Colour is extremely important when it comes to marketing because it has an impact on our perception, which when it comes to marketing, effects how we think and feel about a product or service. This is especially important for when visitors come to your website or view your marketing content when making an opinion on your business.
The Psychology of Colour
When our eyes take in a colour, they communicate with a region of the brain known as the hypothalamus, which sends signals to the pituitary gland, on to the endocrine system, and then to the thyroid glands. The thyroid glands signal the release of hormones, which cause fluctuation in mood, emotion and resulting behaviour.
In a study titled “Impact of Colour on Marketing”, researchers found that up to 90% of judgements made about products can be based on colour alone, depending on the product.
Colour Effecting Brand Personality
Colours influence how customers view the “personality” of a brand. Having a brand personality helps you market your brand better, for example Nike’s personality is daring, spirited, adventurous and free-spirited. Psychologist Stanford Professor Jennifer Aaker has conducted studies on this topic, with her paper titled “Dimensions of Brand Personality”, which points out five dimensions that play a role in a brand’s personality. These dimensions are:
Down-to-earth, honest, wholesome, cheerful
Daring, spirited, imaginative, up to date
Reliable, hardworking, intelligent, technical, successful
Upper class, charming, feminine
Outdoorsy, masculine, western, tough
Certain colours align closely to these traits which helps colour determine brand personality, such as purple which is a feminine colour aligns with the feminine dimension of “Sophistication”.
Nearly every academic study on colour and branding will tell you it’s far more important for colours to represent the personality you want to portray instead of trying to follow stereotypical colour associations.
When choosing your brand personality, keep in mind how you would like people to perceive your business. For example, a beauty business would fall under the “feminine” category in the “sophistication” dimension in Aaker’s study, which would also represent your business as upper class and charming.
Poor colour choice can negatively change the impact of your message, so if you get it wrong, anything you’re trying to draw attention to may get ignored. Colour directs your eye where to look, what to do and how to interpret something, which brings me to my next topic..
What Colours Should You Use? And Where Should You Use Them?
Complementary colours are “opposite” colours – which are on opposite sides of the colour wheel. These colours work great together because they are so opposite that they stand out. Imagine you buy a piece of artwork that is every shade of green, but it also has a shade of red on it – the red would completely stand out.
Complimentary colours are great to use on parts of your blog you want to stand out such as a call to action or the most important parts of the blog. Be careful not to use the opposing colour too often throughout the blog though – follow this rule: Pick a primary colour as your main colour, and then use its complementing colour in the ratio 7:3.
- Women don’t like grey, orange and brown. They like purple, blue and green.
- Men don’t like purple, orange and brown. They like blue, green and black.
Blue – Trust
Yellow – Warnings
Green – Outdoor products
Orange – Fun colour, impulse
Black – Luxury and value
Remember to use colour that keeps a balance of your brand personality and how you want to represent your business.