How Vital is Colour Choice in Marketing?

Design is an essential feature of a digital marketing campaign’s success — are you using all the tools at your disposal?

Although often overlooked, colour is a hugely influential aspect of web design when it comes to advertising. According to multiple scientific and psychological studies, each shade creates a different emotion in the viewer — from urgency to buy now, to trusting in a brand. With other experiments suggesting that colour can determine how long we can recall an offer or brand logo, it’s clear that being colour-savvy when designing a marketing campaign is essential.

Not certain how to use colour effectively and efficiently? Read this colour psychology guide by Where The Trade Buys — a leader in roll-up banners for businesses — and get up-to-date on your digital marketing potential…

Colour psychology

What is colour psychology? There have been many scientific studies into the connection between shades and sales that appear to show a strong correlation. According to a Canadian experiment, nearly 90% of snap decisions regarding consumer products are based solely on colour.

Is your target consumer mainly male or female? If so, the studies into how both genders perceive colour should be of interest. For example, a study published in the Journal of Retailing found that men believed savings were much greater in value if they was advertised in red rather than black, while the difference was much smaller among women. The imbalance of colour psychology between males and females was also apparent in the study, Colour Assignment. Although blue was popular across the board, this study found that purple was a second-favourite colour for women but the second-least favourite among men. Similarly, other studies on colour attractiveness found that softer hues are preferred by women, while bold shades were liked by men. Are you using the right hues for your main consumer?

Also, when it comes to different marketing objectives, colour can play a part. For example, studies have shown that yellow is utilised to grab attention and should perhaps be the colour of choice in store windows, while red is most people’s key indicator of discount prices and ‘urgency’ and should be used on clearance sales posters for optimum effect. Also, both these shades are warm colours. According to an experiment, these are better at sticking in a viewer’s memory than cool colours (like blue and green). Consequently, it might be beneficial to use them on ads to keep customers thinking about your offer, as well as your brand logo itself to ensure you come to mind when they next need one of your products or services.

Have you ever thought about which colours work well together? Another study found that contrasting shades also improved readability — essential if you want your banner to be seen by more people from a greater distance.

Personal experiences and cultural backgrounds can also change how we perceive colour. Nevertheless, it’s apparent that colour plays a role in how we think, which makes it worth your consideration when it comes to the few seconds you have to catch a consumer’s eye and attract them to your brand.

Logos — what colour is best?

What about colour and how a consumer perceives your company? According to research compiled by Kissmetrics, 85% of shoppers surveyed say colour is a primary reason for buying something. Also, it was found that colour boosts brand recognition by around 80%.

So, how do different colours make us feel? Here are the emotions associated with each colour and examples of the successful brands that use them:

Colour Effect Logo
Yellow Optimism and youth Chupa Chups and McDonalds
Green Growth and relaxation Starbucks and Asda
Pink Romance and femininity Barbie and Very
Purple Creative and wise Cadbury and Hallmark
Black Power and luxury Chanel and Adidas
Orange Confidence and happiness Nickelodeon and Fanta
Red Energy and excitement Coca Cola and Virgin Holidays
Blue Trust and security Barclays and the NHS

Does the shade of your logo match your firm’s ‘personality’ like some of the above? Inciting trust for a bank is important, which may be why Barclays chose blue, while Starbucks wants you to relax at their coffee shops and Virgin Holidays wants you to get excited about booking a trip.

June Mcleod, author of Colour Psychology Today, commented: “One of the greatest assets and one of the easiest ways to sway decision or attract an emotive response — or alienate a consumer — is through colour. Purple with Cadbury; Shell with Yellow; National Trust with Green — they all work and work wonderfully well.”

Colour choice is important, but there are examples that show how one colour doesn’t suit all even if the companies are in the same sector — look at Halifax’s blue logo and Santander’s red. Consider the statistic that 80% of clients think a colour is accountable for brand recognition. If you want your customers to gain a sense of loyalty and familiarity with your brand, the colour should reflect your brand’s products, services and character.

Using colour in your advertising campaigns

It’s never too late to think about colour psychology. Take beer company, Carlsberg, for example. The marketing team here worked to rebrand using colour with great success. Using white for its Carlberg Export packaging and changing its formerly green bottles to brown; the company achieved 10,000 new distribution points and a sales increase of 10% in the 12 weeks leading to summer in 2017.

Here are some tips on using colour effectively when marketing:

  • The advantages of red and yellow: use these to grab the attention of passers-by.
  • Your demographic: look into attractive colours for both men and women to make your marketing more targeted.
  • Contrasting: boost text clarity by using contrasting colours — essential considering you have just seven seconds to make a bold first impression and get your point across.
  • Your brand’s ‘personality’: work out what you want consumers to think about your brand and choose a colour that matches — whether it’s opulent (black) or fun (orange).

Make 2018 a key year for digital design at your company by considering the power of colour when marketing and branding.


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