There is a lot of discussion (and confusion) when it comes to the psychology of color in marketing. Many assume that a certain color will always be the correct choice for evoking a certain response from customers, but this isn’t true! A ton of factors come into play that affect our individual preferences for colors, including our experiences, tastes, and upbringing. In other words, saying the color red makes everything energetic is about as accurate as saying all people like cherry licorice!
Rather than focusing on certain feelings, color can instead be used as a way for brands to offer certain perceptions in their products and branding. A study from Emerald Insight claims that 62-90% of our initial assessment of a product is based on color alone! Our brains analyze the colors of the product or brand we are viewing, and make a purchasing decision based on the appropriateness of the colors used. If they seem to “fit” the brand they are being used for, and add a favorable personality for us, we are more likely to be interested.
The psychology of color in marketing can be broken down into 5 dimensions:
When choosing colors, you want to predict how your customers will feel about the product or service you offer. For example, a company that specializes in house cleaning would want to give off the feeling of sincerity to their customers. When it comes to cleaning, a color such as brown makes most people think of dirt, which is why it wouldn’t be appropriate. You want your brand’s colors to support the personality you are trying to portray, and it can change depending on the situation! If we were instead talking about sweets or desserts, brown would make us think of chocolate, perhaps falling under the “sophistication” category of being decadent and romantic.
As you can see, choosing colors for your brand is dependent on creating a mood and feeling that you want your customers to experience, instead of just shoehorning certain colors and assuming they always create certain emotions. Unless of course, you’re talking about blue—it just so happens to be the most preferred color by both men and women!