Colours can sway thinking, change actions, and cause reactions. Color Psychology is a field of research which studies how colors influence our behaviour and decision making. Customers generally make an initial judgement of a product within  90 seconds of interaction, and about 62%-90% of our reactions are based on colour as per research conducted.

Color Psychology in Marketing

If you have been to San Francisco, it is unlikely you could have missed visiting the Golden Gate Bridge. Measuring 8,981 feet, it took five years to construct this masterpiece. Most bridges during early 1930’s where either painted grey, silver or black. However Irving Morrow, the chief designer of the project insisted on the bridge to be painted in Orange.

Orange was a radical choice, and Morrow had to convince the Department of War, the permitting agency at the time. Morrow made a case for the wild colour in his 29-page document, Report on Color and Lighting. Morrow felt Orange was an ideal complement to the grey fog, the golden and green hills, the blue water and sky. Morrow’s Orange is today popularly known as International Orange. The color is widely used in the aerospace industry.

Color is an important tool in marketers arsenal. It communicates emotions and intent instantly on a deep, subliminal level. Colors can also influence the perception of non-obvious. For example, the effectiveness of placebos or taste of food.

Colors and Emotions

Colors can be used to convey emotions. Here’s a list of colors and their perceived meaning.

  • Red: Power, love, passion and lust.
  • Blue: Masculine, competence, high quality and corporate.
  • Yellow: Competence and happiness.
  • Green: Good taste and envy.
  • Grey: Depression and emotionless.
  • Black: Expensive, grief, fear and sophistication.
  • Pink: Feminine, sincerity and sophistication.
  • White: Purity, happiness and sincerity.

Getting started with Color Psychology in Marketing

  • Consider your target audience, their age, gender etc. For example, if you are addressing a male audience in the age group of 20-30 what colors would they prefer.
  • What emotions do you want your brand to convey? If you are a youth brand, you would want your brand to be perceived as cool, trendy, friendly and trustworthy.
  • Be coherent with the use of your primary colors to create a strong brand identity.
  • The interpretation of colors could vary based geographies. Hence it is essential to keep track of regional sensitivities. For example, red is often seen as a favourable color for marriages; bridges in India and Nepal wear red sarees while China combines red and black to express happiness in wedding invitations.
  • Develop a strategy on where will you use certain colors for specific actions. For example, button color, call to action text or background colors for a text box.


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