Using Color In Advertising

The Psychology Behind It

Color... a powerful tool of hidden impact. The results from color use and the particular hues chosen can drive a consumer to interest or repel completely. Human behavior responds to certain colors and is often based on culture and  personal views of what's appealing or unappealing. Our brains cue from color, as in the soft pink or subtle green that provides an overall calming effect on mood. Green ink will help you to remember positive words while red ink will signal negative word.  Appetite is enhanced with red, orange and yellow, yet suppressed by gray, black or brown.

I'm not going to get too deep into the history and theories, but it's something to consider when creating your company's signature brand. Consumers are likely to have a positive response if your product is associated with a "positive" shade, thus lifting mood, perception, and energy. Likely, the opinion process will have already started in your head with that first glance.

What's The Best Color To Use?

Below is a list of uplifting colors to consider for logos, design, packaging and ads:

Yellow - optimism, clarity and warmth used by, Subway, Ikea and Shell

Orange - friendly, cheerful and confident, used by Nickelodeon, Payless and Gulf

Red - excitement, bold and youthful, used by Kellogg, Target and Coca-Cola

Purple - imaginative and wise, used by TacoBell, Barbie and Hallmark

Blue - trust and dependability, used by Facebook, Walmart and Hewlett-Packard

Green - peaceful, growth and health, used by Starbucks and WholeFoods 

Gray - balance, calm and neutral, used by Apple, The Times and Puma

How often have you or someone you know reached for a product because it was a favorite color?  Research shows that 93% of consumers make their buying decisions based on the color, look, feel, and make of a product. An item's texture will carry 6% of the decision with 1% coming from the sound and smell. In fact, once you've conquered the affordability of a project, attracting the 5 senses become the second most important decision for your product.

Closing Thoughts

These days, industries have become more competitive with shorter life cycles,  requiring marketing strategists to pull out all stops in order to win their sales from competitors.  The use of of color psychology isn't new.  Markets in many areas... retail, military, sports,  automobiles and restaurants have used them for years, knowing slight changes in color schemes and the distribution of it can influence purchases, build brand loyalty and convert a competitor's customer.

Color consideration will not be a one-and-done decision. It will be important to revisit it periodically for adjustments to the current market, cultural changes or an improved version. Colors are fun and you'll find them everywhere... so use them!

You can do this!





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