The psychology of colors is an interesting arena of the study of colors, which suggests that they are much more than what meets our eyes.
The elegant attribution caused by colors, in our day to day choices, often goes unnoticed until business owners choose to study and apply it in their important business decisions.
In this article, the focus is on highlighting the dominant aspects of color psychology that would help business owners decide which colors would be suitable for their type of business or brand.
Let’s dive in.
WHAT IS THE PSYCHOLOGY OF COLORS?
Technically, the psychology of colors is defined as, “the study of hues as a determinant of human behavior.” It is a skill set that portrays how a person’s decision making towards a particular item is affected by the color of that item.
Color, as an element, is a powerful tool that conveys a message in its entirety. A color that maybe your favorite might be a trigger for somebody else. This is where psychology plays its part. The psychology of colors is not only a collective study but also a subjective one.
It is a catalog that allows an entrepreneur or a brand to choose what message it would like to give out to the world. Since there is already an infinite choice from the color wheel, it all boils down to one factor: What do you stand for?
THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND THE COLOR RED
On the scale of emotions and experiences, red is mostly associated with an unparalleled urge of anger or aggression, but on the other side, it is also a sign of passion, energy, excitement, blood & fire.
The purpose behind the usage of the color red as a logo for a particular brand is, “to make sales works for companies that are selling adventure, but not security.” “No surprise, then, that the latest Ferrari 488 GTB comes in a deep pure color red,” wrote Neil Patel, one of the USA’s top 10 marketers.
Red color boosts human metabolism by 13.4% which becomes an excellent example for stating the formula used by various sports teams for their merchandise. Two out of Top 3 most selling football jerseys in the first half of 2020 belong to Liverpool and Arsenal (which are both red).
The color red is eye-catchy and evokes a physical reaction from people, as suggested by Prof. A. Elliot. Hence, it is used by retailers to promote the SALE sign in their stores to grab the attention of the general public.
The color red would be the best option for business ventures that involve dynamism, power, or engagement.
Also, an interesting test done by Hubspot concluded that 21% more people clicked on a Red call to action (CTA) button on their website as opposed to when it was Green in color.
THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND THE COLOR YELLOW
The color yellow is the most luminous in the realm of all colors. The psychology behind the color yellow is elevating levels of happiness, and optimism, of enlightenment and creativity, sunshine, and spring. Thus, if you take a look around, the color yellow occupies space in the form of most emojis due to its high visibility and vibrancy.
Yellow looks best for big billboards to attract attention. It has helped create a massive impact for food joints like McDonald’s, Subway, and Lays, making them iconic in the food industry.
Yellow is a feel-good color, which has been effectively used by some social media companies (Snapchat, Bumble) and by graphic designers distinctively dealing in comic creation.
THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND THE COLOR BLUE
The color blue is traditionally associated with masculinity. Men, since their early age, are pushed towards the liking of the color blue because it is a sign of coolness and calmness and is quite masculine in its projection.
Though, if we drift a bit away from gender appropriation towards the color blue, the psychology behind the color blue is its association with water and sky that makes it great for environmentally conscious endeavors and wellness brands.
Due to blue’s reputation of being reliable and dependable, most of the top companies that choose it are in the sectors of technology or business or banking, where customer trust is critical to success. Only a few food companies generally choose blue, and those that do, tend to combine blue with other vibrant colors like yellow or red, that stimulate the appetite.
An interesting story behind the logo of Facebook being blue specifically is that Mark Zukerberg, the founder of Facebook, suffers from red-green color blindness that deprives him the ability of normally viewing colors unlike others.
Blue is also a fantastic choice for brands that wish to provide financial services, communication-related services, and insurance.
THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND THE COLOR GREEN
The color green is more of a feeling than a color. It stands for growth, nature, and most important of all, money. The psychology behind the color green is that it is the only versatile color that can be used in all sectors like food industries, technologically driven companies, fashion industries, automobile industries, etc.
The ultimate goal of every industry in the 21st Century is sales, but they also want to be seen as eco-friendly. No brand is freed from the responsibility that they owe to the nature that provides them their raw materials or a ground they can stand upon. This mindset has helped adapt a more resourceful approach and hence the color green triumphs in promoting the message.
In a fascinating case study related to the famous ketchup brand Heinz, it was noticed that one critical change to the color of the traditional ketchup from Red to Green resulted in mind-boggling results. The taste of the ketchup was the same, only some colors were added to make the ketchup green instead of red. The packaging was also made green as you can see in the picture on the left. In the first 7 months itself, more than 10 million bottles of this new green Heinz ketchup were sold, with total sales of over 23 Million USD (which was a record sales in their history).
Green should be your first pick if your brand is in the eco sector, or a food/culinary start-up, or in real estate, or in the wellness/spa industry or into nature-related activities such as trekking.
THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND THE COLOR BLACK
The color black is mostly associated with power, prestige, and sophistication. The psychology behind the color black is that it helps you in projecting an aesthetic demeanor, and also sell an aura of a particular lifestyle that comes from a place of valor.
Black is greatly admired by the fashion industry for the dash of intensity it adds to its product. The timeless classic vibe of black fabric is unmatchable. Black can be paired with any color on the spectrum, depicting flexibility and its ability to accommodate space for other colors.
Companies like ZARA, Chanel, Prada, Gucci, etc. are the best examples that reflect the dominance of the color black and their association with it leading to an establishment of cult-like brand loyalty from their customers.
The color black is foremost used by the luxury brands and elite sectors but can also be beneficial in tech-oriented start-ups, and clothing/accessories brands.
THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND THE COLOR WHITE
The color white is correlated with purity and cleanliness. The psychology behind the color white is innocence, goodness, a fresh start, and safety. Unlike some of the other colors, white almost never signifies any negative feelings towards anybody.
The psychology of the color white is helpful to those who are fascinated by creating non-profit organizations, medical fields, or even technology.
|Color||Emotions Evoked||Best for which Business sectors ?|
|Red||Passion, Excitement, Adrenaline||Automobiles, Sports, Art & Media|
|Yellow||Happiness, Creativity, Cheerfulness||Food, Graphic Designing|
|Blue||Calmness, Trust, Reliability||Business, Banking, Finance and Communications|
|Green||Growth, Nature, Fertility||Technology, Food, Outdoor Activities, Wellness/Spa|
|Black||Power, Prestige, Sophistication||Luxury brands, Clothing, Technology, Hotels|
|White||Peace, Serenity, Purity||Non-Profit organisations, Medical fields|
The psychology of colors is a rapidly expanding sphere in today’s times. It helps you to understand the current color trends of the market in terms of popularity, optimization, and appeal.
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