Colour can massively influence the success of a marketing campaign. 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.
Where The Trade Buys — a leading company specialising in bollard signs — has put together this interesting colour psychology guide to help…
How we perceive colour
Many professionals and experts debate the theory of colour psychology. However, there have been 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.
Does your business target mainly women or mainly men? If so, the following may interest you. 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?
Have a particular advertising purpose? 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). So, it might be good to use them on promotional ads to keep consumers thinking about your offer for longer, as well as your brand logo itself to ensure you come to mind when they next need a product or service you offer.
Combination is key.Another study found that contrasting shades also improved readability — essential if you want your ads to be seen by more people from a greater distance.
You don’t have long to grab a customer’s attention, so the above is certainly worth considering regardless of how much you believe in the idea of colour psychology.
Colour psychology in practice
Various bands already capitalise on colour perception.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%.
The colour you use for your logo may impact on how a consumer perceives the business. Here are the emotions associated with each colour and examples of the successful brands that use them:
|Yellow||Optimism and youth||ChupaChups 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|
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. Could this be why these brands picked these shades? According to June Mcleod, author of Colour Psychology Today: “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.”
80% of people think a colour is important for defining a brand. 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.
Advertising and the use of colour
Colour should, at least, be a discussion point during your marketing planning process. 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 formerlygreen 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.
- Contrast: as we discovered, using opposite shades (e.g. red and green) can improve text clarity — essential considering you have just seven seconds to make a bold first impression.
- Demographic: there are clearly some difference in how men and women perceive colour.
- Red and yellow: use these on your large print ads to increase the chances of catching the eyes of passers-by.
- Personality: decide what you want consumers to think about your brand and choose a colour that reflects this ethos — whether it’s opulent (black) or fun (orange).
Is 2018 your year to enhance your marketing strategy?