May 11, 2014
Different colors evoke different psychological responses. That fact has been used across many different industries. For example, you may hear about color psychology from an interior designer: you should paint the office blue to stimulate creativity or you should paint the living room orange because it’s cozy and warm. The psychology of colors also comes into play in marketing. For example, red is said to stimulate the appetite, which is why so many food chains – McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Pizza Hut, and Chipotle – use red in their logos.
In fact, color has such an impact that many people can guess a company based solely on their colors. According to the analytics company KISSmetrics.com, 93% of consumers make purchasing decisions based on visual appearance. Colors trigger different feelings and different actions in people; you can love or loathe a brand simply because of the reaction you have to their colors.
Effects of color
Red – Red is physical. It evokes physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, passion, and excitement. On the other hand, it also evokes defiance and aggression. Red is used commonly to advertise sales because it increases your heart rate and creates a sense of urgency.
Green – Green is balance. It evokes harmony, refreshment, rest, reassurance, environmental awareness, and peace. On the flip side, it evokes boredom and stagnation. Industries that do well using green include medicine, science, government, ecological business, and tourism.
Blue – Blue is intellectual. It evokes intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, and calm, but it also evokes coldness or lack of emotion. Industries that do well using blue include many of those that use green well, in addition to legal and corporate businesses.
Yellow – Yellow is emotional. It evokes optimism, emotional strength, confidence, and creativity. It also evokes irrationality, fear, and emotional fragility. Companies across a range of industries – such as Nikon, Subway, and DHL – use yellow in their logos.
Multiple colors – The use of multiple colors symbolizes diversity. Google, NBC, Microsoft, and eBay – among others – use multiple colors.
Some companies, like Facebook, choose their colors for reasons other than the psychological effect they have on people. Mark Zuckerberg, for example, reportedly chose blue for Facebook because he is red-green colorblind and can see blue best.* That worked out well for the company, since blue evokes communication.
When you imagine your company and the message you want to get across, what color(s) do you see? They may already be part of your logo. When it comes to mailing, too, colors can be incredibly impactful for your audience. Whatever color(s) you use, the key is to always remain consistent. That is how you will gain recognition among your audience, which is one of the first steps in converting prospects into leads and leads into customers.
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*Fast Company, Why is Facebook Blue? The Science Behind Colors in Marketing