Color Psychology and Brand Colors

by | Jan 10, 2020

color wheel

Your logo says a lot about your company. If well-executed, your logo can become an essential part of your company’s image for your audience. Examples abound, from McDonald’s famous golden arches to Coca-Cola’s trademark red and white cursive script. Newer brands have more flexibility but far less recognizability. Creating the right logo and marketing materials is all about securing customers’ attention. One of the simplest but commonly overlooked aspects of marketing is color.


Consumers and Color: More Than Meets the Eye

A good logo is powerful for a number of reasons, but color is a primary factor in a logo’s success. When a logo matches up a brand and an audience, it creates visual recall with a high degree of “staying power.”  Research indicates that a carefully selected logo color has intrinsic meaning to consumers. This logo color eventually becomes representative of the central idea that consumers associate with a brand. It also influences customers’ ability to recognize brands and take away the right message from their advertising.

Certain colors are more common in specific industries than others. For example, the color blue is used in three-fourths of credit card brand logos. Blue is prevalent in one-fifth of fast food logos, by comparison. On the other hand, the color red is hardly ever found in logos for apparel companies, yet it appears in almost two-thirds of retail logos. The visual cues offered by these industry-specific colors can help consumers quickly absorb a message. This is extremely valuable in a world where consumers are bombarded by hundreds or even thousands of advertisements every day.


How Successful Brands Use Colors in Marketing

There are a wide number of commonalities shared by top-performing companies around the world when it comes to color selection for marketing materials. Blue is the most common logo color chosen by these brands and is often seen as a safe choice. Blue logos are common for their tranquility and are used in many contexts. Blues can convey security and safety even before the audience engages directly with marketing content. This explains why companies in finance, health, technology, and insurance often utilize it.

Other colors can have very different effects on consumers. For example, red is a much more powerful color and is often much more dramatic in the response it evokes. This explains why red is the second most popular color among global brands. Red conveys the confidence and leadership these companies want to convey about themselves.


Psychology of Color

Color psychology is a specialty that involves examining how colors affect the human mind. This can be difficult for researchers because no color creates the same emotional response in all consumers. However, certain colors generally evoke similar responses among target audiences.

Context is important for selecting the right color for marketing materials. Depending on how you use a color, it can emphasize certain characteristics of your brand. Experts often instruct entrepreneurs to focus less on choosing the perfect color and more on avoiding the wrong ones. Stay away from colors that are too loud, off-putting, or difficult on the eyes.

Certain colors have strong general associations with consumers. Keep this in mind when selecting colors for your logos and marketing materials. See what colors your competition uses. While you can gain insights from companies, make sure that your logo and materials are unique. If a customer cannot distinguish your logo from a competitor’s, your branding will be unsuccessful. Finding the right balance between the message you want to convey and the standards of your industry are essential steps to successful marketing. Choosing the color you want to represent you is the first step.

Closing Thoughts

As a marketing agency, our team spends a lot of time analyzing designs, logos — and yes, color! Feel free to reach out to us at Transformation Marketing in Lincoln, NE for graphic design, web development, social media marketing, blog writing, programmatic advertising and so much more. Call us at 402-788-2896!

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