Color in Marketing: A Psychological Exploration

Color in Marketing

It is a common belief that color affects everything, from personal choices to marketing and every place in between. This is a true statement, yet when considering the effect color has in the marketing industry, you need to take a step back and consider a few other factors. The truth is that color is too dependent upon the experiences of people. It cannot be translated into a specific feeling for every person that sees it. When choosing colors for marketing aspects, trying to nail the psychology of colors is a tricky task. It takes more than a color chart with a specific definition for every color. Color has a much broader message and varies for different people. No two people are going to have the same emotion when viewing the same color.


“Up to ninety percent of snap judgments are made about products, based on color…”
– Impact of Color in Marketing
Many studies have shown that color actually plays a major role in branding. The relationship between colors and brands depends on the apparent appropriateness of the brand and the color being used to express the product. Colors need to fit their products and give it an overall feel for the message behind the brand. Besides the effect colors have on the impact of a brand, color also affects purchasing and how brands are perceived.

Color influences consumers when viewing the personality of a brand. In other words, color in the branding world has to fit a product and gives some resemblance of the heart and soul of the brand. Color represents the personality of a brand and helps build recognition. When people describe brands, nine times out of ten, they will include the color that represents it.

Colorize Your Brand Identity

People prefer brands that are recognizable. In order to build a brand, color is essential in representing your products and services to create a brand identity. Branding is a competitive market that encourages businesses to create logos and brand identities that differ from one another for better product recognition. New brands need to conduct a lot of research and be sure to stray from the colors that represent their competitors. It will help them stand out better and create an identity of their own.

Choose the ‘Right’ Color

Choosing the right color for your brand is not as simple as deciding which color you like the best. Color research proves that color appropriateness is more important to a product than choosing the color itself in relation to consumer reactions. The connection between a customer’s perception of the personality of a brand and the colors used is real. Colors align with branding traits that are specific to a product. It is far more important to choose colors that relate the personality of a brand rather than trying to pick colors that relay certain emotions. Since colors mean many different things to people, choosing a specific color based on color associations that are stereotypical is more damaging than helpful.

Common Color Misconceptions

Colors have more than one meaning, which is why it is inconsistent to try and use color to signify a single emotion or expression. Broad statements tend to blur the lines of recognition in context with the meaning of colors. This allows for the perspective of colors to be taken in many different ways and keeps one color from representing just one brand or product.

Green – The typical meaning of green for most is a sense of calm. However, in different brand identities, it sets standards for the environment and encompasses environmental issues. For others, it conveys the importance of finances and represents the color for money in the United States.

Brown – When a rugged appeal is necessary, the use of brown is common. However, it also represents a warm and inviting tone. In many cases, brown represents the mouthwatering appeal of chocolate.

There Are No Clear-Cut Color Guidelines

Picking colors for a brand is not clear-cut. There are no specific guidelines that can assist you in making the best choice. As long as you use the color context that keeps the identity of your brand in mind, you cannot go wrong. This includes making sure the mood, feeling, and image of your brand comes through with your color choices. A brand personality needs to be matched by the colors used to express the said personality. Since there is no particular color that supports a single product, it is senseless to consider that one color could dominate a product field over another.