Color your world! Find out how this psychology can help your brand establish a strong identity in your niche! [Thursdays: FYO!]
What do you feel whenever you see a red balloon?
… a blue envelope?
… a pink dress?
Do you suddenly feel alert, secure, or happy?
Whatever emotion it is that you felt upon imagining the colored objects, one thing is certain:
Colors have a way of evoking emotions, making you respond differently to different things.
Let’s use color psychology in the context of marketing and branding…
According to a study conducted by the University of Loyola in Maryland, colors give brands a boost in memorability and an 80% increase in brand awareness.
Another research done by the secretariat of the Seoul International Color Expo found that 93% of buyers focus on visual appearance… and about 85% say color is a primary reason why they make a purchase!
Think about it: Colors are a vital aspect that can either make or break your brand’s identity and presence, whether online (web design, logo creation, and social media branding) or offline (store appearance, product packaging, and signages).
If you choose the right colors that will help you engage with your target market and make your brand’s presence known, you have a powerful tool working in your favor.
Let’s take a look at the science behind some of the most common branding colors as well as a few examples of famous companies:
Red creates a sense of urgency and alertness, which are both suitable for clearance sales. This color is also known to stimulate the appetite―the reason why most fast-food chains have red in their branding!
Aside from that, this color gets people to act and is often used in call-to-action buttons on different websites.
McDonald’s uses high-energy red (combined with yellow) to appeal to children, kindle the appetite, and create a sense of urgency.
Since red is also associated with passion, it showcases the fast-food chain’s commitment to serve only the best products to customers.
Remember the McDonald’s tagline: “Loving it!”
Green is associated with health, tranquility, power, and nature. This color is used in stores to relax customers and promote environmental friendliness.
Green stimulates harmony in the brain and encourages a balance that leads to decisiveness!
Starbucks is a global brand that uses this color. The café promotes a sense of relaxation in its stores, inviting customers to come in for a coffee break during a stressful day.
Purple usually represents royalty, wisdom, respect, creativity, and problem-solving skills.
If you see beauty brands, salons, and some anti-aging products using this color in their branding, don’t be surprised. They just want to remind you to pamper yourself every once in a while, like princes and princesses!
Another brand that uses purple in its branding is Hallmark.
As you can see, the company’s logo includes a crown. This symbolizes Hallmark’s leadership and insight in the paper and card manufacturing industry.
Think about all the words of wisdom contained in the brand’s greeting cards!
Blue: American Express
Blue is associated with peace, water, tranquility, and reliability. It offers consumers a sense of security and stimulates productivity.
This is a common color used by brands that are looking to promote trust in their products.
Speaking of trust…
This is the reason why American Express (AmEx) uses blue in its branding―to impart feelings of security and stability among customers.
It’s as if AmEx is telling card users:
“We assure you that we’ll take care of your money and credit.”
Orange and Yellow: Harley-Davidson and Snapchat
These colors promote cheerfulness and optimism. However, you have to be careful in using them in advertising.
Yellow has a tendency to make children cry, while orange can trigger a sense of caution when used improperly.
Let’s look at how these brands use these colors excellently…
Motorcycle manufacturing company Harley-Davidson uses orange to communicate a sense of adventure, excitement, and vitality. These are some of the fundamental aspects every motorcycle rider is looking for.
Meanwhile, social media app Snapchat’s logo has a yellow background, which is a break from the usual blue theme of social media. This is to imply that the platform appeals to its target audience with ideas of happiness, excitement, and creativity.
Black: Nike and Chanel
While black is technically not a color―it results from the absence or complete absorption of visible light―it is commonly associated with authority, power, stability, confidence, and strength.
… but be careful! Black can become too overwhelming if it is used frequently and improperly.
If you want to incorporate this shade into your branding, gather inspiration from these brands: Nike and Chanel.
These businesses prove black is beautiful and elegant when used properly!
By combining black and white in its logo, Nike exudes an aura of power, strength, and stability. This identity is also reflected in the brand’s famous tagline, “Just Do It.”
In a similar fashion, Chanel uses black to convey luxury, elegance, sophistication, timelessness, and a hint of mystery. These are exactly the qualities that the French fashion designer, Coco Chanel, wanted her brand to embody.
Gray symbolizes feelings of practicality, old age, and solidarity. However, just like orange and yellow, you have to be careful in using gray as it sometimes leads to feelings of nothingness and depression.
Despite these risks, one tech giant excellently used gray to get its marketing message across…
While the company’s logo is a literal rainbow of colors, it also uses an all-gray apple in its branding.
This means that Apple is not only innovative and exciting, but also clean in its approach to advancing technological products of the future.
White: Subway and Lego
Just like black, white is not a color and is often used to project an absence of color and neutrality. It is associated with cleanliness, purity, safety, and an unaltered, clean slate.
Using white in marketing is effective if you want to go for a minimalist approach.
Subway’s use of white suggests the blank slate concept―it’s your sandwich to create, with endless possibilities offered by clean and fresh ingredients.
Meanwhile, Lego’s brand spells out its name in white and on a red background. This represents the fun and excitement in playing a product that provides a lot of opportunities to build anything the mind can imagine.
Now that you know what the colors above mean and how they are used by different businesses, how can you make sure that you’re using these colors smartly for marketing and advertising your brand?
- Decide on colors that best represent your brand’s image. The choice of colors should be an important consideration for you as a business owner or marketer. A poor choice could impact your brand negatively, so give it plenty of thought before choosing an imagery you’ll have to live with for a long period of time.
- Pick 2 main colors (at most). One good reason for this? Your target market will find it easier to remember your brand with 2 colors instead of 3 or more. Think about some major brands. They limit their colors to 2 and build their entire marketing lexicon around those hues.
According to research conducted by printing solutions company Xerox, color encourages readership by up to 80% and increases the ability of readers to remember content by 82%.
When that happens…
Good readership + easy-to-remember content = higher chances of brand recall, more website traffic, and increased online visibility!
Use every color accordingly. Utilize these hues to make a statement, stand out from the competition, establish a credible and positive authority in your niche, and attract users to visit your website.
Infuse these colors into your design and create a consistent branding across different platforms and mediums!
Doing so is one of the simplest ways to come up with a positive brand identity.
… and when there is a positive brand identity, there’s also a bigger chance to create a strong presence in the market, whether offline or online!
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: FYO! Find You Optimization”
Why should you stop thinking SEO and start thinking FYO?
We’re not saying that you should abandon Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Don’t get us wrong, of course, we know this is something very important, especially in today’s digital marketing age.
The internet landscape is vast, and a world of its own. You really need to distinguish yourself and make your brand/company/website known and easily searchable.
Better yet, get to the top of page one for Top Results on Google or any other search engine.
However, what is the purpose of SEO? It’s that customers Find You!
That’s what matters. So, while SEO is one factor of FYO… it really is only one, and we ought not to abandon all the myriad of ways digitally and offline for improving your FYO.
How can we look at this from a different and better perspective?
Let’s say you have it in the bag! You and your team are experts in SEO. Awesome. But did you ever wonder what else you could do to push it further and give your SEO skills a boost?
FYO! Find You Optimization!
You need your target audience to FIND YOU—your brand, product, service, or offer. This is SEO plus other tools that increase visibility online (and offline).
Every Thursday, we publish content on how you can get your target market to find you, beyond the typical “type and search.” There are other things you can do along with your SEO to give your online advertising process a boost.
Try considering other tactics beyond it—WOMO (Word Of Mouth Optimization), RO (Referral Optimization), and “All-Other-Means-Of-Getting-Your-Target-Market-To-Find-You” Optimization (AOMOGYTMTFY, if you’d like a long acronym).
Part of a great marketing strategy is knowing how to adapt new methods and make use of different types of marketing and promotion that best fit your business goals and which give you the results you want.
Hope you’ve found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Thursday’s FYO!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
Powered by Valens Research