The psychology of color.

The Basics 

The use of color in marketing is one of the most impactful elements of marketing. Colors represent and communicate more than shades and tones. They evoke emotion, connotation, and association. Colors represent different feelings and ideas. Changing one color on an advertisement can completely change what the viewer perceives about the product or service.  

According to 2006 research by Emerald Insight, “About 62‐90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone”. That’s pretty powerful. That means picking the wrong color can dramatically impact the influence of your ad.  

Emotions on Fleek 

Some marketers will state that certain colors are defined by specific emotions. For example, green is widely known to represent calm or nature, and while this can certainly be true for some brands, Starbucks chose it for their iconic logo for other reasons.  

(Four shades of green that Starbucks incorporates into its corporate color palette).  

Starbucks selected these colors, along with an array of whites and off-whites, to appear “fresh and inviting”. They have kept the same “Starbucks Green” since the company’s inception to nod to their heritage while including complementary tones to add variety to their branding.  

Other brands use color combinations to create brand recognition, as is the case with the iconic gold and red of McDonald’s.  

(The color codes of the McDonald’s brand are yellow, red and black).  

McDonald’s created its logo based on the Golden Arches of the first franchised location. These arches were built to grab the attention of passers-by and by golly did it work. McDonald’s replicated those arches in their logo with an equally eye-catching yellow. The red is a different story. The red was selected because of the emotional impact it has on consumers – namely, red “increases heart rate, which helps to jumpstart your appetite”.  

Starbucks and McDonald’s are just two examples of colors in logos that are purposefully selected to communicate something to consumers. They have used them consistently throughout their company’s histories in order to create and maintain brand awareness and recognition, which means seeing those colors or color combinations and automatically thinking of those brands – which is exactly the point.  

More Than Logos 

There are plenty of additional logos we could review that are curated with colors based on the feeling or message a brand is trying to convey, but there are more than just logos to consider when marketing with colors.  

When you walk into a Target, you are absolutely inundated with red. From the floor tiles to the signage to the displays to the employees and shopping carts, everything is red. That’s not by accident but by design. Target’s signature color is red, and they want to make sure that when you are in one of their stores, you are constantly reminded of where you are.  

Target’s iconic bullseye logo is the basis of the red theme, and they have really driven this home. Customers easily recognize the interior of a target store without even seeing the logo or being told where they are. This color emphasis is a part of a serious marketing effort to create that association.   

Your True Colors 

When you think about your brand, what are you trying to convey?  

Do you want the inside of your store to match your logo? What emotions do you want your company colors to evoke? 

Deciding what colors best represent your brand and your mission is a crucial step in building your company’s awareness and recognition. This drives sales and revenues, which ultimately grows your business. Week 

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