You’ve probably heard about the natural association between your brain and colors—how they can set a mood, trigger an emotion, or even subtly influence decision-making.
This is what’s known as color psychology.
Savvy brands understand the emotional power of color. They leverage it as a subliminal messaging tool that allows them to speak to customers without saying a word.
Color can play an essential role in how your brand will be perceived. Knowing this, before you commit to a scheme and palette for your brand guide, you should first strongly consider color psychology’s potential impact on your branding. You might also seek the advice of a white label marketing agency.
Here’s what you need to know about color associations and brand identity.
Brand Color Psychology
Brand color psychology attempts to trace the emotional connections between the brain, color, and human behavior. It’s the study of colors in relation to emotion and buyer decision-making.
Here, the key factor is that much of human behavior is governed by how we feel rather than how we think.
We simply don’t have enough time in the day to consciously sift through the hundreds of elements that go into making a single decision. So, to make snap decisions, we develop cognitive biases, mental shortcuts known as heuristics—a derivative of the Greek word ‘heuriskein,’ which means ‘to find out.
To form these cognitive biases, the brain draws upon various inputs, including:
- Past experiences
- Social, emotional, or psychological factors
Brand Colors and Recognition Heuristics
One of the most common heuristics is known as recognition bias, which links brand recognition and consumer preference. Research has demonstrated that, given two identical choices, consumers commonly select recognized objects over alien ones.
For brands, color schemes and palettes are one of the more useful visual assets you can leverage to foster recognition bias and positive associations with your brand.
Think the iconic McDonald’s Golden Arches, John Deere’s green and yellow, or Facebook’s blue.
By using color strategically in your sitewide and marketing efforts, you can shape audience perceptions and make them see you how you want to be seen.
What Emotions Do Certain Colors Evoke?
Briefly, let’s look at the connection between color psychology and branding with three popular colors:
In a positive light, red can be a color of passion, energy, and excitement. Viewed in a negative light, it can be a sign of warning, anger, or pain. Red is often used to grab the viewer’s attention, which is why stop signs, sales tags, and negative account balances are red.
Household brands that use red include:
- Coca Cola
Typically, yellow fosters positive feelings of fun, happiness, sunshine, and warmth. Although yellow can have some connotations with caution, that has more to do with the fact that yellow is the most visible color whether it’s light or dark.
Household brands that use yellow include:
- Best Buy
The right shade of blue can elicit feelings of calm and serenity. And still, others can make the viewer feel sad or cold. Brands often use blue to arouse a sense of dependability and trustworthiness, which is why it’s common among IT, healthcare, and financial service companies, such as:
- American Express
Color Psychology Tips for Selecting Your Brands Colors
There will always be an element of subjectivity involved in selecting your brand’s colors. That said, you should keep the following color psychology elements in mind as you narrow down your options:
- Find the color that’s authentic to your brand and industry – Certain colors are better for different industries. For instance, blue is rarely used by food companies since there are almost no naturally occurring blue foods.
- Consider how different colors can impact mood and perception – Remember, colors can have both positive and negative associations, depending on the viewer and the specific shade. Take the time to study the relationships between primary colors and common emotions.
- Choose a color that differentiates you – If you pick green as your brand’s primary color, you won’t just be selecting green, but a very specific shade of green. Some colors and color combinations are trademarked as part of a brand’s product or service. Your goal is to find a color that none of your competitors are using and make it yours.
- Learn the basics of color-related terminology – When applying the branding guide to your site and brand assets, you’ll need to work closely with a design team. To clearly communicate exactly what you want, you need to be familiar with at least the following terms:
- Color hues
- Color shades
- Color Tints
- Color Saturation
- HSL Color Codes
- CMYK and PMS
- RGB and HEX
Leverage Color Psychology with Semgeeks
Color in branding may seem like an inconsequential aesthetic choice on the surface. But if you dig down into color psychology, you’ll see that it can have a significant impact on consumer brand perceptions.
For brands, color is one of the essential ways you can elicit emotions and implant your identity in the minds of your target audience.
If you’re looking for guidance on creating your brand guidelines, Semgeeks is a white label digital marketing agency. Whether you need website redesign services, branding and color direction, or campaign creation, our team of digital media specialists can do it all.
To learn more about our services, contact us today!
SJDM. The Devil You Know: The Effect of Brand Recognition and Product Ratings on Consumer Choice. https://journal.sjdm.org/12/12703/jdm12703.html
Dopely Colors. The Most Visible Colors For Human Eyes! https://colors.dopely.top/inside-colors/the-most-visible-colors-for-human-eyes/
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