot be ignored.

The Colour Palette in Detail

Visual identity of a brand is largely dependent on the colours on its logo, graphics and ads. Each colour has a personality and triggers some emotions. While Starbucks has a white and green logo for authenticity and exclusivity, Fanta has a playful and energetic orange logo with blue font and Coca Cola is all for love with a red and white logo.

Here’s more about each colour:

1. Blue

The colour of water and waves has a cool, calm and trustworthy vibe. It promotes the feeling of serenity and has a strong effect on one’s mind. Blue is also associated with wisdom, harmony and strength.

It is understandably a colour of choice for many brands such as Paypal, American Express, Dell, HP, Walmart, Pfizer and Oreo.

2. Green

Green is the colour of nature and money. It represents health, growth, fertility and prosperity. It has an eco-friendly vibe and can prove excellent for health, food and fitness brands. Whole Foods, John Deere, Animal Planet and Tropicana have green colour in their logo.

It is easy on the eyes with a relaxing effect and promotes a fresh, stable and responsible appeal. Thus, many financial institutes prefer green.

3. Red

You see red and you think of love, fast cars or lingerie. Well, it is a colour that shows off energy, excitement, passion and strength. preferred by many brands such as Netflix, Coca Cola, Youtube, Target, CNN, Exxon, Kellogg and Lego.

Top branding companies love red as it is also the colour of innovation and leadership. But it can also represent negative feelings like anger.

4. Pink

Traditionally associated with femineity, pink is youthful, warm, sensitive and modern often giving off the same traits as red colour minus the intensity. It adds a luxurious feel laced with respect and versatility.

It is used by brands such as Barbie, Cosmopolitan and Victoria’s Secret.

5. Orange

It is the colour of fall and a friendly version of red giving a warm feeling. It is often associated with less expensive products and encourages the audience to take action, hence used by Amazon and Home Depot as a dominant colour in their logo.

The youthful, lively and energetic appeal of orange is the reason behind it being used by fitness brands, gyms, Nickelodeon and Fanta drink.

6. Yellow

A Happy Colour. Friendly, optimistic, cheerful and accessible, it is used by brands such as McDonalds, Best Buy, Yellow Pages, Nikon, etc. It evokes a sense of fun, sunshine and brightness.

Yellow is a colour that easily pops out and can be detected even from a distance. Hence ‘yellow cabs’.

7. Black

Often related to luxury, sophistication, glamour, power and strength, black is a shade rather than a colour. It is largely used in fashion, news, broadcast, finance and automobile industry – New York Times, Nike, Prada etc.

It is a great choice to evoke a no-nonsense, premium and timeless feel. But it is difficult to utilize right as black is also associated with evil, dark and gloomy feel. It is a challenge for the brand design agency to get it right.

8. Purple

Hillary Clinton made an appearance in a purple suit after she lost the 2016 US Election. Purple symbolizes power. It is a royal, luxurious colour with an exclusive tone to it. Quite popular among tech brands such as Viber, Switch, Aussie, T Mobile, Yahoo and Syfy.

Purple gives a creative, imaginative and wise edge to the brand.

9. White

White pigeons are used as a messenger of peace! Symbol of peace itself is white.

White is simple, elegant, clean, modern and yet subtle. It is also equally difficult to execute as black. It can come off as lazy, too simple and lacking a persona if executed poorly.

White is used by brands like Tesla, Apple, Cotton, North Face and more.

Choosing the Right Colour for your Brand

While most fashion logos go black or white, blue is a colour of choice for pharma and finance companies. Blue is the most commonly preferred colour, closely followed by red and green, yellow and black are less frequently used.

Here’s how to decide your brand colours!

  • Know your Audience
    Perform an analysis of the demographics and psychology of your target audience. Use colours most appealing to them, rather than to you. Study of your buyer’s persona can guide you to choose the other colours in your brand palette apart from the most dominant one.

  • Determine your Brand Personality & Values
    What is the general vibe you want to create and what impression do you want to give your customers? Set clear goals from the start. You don’t want to come off as an angry fitness brand or a lousy finance company just because of your colour choices.

    Answer the questions like – is your brand friendly or authoritative? Does it have a fresh appeal or timeless? Is it masculine or feminine? Mature or youthful? Cheap or expensive?

  • Research the Competitors
    Look for what your competitors are choosing in terms of colours, fonts and designs. See if it is working for them and how it connects with their audience. Learn about the latest trends dominating the markets and try incorporating what is suitable.

  • Execute & Implement Brand Colours Consistently
    This is by far the most important advice. Your ad graphics, your logo, website colours and stationery should all be in sync in terms of your brand colour palette. Both online and offline, you want to evoke the same emotions and present the same appeal.

It is best to consult one of the best branding companies near you to guide you on the right representative colours and designs while building your brand. Colour psychology is a powerful weapon in branding. Make the most of it!