The psychology of colour in marketing

Imagine a world without colour: no, I can’t either.

Colour after all makes the world a truly wonderful thing.

But the power of colour doesn’t stop there as it is known to have a forceful impact on our behaviour and can actually influence our decisions.

In fact, colour can be the sole reason a person decides to purchase a certain product as a study revealed that 93% of buyers said they focus on visual appearance and just under 85% claimed colour was the primary reason when they made a purchase.

So, colour is powerful stuff a fact that has been utilised by designers and advertisers for many years. Even if we don’t know it we are subconsciously programmed to associate certain colours with specific situations and emotions.

Advertising and branding agencies make it their business to create designs with careful use of colour to ensure it sends out a positive subconscious message and focus attention on specific details or even to dictate the emotional response users have to a design.

So, how does each colour influence people?

Red: Instils a sense of urgency and signifies danger, physically stimulates the body by raising blood pressure and heart rate and encourages appetite.

While red can be used to good effect in marketing campaigns such as for store sales or fast food outlets it has to be used carefully as it can evoke strong emotions.

Blue: Blue is a colour preferred by men and is often associated with reliability and trust.

Blue is used by brands wanting to promote trust in their products especially banks, financial institutions and medical companies.

Green: Green is firmly linked with nature and the environment and is associated with health and tranquillity. Often used to relax customers and for marketing environmental issues.

Purple: Purple is commonly associated with luxury, wisdom, royalty, respect and elegance and is frequently used to promote beauty products especially anti-aging products.

Orange: Orange is a dynamic and energetic colour but without the danger associated with red, although it can trigger a sense of caution or anxiety that can draw in impulsive buyers and window shoppers.

Yellow: Yellow reminds us of the sun and makes us feel full of energy.  It also signifies playfulness and happiness making it an ideal colour choice for advertising children’s products.

Black: Associated with authority, strength and power the colour black is often used to convey intelligence.

White: Associated with feelings of purity, cleanliness and safety, white space helps spark creativity. Some marketing campaigns use a monochrome design to stand out from the more colourful adverts.

Pink: Pink is associated with femininity and is perceived as young.

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