Total Business Magazine

Marketing and the Importance of Colour

Every business knows the importance of marketing – how else are your potential customers going to hear about you? But do you know what elements of marketing and design are the most influential? PVC banner printing specialists, Where The Trade Buys, explain below.

Colour is often overlooked as a given in design, but it holds a significant percentage of people’s perceptions and connotations. There’re many studies that indicate how different colours play a key factor in creating an emotional response from the viewer, be it a need to buy soon, or inciting a sense of trust and security. Colour can also affect how a customer recalls (or does not recall) a brand’s logo.

This guide has been created to show you how to use colour effectively in a marketing campaign.

The influence of colours

Colour psychology is a well-studied area, but colour in marketing is a rather new branch of this. However, there have been many scientific studies into the connection between shades and sales that appear to show a strong correlation. According to a Canadian experiment, nearly 90% of snap decisions regarding consumer products are based solely on colour.

Different genders respond to colour in different ways, which should be considered if your audience is mainly male or female. For example, a study published in the Journal of Retailing found that men believed savings were much greater in value if they was advertised in red rather than black, while the difference was much smaller among women. The imbalance of colour psychology between males and females was also apparent in the study, Colour Assignment. Although blue was popular across the board, this study found that purple was a second-favourite colour for women but the second-least favourite among men. Similarly, other studies on colour attractiveness found that softer hues are preferred by women, while bold shades were liked by men. Are you using the right hues for your main consumer?

Different colours can serve different marketing goals too. For example, studies have shown that yellow is utilised to grab attention and should perhaps be the colour of choice in store windows, while red is most people’s key indicator of discount prices and ‘urgency’ and should be used on clearance sales posters for optimum effect. Also, both these shades are warm colours. According to an experiment, these are better at sticking in a viewer’s memory than cool colours (like blue and green). So, it might be good to use them on promotional ads to keep consumers thinking about your offer for longer, as well as your brand logo itself to ensure you come to mind when they next need a product or service you offer.

It’s not just block colours you need to think about too; consider a combination of colours. Another study found that contrasting shades also improved readability — essential if you want your outdoor banner to be seen by more people from a greater distance.

Studies show that culture and personal experiences can also play a part in our response to colour, but the overall impact of colour is clear. It’s certainly worth your consideration when it comes to the few seconds you have to catch a consumer’s eye and attract them to your brand.

Brand colours

So, how crucial is colour psychology in terms of brand portrayal? According to research compiled by Kissmetrics, 85% of shoppers surveyed say colour is a primary reason for buying something. Also, it was found that colour boosts brand recognition by around 80%.

If you’re starting up or rebranding, set some time aside to study how colour can change the message of your brand and logo. Here are the emotions associated with each colour and examples of the successful brands that use them:

Colour Effect Logo
Yellow Optimism and youth Chupa Chups and McDonalds
Green Growth and relaxation Starbucks and Asda
Pink Romance and femininity Barbie and Very
Purple Creative and wise Cadbury and Hallmark
Black Power and luxury Chanel and Adidas
Orange Confidence and happiness Nickelodeon and Fanta
Red Energy and excitement Coca Cola and Virgin Holidays
Blue Trust and security Barclays and the NHS


Can yu see how brands have picked the colour to suit their company? For example, inciting trust for a bank is important, which may be why Barclays chose blue, while Starbucks wants you to relax at their coffee shops and Virgin Holidays wants you to get excited about booking a trip.

June Mcleod, author of Colour Psychology Today, commented that: “One of the greatest assets and one of the easiest ways to sway decision or attract an emotive response — or alienate a consumer — is through colour. Purple with Cadbury; Shell with Yellow; National Trust with Green — they all work and work wonderfully well.”

It isn’t one size-fits-all when it comes to colour. After all, the Halifax and Santander banks feature contrasting colours. But the choice you make is important. Consider the statistic that 80% of clients think a colour is accountable for brand recognition. If you want your customers to gain a sense of loyalty and familiarity with your brand, the colour should reflect your brand’s products, services and character.

Campaign in colour

Rebranding or launching, you should definitely make use of colour psychology. Take beer company, Carlsberg, for example. The marketing team here worked to rebrand using colour with great success. Using white for its Carlberg Export packaging and changing its formerly green bottles to brown; the company achieved 10,000 new distribution points and a sales increase of 10% in the 12 weeks leading to summer in 2017.

How can you use colour in response to this data?

  • Capitalise on the advantages of red and yellow: use these on your large print ads to increase the chances of catching the eyes of passers-by.
  • Contrast your colours: as we discovered, using opposite shades (e.g. red and green) can improve text clarity — essential considering you have just seven seconds to make a bold first impression and get your point across.
  • Consider your demographic: there are clearly some difference in how men and women perceive colour. Who do you mainly sell to? If it’s men, perhaps take these gender studies on board and avoid purple…
  • Work out your brand’s ‘personality’: studies clearly show an affiliation between colour and emotion. Determine what you want consumers to think about your brand and choose a colour that reflects this ethos — whether it’s opulent (black) or fun (orange).

Your firm’s image rests heavily on colour psychology, so be sure not to neglect it in your 2018 campaign.


Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.