If you have ever taken notice of just how many red and black mustangs are on the road, then you were seeing the effects of color psychology in action. Color psychology is a relatively new subject, but it's taken the marketing field by storm. Colors carry a lot of different meanings from culture to culture and maintain a certain level of universal meaning as well. Learning what a color scheme can say about your brand is pivotal in a world where the product cycle is getting shorter and shorter. Making sure that your branding toolbox is loaded with as much information as possible can mean the difference in edging out the competition.
Warm and Cool Colors
One of the most universal aspects of the way we perceive color is the feelings associated with warm and cool colors. Reds, oranges, and yellows have been known to evoke feelings of warmth, comfort, and energy. Brands such as Porsche or Sun Chips wield these different elements of warm colors to great effect. The cultural connotations of warm colors should also be considered when choosing one for your brand. While in America, red can signal danger or love. In China, however, red symbolizes luck, happiness, and is commonly used in Lunar New Year decorations.
Cool colors are known for their calming effects in marketing, but also for their potential to represent melancholy and sadness. Cooler colors have the advantage of representing a much wider set of feelings from color to color as well. Purple can be a universal sign of opulence, while green shares a deep association with nature.
Different Color Meanings
Blue is well known in the marketing world as a safe option for advertising your logo. Blue represents safety, intelligence, and stability. Many tech companies like HP, Intel, and Dell fashioned their company logos in blue. Blue also carries masculine connotations in the western world and is associated with productivity as well. Many banks possess blue logos and also signify confidence alongside the many other positive benefits.
Red is eye-catching and is known to stimulate the appetite. Many restaurants feature red in their branding for this reason. Red is also connected to love, which is why all valentines day gifts use red in their marketing. Red has been proven to increase heart rate and is also used when marketers want customers to make snap decisions. Clearance sales often use the compulsive nature of red to encourage customers to get in on a good deal.
Green represents growth, nature, health, and tranquility. Most brands related to nature like Whole Foods and Animal Planet utilized green to represent their connection to healthy living and nature. Green is used in stores as well to create an atmosphere of calm.
Orange is another bold color that encourages feelings of excitement and enthusiasm. Orange acts on the impulsivity of customers and can help in driving sales. Amazon, Nickelodeon, and Hooters use those feelings to great effect.
Purple is royal. Did you know that no national flag bears the color purple? This is because purple was incredibly expensive and hard to come by for a long time. As a result, purple has built a reputation of opulence and class. Many leaders of Rome wore purple as a symbol of their greatness. Many cosmetics also use purple to sell their brands, as the color also brings together the boldness of red and the confidence of blue.
Yellow is most associated with happiness. Look at the happy face that Walmart makes use of or the wide variety of toys and baby products that are marketed in yellow.
Black is powerful, and many car brands use color to appeal to customers who want to show off and be bold. Mystery and sophistication are also connected to black. Many high-end cosmetic brands are marketed in the color for this reason. Too much black in your marketing however can bring feelings of claustrophobia.
White is equated to purity, but also freshness and cleanliness. Youth and modernity are also connected to white, and you can use white to create contrast in your branding as well.
Gray and silver are also associated with modernity, but carry some of the chicness of black too, Many cars are modeled in silver or gray; gray for a more subtle look, or silver for a more showy appeal.
All of these colors can be used in a variety of different branding efforts and concepts. With the high competitiveness of the marketing environment, you will need as many options as you can acquire if you are going to get an edge on the competition. Keep in mind how your branding will make your customers feel. Keep in mind that the colors you choose are a large part of that.