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What “color psychology” is and how you can use it to positively impact your branding efforts

By June 12, 2023August 1st, 2023Branding, Design

Color psychology in marketing refers to the study of how different colors can affect people’s emotions, perceptions, and behaviors, and how businesses strategically use this knowledge to influence consumer decisions. Colors have the power to evoke specific feelings, associations, and even physiological responses in individuals, making them an essential tool for marketers and brands to communicate their message effectively.

Color Psychology In Business

In the context of business, colors are widely used in branding, logo design, advertising, and product packaging to create a desired brand image and influence consumer perceptions. Here are some examples:

Branding and Logo Design

Many successful companies have carefully selected colors to represent their brand identity. For instance, McDonald’s uses red and yellow in its logo, which are associated with excitement, energy, and appetite stimulation. Blue is a common color for technology companies like IBM and Intel, conveying trust, reliability, and intelligence.

Packaging and Business Cards

Companies often use colors strategically in their product packaging and business cards to attract attention, create brand recognition, and convey certain qualities. For example, vibrant colors like red or orange can evoke a sense of urgency and excitement, while soft pastels may convey a more calm and soothing experience.

Personal Branding and Fashion

Colors play a crucial role in personal branding and fashion choices. People often select colors that align with their personality traits or desired image. For instance, someone aiming to project authority and professionalism may opt for darker, more subdued colors like black or navy, while brighter colors like yellow or red can convey a more energetic and approachable persona.

Country Flags

Colors used in national flags often hold symbolic meanings and reflect a country’s culture, values, or history. For example, the red, white, and blue in the flag of the United States symbolize courage, purity, and justice, respectively.

The Psychological Effects Of Color

Different colors have specific psychological effects on people due to a combination of cultural, biological, and personal associations. Here are some common color associations:

  • Red: Often associated with passion, excitement, and urgency. It can stimulate appetite and create a sense of urgency or importance.
  • Blue: Associated with trust, reliability, and calmness. It is often used by technology and financial companies to convey professionalism and stability.
  • Green: Symbolizes nature, growth, and harmony. It is commonly used in industries related to health, environment, and sustainability.
  • Yellow: Associated with happiness, optimism, and energy. It can grab attention and create a sense of warmth.
  • Black: Represents sophistication, power, and elegance. It can be used to create a sense of exclusivity or luxury.
  • White: Symbolizes purity, simplicity, and cleanliness. It is often used in healthcare and lifestyle brands to convey a sense of safety and hygiene.

Educational institutions often use neutral colors like white, beige, or light gray in their interior design to promote a calm and focused learning environment. These colors are considered less distracting and can help students stay attentive and engaged.

An example of color psychology impacts consumer behavior, a marketing research study on Crumbl cookie packaging showed that consumers’ willingness to pay was significantly increased when the packaging was colored pink instead of black. This suggests that color can influence perceived value and desirability of a product.

Corporate colors also play a role in office spaces. Cool-toned blue lighting in office environments can negatively impact mood, productivity, and well-being. On the other hand, warm lighting, such as soft yellow or orange hues, is often used in bars and pubs to create a relaxing and cozy atmosphere that encourages customers to stay longer, enjoy their time and purchase more products.

Overall, color psychology in marketing is a powerful tool that businesses use to influence consumer perceptions and communicate their brand.


Written by Konnor Kaczka