The Psychology of Colours in Branding The Psychology of Colours in Branding

Does green make you feel relaxed, calm, and at ease? Do you feel uncomfortable and alarmed when you see too much red? Have you ever wondered why? Colour has a strong psychological and emotional power which influences our behaviour.

Why is colour important for brand identity?

When it comes to branding, research by Color Communications Inc found that it only takes 90 seconds for someone to form their opinion on a particular brand. Within that time, between 62% and 90% of decisions are influenced solely by colour.

Plus, it has been shown that the proper use of colour can increase brand recognition by 80%. Just think of Mcdonald’s characteristic yellow, or the striking green of Starbucks. It’s hard to disassociate these brands from these particular shades. It’s obvious that colour helps to create a visual identity and differentiate brands from their competition.

So how can you utilize colour psychology to benefit your business, too? By using the same colour palette in all your business ventures (website, logo, social media, emails, etc), you’re able to strengthen your brand’s association with specific colours, increasing brand recognition dramatically.

Choosing the right colours for your audience

Choosing your colours will be easier once you understand what you’re actually trying to communicate. Think of your company as a person. Who are they and what’s important to them?

Once you’ve determined your brand personality, you’ll need to select your colours based on what best communicates your brand personality. Neil Patel says that the colours you pick should immediately communicate what your brand represents, leaving a lasting impression on the prospect.

So, let’s delve into the emotional significance of each colour.  Here are the general guidelines according to The Guardian.

Blue: calm, stable, trust, smart
Red: passion, immediacy, anger, hunger
Green: soothing, natural, envy, balance
Yellow: cheer, attention, fresh, energy
Orange: happiness, attraction, wealth, thirst
Pink: caring, love, emotional, sensitive
Purple: luxury, royal, arrogant, sadness
Black: strength, power, elegance, bold

Creating a mood through colour

It’s also important to consider that certain colours are said to put people in a specific mood.

Brand strategist Thomson Dawson said: “All colours create a specific frame of mind for people—it’s called a mood. Having people be in the most receptive mood is essential for their engagement with your brand. Colour sets the mood of brand expression and, more important, creates mental associations to the meaning of your brand within the context of the world it lives in.”

For example, blues, purples and green are known as ‘cool’ colours, associated with the sea and sky. They can create a feeling of calm and tranquillity. Reds, yellows and oranges, however, are associated with fire. Known as ‘hot’ colours, they create an energized and alert mindset.

Research has shown that red can cause people to react with speed or force. It’s said that for some people, merely seeing the red branding of Coca-Cola is enough to make them thirsty. And think of Barclays bank, who are well-known for their blue logo. Blue is the colour of calm and serenity, and as such inspires security and a feeling of safety. This helps Barclays create trust.

Whatever your brand, the key to utilising colour psychology is to understand how your audience may feel about a colour and ultimately, if that colour will suit the message you wish to convey.

Are you still unsure about colour psychology or just don’t know where to start with your branding? Contact us for a free consultation. We’ll help you make sure your branding is eye-catching, effective and appropriate for your brand personality.

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