Key Principles of Colour in Branding and Marketing

Key Principles of Colour in Branding and Marketing

Have you given enough thought to your use of colour in branding and marketing? Like other entrepreneurs, you might choose those you think look good. However, you need to know how they relate to consumer psychology. Research shows customers can base up to 90% of impulsive decisions about products on colour. Consequently, it's prudent to use those that win clients.


Studies reveal consumers often judge products by the appropriateness of the colours used. They feel comfortable with those they expect to be linked with goods. Using colours deemed inappropriate can turn them off. Thus, if headache pills were brown, rather than white, consumers may not buy them. Brown is sometimes associated with dirt. As such, it doesn't sell medical products. White works better because it is clinical and fresh. 

When selecting colours, consider those linked with the qualities people expect your brand to own. However, bear in mind the personality of your brand as well as its apparent features.

Brand personality and colour

Use colour to indicate the personality of your brand and encourage sales. Think about how you want potential customers to see your business. For instance, does tough and rugged, luxurious and sophisticated, or honest and cheerful best describe your brand's persona? The qualities suggested via colours linked to your brand will determine the consumers you attract. Consequently, if you sell safety boots for builders, a pink theme is unlikely to prove fruitful. You would do better to choose colours people associate with strength and durability. An extreme example, but it highlights an important point.

Make your brand recognisable

Your brand and marketing need to stand out from the competition, so select different colours to those they use. You can look at other successful brands - those aiming to evoke a comparable persona - and take ideas from them. Just make sure they aren't selling similar goods or services.

Coca-Cola and Xerox, for instance, use red, which identifies their brands as exciting and dynamic. Facebook and Skype use blue, which is loyal and progressive, and Starbucks use green, which is linked to organic produce and money.

Choosing suitable colours, and remaining consistent, gives consumers' confidence in your brand and can turn them into repeat customers. When you've chosen a colour theme, use it in all areas of marketing to make your brand memorable.


Think about the gender you want to attract when marketing; men and women often have different tastes about colour preference. Research shows both sexes like royal blue, which is good to know if you're aiming your business at men and women, and many like red and green. If you're not, though, bear in mind women often like purple, associating it with spirituality, but few men feel the same. Also, women are more likely to find grey and orange off-putting than men are. Having said that, take into account the culture to which you want to appeal. Additionally, note males may prefer bright primary colours, while women like soft, muted tones.

Coaching with colour

Think of coaching as encouraging the flow of consumer traffic to specific destinations. For example, if you want to advertise a sale of goods on your website, you might use a colour that sticks out compared to other colours. Calls to action, when you want consumers to click on a button, need to capture attention. Bright accent colours can aid conversions, prompting people to buy.

How you use colour is significant when it comes to gaining customers. Ensure you attract the attention of the customer-base you want. At the same time, choose colours reflecting the personality of your brand, and coach potential customers with colour for greater conversions.

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