According to a research, color has a psychological impact on people’s behavior and purchasing decisions. For that reason, companies should ensure the colors used on their brands appeal to the target market.
A survey found that up to 93 percent of buyers focus on visual appearance of a product, and about 85 percent claim that color of the product was the main attraction.
Color psychology is thus an important factor considered by both the consumer and the designer and more so the designer as they need to appeal to the target market. Different colors evoke different emotions, moods, and feelings among people, and cultures.
Although color is too personal to be fit into specific universal feelings, there are broader messaging patterns that cannot be ignored by companies that aim to stand out in the market. Thus, it is up to the marketer to pick the best design and colors that represents the brand and evokes the right feelings towards such products.
So what do consumers look for when they interact with products?
- Personality of the product
Studies show that knowing what colors will evoke what emotions towards your products increases effectiveness of your marketing strategies. By applying the psychology of colors you will make better branding and advertising decisions that will help you to reach the targeted audience.
A paper by Stanford professor Jennifer Aaker reveals that there are five ways or dimensions people constantly react to brand personality.
Five core dimensions that play a role in a brand’s personality. Source: Helpscout
Studies reveal that colors are categorized by specific traits for example blue is used to depict trust, expertise and strength, and green for nature and harmony. Sometimes however, brand identity crossover when two traits are used to represent a product, but mostly one color dominates.
- Appropriateness of the color to the product
How appropriate is the brand color? This is the question that marketers should ask before deciding on the brand color. Rather than over relying on color traits, researchers advise marketers to use colors that support the personality that they want to portray to their clients.
It is crucial for companies to explore branding strategies that suit the characteristics of the product or company. Clearly, a tour and travel company wouldn’t want to use pink sparkles as part of its main brand color unless the target market calls for it.
A color wheel showing attributes associated with different colors- color psychology. Source: Dirigo
Additionally, brand colors should stand out from those of other competitors. To have the image of the product embedded in the mind of the consumers; color should be used to create a great identity. In a journal article, results from a study suggest that brains tend to recognize brands and create a positive emotional processing which leads to positive responses towards such products.
Thus, new companies should endeavor to choose colors that are different from their main competitors. By so doing, they are creating their own identity which, though new, will be recognizable among the target market in the future.
Factors to consider when choosing a color
Marketers and designers should ensure that colors they choose represent their brand personality appropriately. Additionally, the color should enable consumers to recognize the brand from others. However, there are other factors that hinder consumers’ interpretations and experiences including personal preference and cultural influence.
In general, different people prefer different colors. To some extent, this may cause a consumer to pick or leave a product based on color alone. Gender also plays a major role in identifying with a certain color. Some colors are predominantly associated with males while others are female, yet others cut across the genders. For example, bright pink color is mainly used on young girls’ clothes and toys while blue shades are used for male clothes.
Data showcases some clear preferences in certain colors across gender (most of the respondents were from Western societies). Adopted from Joe Hallock’s work on “Color Assignment” Source: Helpscout
Additionally, colors are interpreted differently in diverse cultures which could have a major impact on how a product is perceived. Red, a common color across all cultures depicts different emotions in different cultural set ups. In South African nations for example, it is associated with mourning. In Indian culture, red is the color of wealth, power, fertility, seduction, and beauty, while in Thai it is the color of a solar god.
How a company uses colors depends on what need there is to be met. A combination of psychological effects of colors and factors that affect the interpretation of colors should be used to arrive at the best branding strategy to attract consumers.