Ever wonder why the Apple logo is white? It’s likely related to the feeling you get from that color. White is trustworthy, clean and simple, just like Apple products. That’s the power that color psychology can have for marketers. And you can apply that same idea to your small business. Take a look at the basics of this concept and learn how color impacts sales.
Color can be an important consideration when purchasing a product. One study found that up to 90 percent of a consumer’s initial impression of a product is based on color alone. That impression is often based on the personality of the color. For example, brown tends to be viewed as rugged. That’s why many tents come in shades of brown.
Here’s a breakout of some colors and how people tend to view them. Note that perceptions of colors can vary by gender and culture so be careful about overgeneralizing this information:
- Red – Tends to show strong emotion so it’s used commonly on Valentine’s Day to show affection. It is also attention getting which is why you see it on sales signs. But be careful, it can have a negative effect if overused – red can also mean danger or STOP.
- Blue – Often associated with being trustworthy and dependable. That’s why some insurance companies and banks use it in their logo. It can also be calming and soothing so you see it used in spas and hospitals. It too can have a negative association when used in excess. For example, it can be associated with coldness.
- Green – This color can have several personalities. It is often associated with nature so it’s connected to growth, conservation, and health. In some countries, a green cross is the symbol for a pharmacy. It can be associated with money and wealth.
- Yellow – Want to cheer someone up? Joy and happiness tend to represent the personality of this color. It’s no accident that the famous smiley face is yellow. There’s a downside to its overuse since it is also used in traffic warning signs.
Get information on other colors in this Guide to Color Psychology.
Applying Color in Your Business
You can integrate these color associations into your marketing promotions. But be careful, a color by itself may not guarantee a certain reaction. Instead use the personality of each color along with other visual elements to make a powerful statement.
For example, sometimes it’s not one color but the contrast between two colors that makes a difference. One experiment tested two webpages whose only difference was the color of the call-to-action button – one version was green and the other was red. The winner was the red button. You could conclude that button color made the difference. Yet upon further examination, all the other graphic elements in both pages were green. Was it the color of red that made the difference or its contrast with the green elements that made it stand out?
The psychology of color can be used to your advantage when planning your marketing promotions. Start with this information and experiment with your customers to see what combination of elements gets the biggest response.