Marketing and Branding: the Psychology of Color

Imagine you order a hot chocolate at the local coffee shop and get it into a white cup. We bet you don’t know what will happen next. But we do know. Most likely, you won’t enjoy the drink – and not because the bad service, high price or poor taste but rather due to an inappropriate color of the cup.

Perhaps you do not even think about it, but our perception greatly depends on the color. Every day we subconsciously react to colors surrounding us. Imagine that you go to the website decorated orange and pink. Not the best trip, right?

In fact, customers make decisions in a few seconds. And you have these few seconds to affects their reaction and behavior.

How to Skillfully Manage the Color Gamut of Your Brand

Even knowing nothing about the business reputation of your company, potential customers get the idea about your brand when seeing its logo, ads, or any other representational sign. Moreover, the first impression defines whether the potential buyer will be interested in further cooperation. Perhaps unwittingly, clients may subconsciously decide whether they should do business with you, buy a product, or order the services. Our clients and designers always try to find a balance in coloring. You can see how they combine colors in



Color, or rather a combination of several colors, increases brand recognition by, at least, 75%. Here are some examples of how the world known companies use colors:

  • Orange (fun, action, excitement, passion, and warmth). Amazon, Fanta, Nickelodeon, and Firefox are the great businesses that quickly catch the user’s eye with orange color.
  • Blue (strength, confidence, and loyalty). Just look at IBM’s, Hewlett-Packard’s, American Express’, and Lowe’s logos – they all use blue and its combinations.
  • Red (power and energy, youth and courage). You can see Coca-Cola’s, Virgin’s, and Netflix’s logos colored in red.
  • Green (wealth and nature). Financial services always use green since it is associated with dollars: Fidelity and TD Ameritrade accept green as the main color of their logos. As for Greenpeace, Animal Planet, and Whole Foods – these companies bet in the “naturalness” of green.
  • Pink – a romantic and feminine color, associated with love and warmth. Victoria’s Secret, Barbie, and Baskin Robbins are three the most known brands which bet on pink color.
  • Yellow (happiness and friendliness). Yellow effectively attracts attention: McDonald, Nikon, Hertz, and IKEA are the excellent examples of yellow-colored logos.



There are no doubts that the best approach is to consider your brand as a person, determining its strengths and core values. This will allow you to choose colors to convey correctly all of the brand’s attributes. You will achieve much more success in marketing if the color palette correctly positions your brand from the very first seconds.

Make It Contrast, but Don’t Overdo

Homepage and selling page are most frequently visited; therefore, it’s reasonable to motivate clients to action by the visual effects in the design.

Use color to evoke sympathy and help visitors to build a trusting relationship with your website and company. People make conclusions about the surrounding world and products on a subconscious level within 90 seconds. Moreover, for almost 90% this estimation is based on the color only.

According to studies, about 85% of buyers called attractive color as the main reason that pushed them to the decision to purchase the product.

  • To test the psychology of color, you can change the color of your landing page. Just check the different color combinations to find the most profitable one. For example, you can test the effectiveness of the CTA button by changing its color. According to studies conducted by software manufacturers, a red CTA button makes 21% more transitions that a green one (it is worth considering that green was the predominant color on the page.)

Thus, contrast color gamut is more effective comparing to monophonic design. Red will not necessarily be better than green. It is possible that some other contrasting color will surpass the red.

Thoroughly test possible options and you’ll find the most “selling” combination.

Color in Advertising

Depending on the type of your ad campaign, consider using colors which are outside the main color palette of your brand and corporate colors. The color scheme of your ads should be well coordinated with the webpage where these ads are placed. Otherwise, you risk reducing the effectiveness of your ads.



The website where your ads will be placed most likely will be different from you landing page. Therefore, the ads may compete with many other page elements that you can’t control. In this case, be sure to keep in touch directly with the publisher and choose the color combinations that will work efficiently.

Therefore, try not to repeat after the majority of websites: avoid using a lot of white in your ad or banner.  Otherwise, your ads may simply merge with the main background of the page, or be falsely perceived by users as part of the adjacent ads.

A color causes an emotional response that associates users and potential customers to the brand. Wisely chosen color combinations attract visitor’s attention and help him to faster and for a longer time remember the brand.

Subconsciously influencing the choice of the buyer, colors help to improve the company’s reputation. It is possible that rethinking and experimenting with the colors used in the marketing of your company will increase not only the number of clicks on the website but also the appeal of the brand as a whole. The key is to create an unobtrusive but harmonious bright image that will clearly show the advantages of your products or services.

The same applies to advertising. If the images and color combinations are chosen correctly, then the advertising becomes attractive. And it is not necessary to use “flashy” shades. The main thing is to convey the message. Our reaction to color is 80% unconscious. Therefore, simply choose the appropriate colors and be sure that the consumer will understand and accept the marketing message.

1 thought on “Marketing and Branding: the Psychology of Color

  1. I enjoyed the article by Brain Jens on how color effects a person’s perception of a brand. It was great to see you mention perception early on in the article. When I conduct branding workshops for start ups, I hold up a robin’s egg blue box and a tan color box and ask a student to choose one. Most go for the robin’s egg blue because of it’s association with Tiffany’s.

    They don’t know what’s inside the box, but the color associated with the Tiffany blue has created a perception of the quality of what’s inside the box.

    That was also a great visual of brands and their corresponding colors.

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