Colour in Marketing: How to Utilize it to Strengthen Your Brand

Colour in Marketing

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Selling and psychology go together like hamburgers and fries. Whether you make a conscious effort or not, the colours chosen for your web design, business cards, or even your overall branding, will influence the consumers who view them. So, how do you best utilize colour in marketing?

First, let’s take a deeper look at what effects different colours have on consumer behaviour and how to use colour more effectively.

Red

  • Passion
  • Aggression
  • Importance
  • High energy
  • Encourages appetite

Red is used by many fast food restaurants along with being a key tool in web design to use sparingly as a means of drawing attention. Also, it is the most popular colour to use to indicate a sale!

Blue

  • Calming
  • Trust
  • Stimulates productivity
  • Suppresses appetite

Blue is the most popular colour for web design due to its association with reliability, security, and trust. Brands promoting a friendly community often use blue as well. Additionally, it is the preferred colour for marketing to men.

Green

  • Prosperity
  • Healthy
  • Natural
  • Used to relax customers
  • Strong association with wealth

Green is most obviously used to promote environmental causes and brands. It is also the connector between warm and cool colours, giving it a natural draw of balance.

Yellow

  • Happiness
  • Optimism
  • Friendly
  • Creativity
  • Promotes impulse buying

Yellow can be a tricky colour in marketing to get right. It can promote an energetic vibe if used properly. However, use too much, and it can create a sense of anxiety (though, that can be useful in its own way).

Orange

  • Vitality
  • Boldness
  • Adventure
  • Playful
  • Cheap

Orange consistently ranks as one of the most disliked colours (even in clothing), so use it carefully. It is consistently used for youth and athletic marketing.

Black

  • Authority
  • Power
  • Stability
  • Sophistication

Black is another colour which needs to be used sparingly. It can be used to reign in some of the more explosive colours. Black is often used to convey both timelessness and a modern sensibility.

White

  • Clean
  • Innocence
  • Emptiness
  • Purity
  • Sparks creativity

White is the most versatile of all the colours. It works well with just about anything else. White is an essential element for brands with minimalistic logos and designs.

“It’s also important to understand these colours in the context of disabilities. There are those who can’t see certain colours and in extremely rare cases, some who can’t see colour at all. Giving options to those dealing with some form of colour blindness helps them better navigate your marketing . It also shows an inclusiveness that they and other consumers will associate with your brand.”

- Andrew Gallimore, Graphic Designer at Siva Creative Inc.

How Else Can I Make My Marketing More Accessible?

How To Use Colour in Marketing

There are many ways to incorporate colours into your branding. However, the three most common ways are:

Monochromatic

A single colour used in various hues and shades.

This colour scheme increases legibility and is pleasing to the eye. It is also particularly useful if you’re looking to strongly convey a single emotion. Many brands use this colour scheme to differentiate products, allowing customers to easily find the option they are looking for.

Complimentary

Two colours from opposite ends of the colour wheel.

If you need a little bit more flexibility, choosing a complimentary colour is the way to go. This colour scheme is slightly more eye-catching than the previous one, while still remaining easy on the eyes.

Triadic

Three colours spaced equally on the colour wheel.

If you need to use a wider range of colours, stick with three using the Triadic colour scheme. It promotes balance and ensures no single colour overpowers the others.

Colour in marketing is responsible for so much. It drives branding recognition, encourages repeat visits, and is a key factor (if not THE key factor) in a buyer’s focus when purchasing a product. You should not be choosing your colours because “you like that colour”.

Take a note from the big guys. From McDonalds to Nike, colour (or lack thereof) is carefully considered to maximize influence, emotion, and recognition.

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