Choosing a brand colour palette may appear to be a simple and uncomplicated task, you just go with a colour you like, right?! Wrong. The psychology of colours and their influence on customers, particularly when it comes to marketing has been extensively researched.
Consumers notice colour before any clever slogans or taglines as they communicate with us on a personal and emotional level making them more effective at persuasion. Colours also evoke certain feelings and emotions as our brains subconsciously associate the two.
Taking some time to understand colour psychology rather than just picking your personal favourite can pave the way for clever marketing and increased sales.
3 Factors to consider for your brand colour palette
To assist you in choosing an appropriate colour for your business, you need to reflect on the following factors;
Your products or service – You want to choose a colour that fits with what you are providing, for example, brown would not necessarily be a good choice if you are trying to sell pre-prepared salads or nappies.
The emotion you want your target market to have and associate with your product – For example, you would want to choose a relaxing colour for a brand marketing sleeping aids or bright and energetic colours for a pre-workout.
Your brand personality – Think about how you want to communicate and connect with your customers? For example, do you want to come across as authoritative, friendly, professional or humorous and what colour would your chosen personality correlate with?
All of these three things may align in a base colour and maybe one or more supporting colours. Of course, a basic understanding of colour psychology and the different traits that are commonly associated with each colour would also be helpful. Here we have each one along with some brand examples.
The Psychology behind colour
Symbolises clean, pure and safe. A colour that is rarely associated with negative feelings. However, the use of white denotes that you will require the use of at least one other colour in order for it to be properly visible.
Symbolises practicality & solidarity. It can be associated with old age and too much with feelings of nothingness and depression.
Symbolises sleek, powerful, associated with authority, stability, and strength. Often a symbol of intelligence and frequently used in high-end or luxurious products. Too much can be overwhelming.
Creates a sense of urgency and encourages appetite, hence why it is often used by retailers during sales and utilised by fast-food chains. It physically stimulates the body, raises blood pressure and heart rate and so is also associated with energy, excitement, and passion.
Symbolises joy, hope, happiness and positivity. It is attention-grabbing and also associated with wisdom and enlightenment.
Symbolises delicate, love, romance, femininity, sweetness.
Often associated with health, tranquillity, freshness and nature. Is frequently used to promote environmental issues. Traditionally it is also associated with money, wealth, banking, ambition, greed and jealously.
Combines the energy of red and the happiness of yellow. Enthusiasm, creativity, determination, attraction and encouragement. Too much can come across as aggressive and trigger a sense of caution.
Soothing and calming. Is commonly associated with royalty, wisdom, and respect. It is frequently used to promote beauty and anti-ageing products and target an older demographic.
Symbolises peace, water, promotes a sense of trust, reliability and security, stimulates productivity and is frequently associated with masculinity.
Stimulates the appetite and feelings of wholesomeness, stability, and peace. Represents simplicity, friendliness, dependability, and health.
Frequently used to demonstrate versatility, openness, and creativity with a sense of fun and playfulness.
Why colour theory is important
When you consciously select the right colour to match the services or products on offer, one that simultaneously appeals to the correct target audience and aligns with your brand persona. You are harnessing the psychology of colour in your business, an enormously powerful tool that should form the basis of a successful marketing operation.