Do you think your brand looks exciting and youthful? What would you say if we told you that your marketing material is actually shouting trustworthy and regal? According to the study Impact of Colour on Marketing, 90% of snap judgments about products are actually based on colour alone. Keep reading to find out the psychological impact colours can have, and – most importantly – what message your brand colours are communicating to the world.
Disclaimer: If you’ve recently implemented a complete rebrand, you may not like what you’re about to find out. Don’t shoot the messenger!
For many businesses, brand colours are chosen for all the wrong reasons. They might be the marketing manager’s favourites colours, the out-of-the-box combo that came with a website’s theme, or lifted straight from another business from a different industry.
If this is starting to sound familiar, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Quickly picking brand colours on a whim and moving on to the next task at hand is easily done. But what if we told you that they have an incredible impact on how persuasive – and ultimately how successful – your brand can be?
It’s easy to discount the psychological impact of brand colours as pure mumbo-jumbo, but research suggests otherwise. For example, have you heard of a colour called Baker-Miller Pink (R:255, G:145, B:175)? Tellingly, it’s also known as “drunk tank pink” and is used to calm violent prisoners in jails.
Although this effect is typically short-term, research shows that pink suppresses angry, antagonistic and anxiety ridden behaviour amongst prisoners. “Even if a person tries to be angry or aggressive in the presence of pink, he can’t,” said Dr. Alexander Schauss, Ph.D., the Director of the American Institute for Biosocial Research in Tacoma Washington. “The heart muscles can’t race fast enough. It’s a tranquilizing colour that saps your energy. Even the colour-blind are tranquilized by pink rooms.”
Marketing with flying colours
It’s easy to give generic meanings to colours – interior designers have been doing it for years – but in marketing, it’s a little more complicated than that. There have been countless attempts to record consumer responses to different colours. Personal experiences play a part – after all, everybody is different – but there are some patterns that stand out. Here’s a selection of colours and details of their psychological impact on consumers:
- Red – Immediacy, motivation, passion. Red is active and full of life. It’s used to invigorate people and make them feel excited.
- Blue – A more relaxed colour. Blue is peaceful and secure. It’s calm and trustful, for brands that want to ooze efficiency.
- Green – Green is healthy. Why? It’s natural, peaceful and friendly. It’s also the signal to go. A green light puts customers at ease, letting them know they’re safe to proceed.
- Purple – A royal colour. Consequently, purple is used to show experience, knowledge and wisdom, whilst also giving off a creative edge.
- Orange & Yellow – Two warm, happy colours. They’re bright and eye-catching with an element of caution. Using these colours can actually encourage impulsive buying.
- Black – Black is powerful. Black is strong. Black is stable. Used in the right way, black can say exactly what you need for your brand, but don’t overdo it.
- Grey – It can be modern, straightforward and safe. But grey is tricky. It can also symbolise old age, blandness and a lack of creativity.
- White – Pure, clean and simple. White can portray a blank canvas, but it can also portray a brand that’s simple, logical and dependable.
Hacking brand colours
Ready to choose your brand colours? If you’re still not convinced or sure where to start, we have a brand colour hack for you. Take inspiration from a brand your target market already trusts. So, for example, if your target market consists of office workers who use Microsoft Outlook every day, then using something similar to Outlook’s shade of blue will actually help visitors feel comfortable and safe straight away. You are effectively tapping into a pre-built positive emotional response. Clever, right?
Find your true colours
Are you launching a new business? Do you need help capturing your vision? At Bing Digital, we offer a range of brand development services designed to help you define your goals and bring your business vision to life. For more information, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team.