You can read this text in 10 minutes

No Comments

The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Business

the psychology of colors in marketing

Sales are not a matter of chance! Everything here must be refined, well-thought-out, and finely tuned to both the audience and the goal we aim to achieve. Colors impact not only the perception of a brand but also the sale of the products or services it offers! Dive into how the psychology of color operates in the business realm. We’re serving up a full spectrum of colorful insights on this topic 😉

We absorb about 80% of information about our environment through our sense of sight. This is the strongest evidence that the saying “we buy with our eyes” isn’t just pulled out of thin air. Visual communication passes through various “filters” like upbringing, individual experiences, cultural norms, and personal preferences. Our psyche processes these inputs at lightning speed and summarizes them with an association and an understanding of the relationship we should have with a given color.

Colors impact us, influencing our mood. When skillfully employed, they can serve as tools for manipulation, even in sales – their significance in advertising and the broader realm of marketing is immense. Are you intrigued by the concept of color psychology in business? Keep reading!

Perception of Colors – You’ve Painted the Company, Sir!

Color psychology in business plays an incredibly important role. It’s the colors, the layer that pertains to aesthetics, that can significantly influence how customers perceive a company or product. Put simply, they can either encourage or, heaven forbid, discourage customers from making a purchase. If seeing a rise in sales figures is of interest to you, judiciously utilize various shades in your marketing efforts, all based on color psychology. Otherwise, it might not be a bright outlook! 🙂

Colors in Advertising – What Can You Achieve with Them?

Primarily, they possess the power to impact customers. A product in a well-chosen shade can more effectively capture attention and become an object of desire. Colors in advertising and sales set the tone and create a favorable environment for purchase decisions. At least in theory. They also influence how customers (both acquired and potential) interpret a brand (usually on a subconscious level).

Colors of packaging also wield an incredible ability to highlight product features; when used appropriately, they enhance the clarity of communication. However, this works both ways – a poor combination of background and text can leave customers disoriented, unsure of the author’s intent and which message should stand out for intentional guidance.

Useful Insights…

Sometimes, it’s the little things that make a BIG impact. Different colors prove their worth in different circumstances. When crafting your design, remember that some colors are more visible from a distance, while others, when used as backgrounds and combined with specific text shades, can result in mediocre readability. While testing packaging in a particular color, also consider how artificial lighting affects the hue. It might turn out that you’ll achieve an entirely different effect than what you intended!

If you’re not well-versed in the world of colors, and keeping in line with colorful linguistic nomenclature, you’re “green” in this matter, it’s time to catch up. Ready, set, go!

Color Psychology in Business – Fundamental Information

For over 65% of customers, color stands as the foremost motivating factor in making purchasing decisions. Its perception is shaped by personal preferences, experiences, upbringing, cultural disparities, and context.

Colors in Advertising and Physical Reactions

We understand that purchasing decisions are made from the heart. We buy emotionally, and then rational thinking comes into play. It’s at this moment that the “perfect salesperson” comes into play, delivering their pitch flawlessly! But today, we’re focusing on something other than sales. Before we roll out the red carpet (and yes, the color choice isn’t coincidental!) for that sales pitch, let’s take a look at the physical reactions tied to the perception of specific colors. We’re here to shed light on how colors influence what we toss into our carts.

Red stimulates active qualities and encourages action. When used in lighting, it can raise blood pressure and accelerate purchasing decisions by up to 12%! This means that showcasing products in a “hotspot” would be a brilliant idea 😉

Putting jokes aside and straightening our shirt collar, as we know that the decision to purchase can be quite stressful for some. Especially if it involves spending a lifetime’s savings or committing to a credit for an equally extensive period. If you’re offering a premium product or service that requires a hefty investment, opt for cooler shades in your logo and company decor. Why? Simply because they have a calming effect. Perfect for a stressed-out customer facing a significant purchase decision!

Color in Advertising – How, Where, When?

The answer to the “how” question has been subtly laid out. Before we dive into exploring the topic further and describing individual colors in business, let’s first take a look at the “where.” The “when” is pretty self-evident.

In marketing communication, our goal is to prompt the audience to take a specific action. Conversion could involve downloading content, adding products to a cart, using promotions, or moving to the next page. This is where we employ Calls To Action (CTAs), buttons that encourage action.

Their color matters! As explained by Kajetan Maciak, Web Analytics & UX Specialist at Verseo:

Verseo Ads Banner
Verseo Ads Banner

Choosing colors on a website depends on the entire design and the context surrounding our CTAs. If the color is meant to invite clicks, it should stand out. However, avoid flickering effects and maintain good contrast between the text on the button and its color. The shade is also crucial. Green is reserved for approval, for moving forward. Yellow and orange urge, hastening action. When properly integrated into the website’s design, these shades are noticeable and easy to find. This is vital – CTAs must be visible, readable, and secure. Which color is the most effective? It depends on the industry’s nature, the website’s design, and many other factors. To choose the best option, create various variations and subject them to A/B testing.

Now, what about the other elements of a company’s visual identity? Let’s explore.

Color Psychology in Business

The division of colors into warm and cool tones, illustrated in a pie chart, was conceived by Isaac Newton as far back as 1666. Warm colors encompass red, orange, and yellow, while the cool color group includes blue, green, and violet.

What Do Colors Convey in Advertising Messages?

What do colors symbolize, and what significance does it hold for your business? Which colors do specific brands choose, and what effect are they aiming for based on the foundational color? Is it wiser to opt for cool colors? Or is it the opposite, where a cool shade negatively influences brand perception? Let’s delve into what color experts have to say about the subject of color itself!

The Meaning of the Color Black

Black is mysterious, elegant, and reserved for individualists. We associate it with luxury, prestige, elegance, high quality, and intelligence. Black is linked with professionalism, seriousness, and self-assuredness. Brands primarily from the fashion, jewelry, and technology industries opt for black in their branding and those aiming to be perceived as premium. Examples? They’re not hard to find – including Chanel, Prada, Zara, Vistula, Calvin Klein, Adidas, Nike, Tous, Apple, and Empik.

Interesting Fact…

Apple has gone through multiple color changes in its visual identity. In 1977, their logo featured all the colors of the rainbow! Eventually, a team of specialists concluded that the brand might be perceived as unserious and overly playful, leading them to abandon the colorful extravaganza.


Brand Visual Identity in White

White works excellently in industries like modern technology, green trends, and health. A logo in this color subconsciously associates itself with feelings of safety and purity. An exception is China, where white is linked to death. This knowledge is important to avoid negatively impacting your business in that market.

Companies that creatively incorporate white into their visual communication include HP, Adidas, BMW, and Apple.

The Role of Brown in Advertising

Similar to orange, brown doesn’t enjoy the best reputation and isn’t the first choice for specialists in the field. Subconsciously, the color of wood is associated with stability and reliability, making it worthwhile to harness the power of this hue. Especially if your industry is connected to nature and organic elements. Furthermore, brown evokes associations with food, particularly sweets. So, if you’re building your empire on chocolate, you know which direction to take!

Who’s Walking Hand in Hand with You? Among others, M&M’s, UPS, Snickers, Tatuum (before rebranding), CatFly, and Bison.

The Meaning of Blue

This coldest color is perceived as neutral, as it doesn’t evoke strong emotions. Specialists point out that blue increases trust is associated with knowledge and safety, and brings to mind freshness and purity. Interestingly, blue also reduces appetite, as it’s often subconsciously interpreted as poisonous.

Companies that have (deliciously!) embraced blue in their advertising include Nivea, Danone, Volkswagen, Facebook, PZU, Samsung, Ford, GAP, Skype, Twitter, Nokia, Philips, Volvo, LOT, Unilever, Oral-B, Sandler Training, and Ikea. These companies have fallen in love with blue!

The Psychology of Green

Dark green and its lighter variations primarily evoke hope and freshness. Its darker shade also symbolizes luck! However, these aren’t the only meanings that this color, consciously or subconsciously, conveys. In advertising, green can directly connect with nature, harmony, health, and life (including fertility).

It’s worth noting that green lowers stress levels, calms, and sets a positive mood for conversations. This makes it particularly useful when a purchasing decision related to your product might induce high levels of tension in potential customers.

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

Brands that have chosen green in their visual communication include Tymbark, Getin Bank, Żabka, BP, Starbucks, Android, Tic Tac, Ziaja, and Acer.

The Significance of Red

Vivid red, as well as its other shades, are primarily associated with love and fiery passion. They’re also perceived as symbols of strength (sometimes impure and devilish), energy, and zeal. The shades of red symbolize vital liveliness, beauty, and the smile of fortune. These are positive feelings and emotions… but what about the flip side?

This color is seen in a cautionary light – it heralds danger and is meant to trigger heightened vigilance. It’s also a direct invitation to take action – to make a move. Which brands have shouted “Action!” and embraced red in their visual communication?

Among others, Coca-Cola, H&M, Media Markt, Levi’s, Mitsubishi Motors, Orlen, Lego, Wilson, Nescafé, Red Bull, McDonald’s, KFC, Makita, Canon, Kellogg’s, Audi, Pepsi, Colgate, Pizza Hut, and Adobe. In their logos, you’ll find the color red, igniting emotions, sentiments, and… appetite!

The Meaning of Orange

Orange, in advertising, stimulates to a lesser extent than red and yellow, but it’s hard to remain indifferent to it. It’s associated with youthfulness, playfulness, and a burst of positive energy. However, color psychology suggests that it can also be perceived as a danger or a warning sign.

Approach this color (similarly to brown) with caution – it doesn’t rank in the top 3 favorite colors of customers. Yet, brands like Orange and Allegro have different opinions on this matter.

Which other brands confidently embrace the color orange, defying convention and psychology? The likes of CCC, Fanta, Stihl, Timberland, Cinema City, Nickelodeon, SoundCloud,, and Burger King.

As demonstrated by the success stories of the aforementioned brands, orange isn’t something to be afraid of!

The Significance of Yellow

Yellow is brimming with energy! In advertising, it captures attention faster than any other color. It also fuels our creativity. However, you must adeptly wield its power – yellow can evoke unease and appear aggressive. It’s also the color of the sun (indirectly influencing good mood), warmth, playfulness, and optimism, stimulating appetite just like red. An ideal shade for McDonald’s, isn’t it?

Brands that incorporate yellow into their visual identity include Biedronka, IKEA, Media Expert, Shell, Nikon, InPost, Netto, CAT, RMF, Onet, Snapchat, DHL, BIC, Renault, Ferrari, Lipton, Subway, and Chupa Chups.

The Role of Purple in Advertising

Purple is unconventional and dependable. It’s associated with magic and mystery. It conveys luxury, nobility, and spirituality. Brands like Milka, Play, Whiskas, Yahoo!, T-Mobile, Claire’s, FedEx, and Instagram tap into its power.

The Role of Pink in Marketing

Pink is the color of the most beautiful emotions – love, friendship, tenderness, and sensitivity. Depending on its saturation level, pink can be either cautionary or calming (when it’s lighter). It’s often used by brands offering toys (especially for girls) or cosmetic services.

Pink in advertising is embraced by T-Mobile, Hebe, Tauron, WIZZ, Barbie, Cosmopolitan, Victoria’s Secret, Bourjois, and even Tinder! Especially in the case of Tinder, harnessing the power of pink wasn’t accidental!

Color Psychology in Advertising – Summary

The significance of color in advertising is immense. Based on it, we subconsciously evaluate products and classify them. Since this is the case, it’s worthwhile to acquire knowledge about the meanings of colors and start using this in marketing and communication. Through this, we can optimize user actions and influence their perception of the brand.

Remember to filter the colors used in your brand’s visual identity through cultural patterns. It’s easy to overshoot – for example, in China, yellow is associated with explicit content, and our exclusive white… with death!

If you want to paint the future of your business in vibrant hues of hope, use colors wisely and sensibly. When selecting colors for visual communication, seek expert guidance.

New call-to-action
New call-to-action

But color isn’t everything! Words matter too. Good words! If you want to know how to craft effective content, read: 7 Principles of SEO Copywriting – How to Write Great Texts?

Reduce your advertising costs by  20%!