Color psychology is the study of how colours influence human behaviour and decision-making. In marketing and branding, color can evoke emotions and affect consumer behaviour. Choosing the right combination of colors can significantly increase brand recognition and influence consumers to choose a brand over another.
Red is a very eye-catching and dominant color that is mostly associated with love, power, and danger. It is on the warmer side, and it is often associated with heat and fire. In general, red can have both positive and negative connotations. It can represent power, attention and energy but can also equally pose aggression, danger and stress. Brands that are well-known for using red are Coca-Cola, Target and Netflix.
Orange is a combination of red and yellow, and combines the power of red with the friendliness of yellow. It is a very bold and inviting color that is very adventurous and optimistic. The positive traits that orange exhibits are enthusiasm and motivation; it also stimulates appetite. The negative connotations associated with orange are superficiality, arrogance and inferiority. Tangerine, Fanta and Nickelodeon are some of the brands that come to mind for using orange.
Yellow is the embodiment of happiness, cheerfulness and optimism. It is also the brightest and most visible color to the human eye; this is why traffic signs and window-front displays use yellow. Yellow can also evoke negative connotations such as cowardice, anxiety, and caution. Some of the most popular brands that use yellow are Best Buy, McDonald’s and IKEA.
Green is heavily associated with nature and eco-friendliness. This color brings balance, growth and harmony. Consumers will often find green in organic and pharmaceutical brands, as well as brands meant for the outdoors. The negative context of green is envy and jealousy. Brands that use green are Animal Planet, Whole Foods and Tropicana.
Blue is one of the most versatile and visually-appealing colors on the spectrum. It is the color of trust and calmness. Since it falls on the cooler side, it is often associated with ice and water. Depending on the context, the negative impact of blue is distant, cold, and unfriendly. Some of the well-known brands that use blue are Lowe’s, PayPal, and Intel.
Purple is a mixture of blue and red, carrying the energy of red and stability of blue. Purple symbolizes imagination and spirituality. It is often associated with luxury, mystery, and magic. The negative connotations of purple are introversion, suppression, and gloominess. Cadbury, Hallmark, and Yahoo! are some of the recognized brands that use purple.
Color can play an essential role in how we communicate information, evoke emotions, and influence consumers. Whether a brand chooses red over blue, colors will always consciously and subconsciously influence how consumers perceive a brand and it’s important to consider these emotions when choosing a color palette for your creative. ‘How do you want your consumer to feel?’ and ‘What emotions do you want to evoke?’ are both important things to ask yourself before choosing colors for your brand.