Psychology for your brand. It all mainly depends

Psychology of Colour in Branding and Marketing

Hasika Tejwani (A022)

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Since years, researchers have explored how
colour has affected human imagination and psychology. Whether we realise it or
not, people interact with colour every day. It has always been a strong tool to
dictate stories, trigger emotions, project personalities and connect with
people around the world. Colour psychology is the science of how colour affects
human behaviour and it plays a critically interesting role in branding and
marketing. Some feel that there are stable responses to certain colours and
others disagree saying that it changes with culture, gender and age.


The colours used to represent a brand or
website plays an integral role for the success of a company. In a study about
“Impact of colour on marketing,” released on March 2006 by Mr. Satyendra Singh,
found that the colour, look and feel of a product affects 93% of a customer’s
decision, followed by texture that affects 6% of the buying decision and sound
and smell affects only 1% of the buying decision. Proper use of colour
increases brand recognition by 80%, that is whether does the colour fit what is
being sold? People judge and make up their mind within 90 seconds of their
initial interaction with a product. The question that stands here is that, are
there any specific colour that have to be used to make a brand successful? For example,
if a person is planning to get a Harley Davidson motorcycle, wouldn’t they want
a rugged look from it? Brown is the colour which first comes to the mind when
we think of rugged, but the same colour can be used to create a warm
thanksgiving feeling too. Casino’s and shops with clearance sales use red to
create excitement and on the other hand fast food restaurants use red in their
logo’s to stimulate appetite. Another example is Christians using white for
wedding ceremonies and Hindu’s using white as a symbol for death. I believe,
each colour has multiple meanings and there are no clear cut guidelines for
choosing colour for your brand. It all mainly depends on the audience being
targeted by the brand, the place of operating and the culture that has to be
interacted with. 


Colour scheme plays a major role in
deciding whether a website or logo is bad or good. According to the article, “Colours
in Web Design,” posted by Evan Rose in August 2016, he mentioned, muted colour
like yellow on cream or powdered blue or white don’t create good websites.
Although textured background looks good, highly textured patterns make a
website look chaotic and when two highly contrasting colours are placed
together, they too can cause fatigue too the eye. He says that a good palate is
mostly of analogous, complementary, neutral or triadic colours Psychologist and
Stanford professor, Jennifer Aaker’s studies show that there are five main
perspectives that are considered for the brands appearance- sincerity,
sophistication, excitement, competition and ruggedness. Universally, there are
certain traits that have been linked to each colour that companies refer to
while designing their logo. Yellow colour is mainly used to show youthfulness and
clarity. Blue is mostly used to show calmness and increases productivity is
office spaces whereas green signifies nature and wealth. Black is related to
sophistication and white to cleanliness. These traits are reflected by most of
the biggest brands around the world.


The famous beverage drink brand, Coca-
Cola is largely recognized by the masses because of its white text on the
contrasting red background. Pepsi regularly beats Coca-Cola in blind testing
but once people know what they’re drinking, they choose Coke over Pepsi. The
trust that Coke’s colour has created by its advertising gives people a
subconscious loyalty to the Coca- Cola brand. Would Coca- Cola still be that famous
if their logo was of another colour? Few people believe that coke would do
equally well if the logo would be of a different colour because the taste is
what matters. On the other hand, studies have shown the colour red can boost
the number of buys and shows energy and the white text in a wave stimulate
passion. Coca- Cola had released two new flavours- diet coke and cherry coke
for which it changed the bottles colours. Sales reports showed that fewer
people recognized the brand and the sales for the different coloured bottles of
the same brand had reduced. According to reports, 94% of the world’s population
recognises Coca- Cola by the logo colour.


Studies on colour trends for men and
women shows that environment and cultural perception plays an essential role
choice in colour for different genders. Men tend to get attracted to bolder
colours whereas women prefer softer colours. Colour choices also differ with
age groups and personal choices based on experience. Colours give meaning to
everything and can be used to send positive or negative messages. Colour is
everywhere and is used in all forms of marketing be logo design, book cover or
a product, and the choice of colour can make or break a customer’s perception
of the brand.