Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Psychology of Colors in Marketing

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Thinking about your brand and your logo? You should be thinking about colors. It's a conversation / debate I recently had with a client and a colleague in regards to our client's website design.
There are a lot of doubters in the world of marketing about the roles that colors play in buying decisions.
So let's dive right into the analysis with a question - one that's specifically geared towards the doubters.

What color is associated with Republicans? Democrats? Starbucks? Vimeo?
If you knew the answers to at least one of them immediately, then keep reading.
If not, then you need to spend a little more time in public.

Here's why there's such swirling controversy surrounding color marketing. Some of it is entirely subjective. For two reasons. 1) If, from the moment you are born, you're taught that the sky is green and grass is blue, then that is your reality. Perception = reality. 2) If, when you were growing up, you picked a favorite color and have stuck with that color, then chances are that color will hold confidence and security to you - regardless of what the color is. Simply put, your upbringing and experiences impact the emotions you associate with different colors.
So let's get a little more into the objective scenarios.

A study was done called Impact of Color in Marketing. This study revealed that up to 90% of quick decisions about products are made based on the color alone. A number of studies expanded upon this, and here are some of the generally accepted color emotion associations.

Green - growth (financial or phsyical) and health. Look at some of the big companies using green as a main logo - Monster, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Tropicana, Spotify, bp and of course John Deere.

Purple - imagination and wisdom. Some of the companies using this color have or have been: Yahoo, Welch's, Taco Bell, Barbie and Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Blue - Trust, confidence and dependability. Companies: Lowe's, hp, Oreo, Facebook, Vimeo, Wordpress, Ford, Dell, Walmart.

Red - Excitement, urgency and boldness. Companies: Target, Canon, Lego, Pinterest, Netflix, Coca Cola, CNN, Nabisco, YouTube.

Orange - Cheerfulness and relationship-building. Companies: Gulf, Shutterfly, Payless, Hooters, Nickelodeon and Firefox.

Yellow - Yellow conveys optimism and forward-thinking. Companies: Best Buy, Ikea, Denny's, UPS, Nikon, McDonalds.

Black - Authority and power. The Silent Partner Marketing, Visa, Adidas, HBO, KISS, MTV, Playboy.

White - Purity and innocence. Google, Yelp, and NBC (in the white space of the multiple colors).

Ever since some of the big Google updates, you've heard this: content is king. While the same could be said when it comes to color from a branding perspective, I'd argue this: if content is king, then CONTEXT is the entire kingdom.
When thinking about your branding, don't think about the demographic you're trying to target - think of the message you're trying to send about your company.

Far too many companies out there make decisions based on what they think people will think of them. That's arguably why society is so politically correct (dangerously so) these days. Focus on who you are and who your company is...and build the branding on that.
Want to learn more about the marketing message you're giving off? Feel free to contact us at The Silent Partner Marketing.

Go have fun. And as Skittles would say: "Taste the rainbow".

Kyle Reyes is the President and Creative Director of The Silent Partner Marketing, New England's #1 Marketing Agency. We're a boutique marketing firm focused on helping businesses grow in an age of exploding technology. You can find him on Google+, Facebook and Twitter. He's the Chuck Norris of marketing. It's outrageous - we know. That's kind of the point. Outrageous marketing - extraordinary results.

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