Color plays a crucial role in the success of a brand, and it is no coincidence that many of the world’s most successful brands have carefully chosen their colors. From Coca-Cola’s red and white logo to McDonald’s golden arches, color is a powerful tool in the hands of marketers and brand strategists. Companies such as Proctor and Gamble, the parent company of some of the world’s most iconic brands including Tide Laundry Detergent, Crest Toothpaste and Gillette Razors and Skin care have invested millions of dollars into research and development of these successful brands over the years. When you walk into a grocery store, you may not realize it, but the colours on the majority of successful brands and products have been created to subconsciously catch your eye. That’s often the answer to the question of why do you spend so much money at the store when you only went in for bread, milk and butter.
This principal of brand colours goes well beyond the supermarket and can be seen on street corners, on the sides of buildings and throughout your social media threads including Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, SnapChat and Twitter. Even Google, recognizes the power of brand colour.
Leveraging The Psychology of Colour for Your Brand
The psychology of colour is a field of study that explores the impact that different colors have on human behaviour and emotions. It is a well-established fact that different colors can evoke different emotions and feelings in people. For example, red is often associated with passion, excitement, and energy, while blue is associated with calmness, trust, and reliability.
Brands that understand the psychology of color are able to use it to their advantage, creating logos and visual identities that resonate with their target audience. Here are some examples of how color has been used successfully by some of the world’s most famous brands.
Red: The color of passion and excitement
Red is a bold and attention-grabbing color that is often associated with passion, excitement, and energy. Red’s association with strong emotions can be seen throughout history, from the ancient Romans who used red to symbolize power and dominance to modern brands that use the color to create a memorable impact on their audience. Coca-Cola’s red and white logo, for example, has become an iconic representation of the brand, with the red color symbolizing the company’s vitality and energy.
Whether it’s a red sale tag or a red sign off the highway, this warm color is effective in creating a sense of urgency and drawing people in.
Yellow: The color of happiness and optimism
Yellow represents happiness, optimism, and warmth. Its bright and sunny appearance is often associated with joy and positivity, making it a popular choice for brands that want to convey a friendly and welcoming image. Companies like McDonald’s have used yellow in their logos and visual identities to create a cheerful and approachable brand persona.
In color psychology, yellow is considered a warm colors, which is believed to evoke feelings of excitement and enthusiasm. Yellow is often used in advertising and branding to capture the attention of consumers and create a sense of urgency and impulse to act.
Blue: The color of trust and reliability
The color blue has been known for its calming and serene effect on people’s moods, making it a popular choice for brands that want to convey trustworthiness and professionalism. This is because blue is often associated with dependability, reliability, and security. The psychological impact of blue is so powerful that it is used in the healthcare industry to soothe patients, reduce stress and anxiety.
IBM, one of the world’s largest technology companies, has effectively incorporated blue into its brand identity. IBM’s iconic blue logo conveys a sense of trust and reliability, and the company’s commitment to quality and professionalism. This shade of blue is also used in their branding materials and advertising campaigns to create a cohesive and consistent brand image.
Blue is frequently used by brands to convey trust, reliability, professionalism, growth, and sustainability. By utilizing these colors effectively, companies can create a powerful brand identity and connect with their target audience in a meaningful way.
Green: The color of growth and harmony
Green is a color that symbolizes growth, harmony, and nature, and is often associated with environmental responsibility and sustainability. Brands that use green in their branding are often perceived as socially responsible, ethical, and environmentally conscious. This makes it an ideal choice for companies looking to promote a message of sustainability and eco-friendliness.
Starbucks, a globally recognized coffeehouse chain, is an excellent example of a brand that has successfully utilized green to create a positive image of environmental responsibility. Starbucks’ green and white logo, combined with its eco-friendly initiatives, such as using ethically sourced coffee and reducing waste through recycling, has helped to create a strong association with sustainability and social responsibility.
Purple: The color of imagination and wisdom
The Color Purple, not the movie, but the actual color combines the stability of blue and the energy of red. It is associated with imagination, wisdom, power, and luxury. Purple may also conjure up the feeling of relaxation, spirituality, and femininity, making it a popular color choice for beauty and wellness brands.
Purple has a rich history associated with royalty and luxury, often symbolizing power, nobility, and ambition. But it also has a softer side, evoking relaxation, spirituality, and femininity, often linked to the soothing scents of lavender or lilacs. Purple is a color of imagination and wisdom, stimulating creativity and inspiring deep contemplation.
Orange: The color of cheerfulness and confidence
Orange is a vibrant color that is known for its association with cheerfulness, happiness, and confidence. It is a hue that is often used to evoke feelings of warmth, energy, and excitement. Orange is a combination of red and yellow, which are both powerful colors in their own right. The color red is often associated with passion, strength, and courage, while yellow is known for its association with happiness, optimism, and intellect. When these two colors are combined to create orange, the resulting color is a potent symbol of positivity and enthusiasm.
Many successful brands have utilized the color orange to create memorable and long-lasting brand identities. For example, the telecommunications company Orange uses the color to convey energy and innovation, while the home improvement store Home Depot uses the color to evoke a sense of confidence and reliability. Similarly, the popular food chain Dunkin’ Donuts uses the color to create a sense of warmth and friendliness.
Natural Grey: The color of neutrality and calmness
Grey, is a color that is often associated with neutrality and calmness. It is a hue that represents diplomacy and balance, and it is often used to create a sense of sophistication and elegance. Grey is a popular color in interior design, where it is used to create a sense of calmness and tranquility in spaces such as bedrooms and living rooms. It is also a popular color in fashion, where it is often used to create a classic and timeless look.
Grey is often associated with silver, which is a color that is closely linked with prestige and luxury. The color grey is also associated with the moon, which is often viewed as a symbol of guidance and inspiration. When used in the right way, the color grey can create a sense of order and balance that is both calming and reassuring. Whether it’s used in fashion, interior design, or branding, the color grey is a versatile hue that can evoke a wide range of emotions and moods.
What Are Your Brand Colors?
The psychology of color is a powerful tool that can be used to create successful and memorable brand identities. Brands that understand the impact that different colors have on human behaviour and emotions are able to create logos and visual identities that resonate with their target audience. Whether it’s the passion and excitement of red, the happiness and optimism of yellow, the trust and reliability of blue, or the growth and harmony of green, the right color can make all the difference in the success of a brand.