How Color Psychology Impacts Your Marketing

Updated: Dec 28, 2019

color psychology impacts marketing and branding rainbow

The word psychology stems from the Greek word psyche, which is defined as “the human soul, mind or spirit.” Nowadays, we know this term as the study of the human mind and behavior. This discipline has branched out into various topics, from forensics to clinical psychology, in order to study and understand the human experience.

Over the past decade, there has been a growing interest in research on the psychological impact of color in relation to marketing and branding. For example, think of the last product you purchased from a brand. Do you remember the color of the logo? Probably yes - and maybe even more clearly than the price of the good itself.

Paint buckets, palettes and color theory are no longer reserved for artists - everyone in marketing must grasp the basics. This is why it is crucial to understand how color psychology can in fact have both a positive and negative impact on your marketing.

What is color psychology?

Color psychology studies how colors influence the human mind and behavior. In marketing, it is used to analyze how different hues affect customers’ perception of a brand in subconscious ways.

The influence of color is no joke. It steers your eyes in different directions, suggests what action to take, and helps users to understand the level of importance of different items. A study titled The Impact of Color in Marketing states that 90% of customers’ product decisions are based on color alone. Even Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung believed colors help people process and store information more effectively than black and white:

“Colors are the mother tongue of the subconscious.”

While there have been numerous research papers on this topic, the psychological effect of colors on the human mind still remains ambiguous. The truth is, there isn’t one color everyone gravitates to, mainly due to a combination of human experiences (i.e. events, culture, memories).

Interested in the human mind? Learn about customer service psychology.

The influence of color on emotions

Every color has a universally perceived meaning to convey a certain feeling. Before we dive in, let’s give you a recap of some basic colors and what emotions they can evoke, along with common and well-known brand examples:

The Color Psychology of Blue

the color psychology of blue

  • Positive emotions: Trust, loyalty, logic, serenity, security, tranquility. Negative emotions: Coldness, emotionless, unappetizing, unfriendly.

  • Has a calming effect on the mind and is used frequently in interior design and Feng Shui.

  • Provides a sense of security and dependability. Therefore, it is used by brands that manage a lot of personal and sensitive information, like American Express and LinkedIn.

The Color Psychology of Red

the color psychology of red