Last Updated: February 11, 2021
Let’s play a game.
Imagine a brand.
It could be any brand in the world.
The first thing that comes to mind is the brand’s logo, right?
If you think of McDonald’s, your brain wouldn’t show you a cheeseburger.
It would be that red square with a golden “M” inside.
Source: McDonald’s Newsroom
Now you are thinking of McDonald’s, aren’t you?
And you are probably hungrier than you were 10 seconds ago.
Because the red color stimulates your appetite.
That’s crazy, right?
And that’s just one of the incredible color psychology facts you are about to learn. On top of that, by the end of the article, you’ll know how to use the right colors in marketing.
So let’s jump right in.
Astonishing Facts Proving the Power of Colors
Coming up is a small example of the palette of color facts and stats you are about to see.
- Colors alone can influence up to 90% of an initial impression.
- People perceive colors differently depending on their gender and culture.
- Blue is the favorite color of 35% of women and 57% of men.
- Color influences 85% of shoppers’ purchase decisions.
- Colors increase brand awareness by 80%.
- Colors affect people’s behavior, mood, and stress levels.
- 93% of shoppers focus on visual appearance alone when they consider a purchase.
Mind-blowing numbers, right?
So let’s dive deeper and explore what colors mean in terms of psychology.
1. Primary colors and the emotions they evoke in people – It’s proven colors affect people’s behavior, mood, and stress levels.
(Source: Science of People)
A wheel of the primary colors. Color psychology facts prove colors affect people’s behavior, mood, and stress levels.
- There are three primary colors – red, blue, and yellow. All other colors are combinations of these or the lack of them (black).
- The psychology effect of the red color is associated with passion and aggression. Red evokes a sense of urgency. That’s why promotions and clearance sales often use this color. It also stimulates appetite, which makes it perfect for fast-food restaurants. Red increases people’s heart rate and blood pressure. That’s why it’s also associated with movement and excitement.
- Blue is one of the most powerful colors when it comes to promoting reliability and tranquility. People associate blue with the sky and water. It creates a sense of peace and security. Companies choose blue among all other colors in marketing to promote trust in their products.
- In case you are wondering: “What colors stand out the most?”, yellow is undoubtedly one of the answers. People associate yellow with the sun, and it evokes positive emotions – happiness, creativity, and optimism. According to color psychology, it’s the most eye-catching color. That’s why it also symbolizes warning and creates anxiety. Companies use the latter to draw in impulsive buyers.
Now that you know how colors affect people’s mood, you can use the best colors for your marketing campaigns and branding. The three primary colors are a great choice since they convey strong messages. Still, if they don’t match your company philosophy, there are plenty more to choose from.
2. The psychology behind secondary colors – People perceive colors differently depending on their gender and culture.
(Source: Israel Abramov, Biology of Sex Differences)
- The secondary colors are green, purple, and orange. They are the result of combining two of the primary colors.
- Green is the color of nature. It’s associated with health, tranquility, and power. Companies often use green to relate to bio-production or to promote their eco-friendliness. This color evokes harmony and stability.
- Purple is one of the rarest colors to appear in nature. That’s why it’s associated with uniqueness and is known as a royal color. It implies respect, wisdom, luxury, and it stimulates creativity. The cosmetics industry often uses purple to promote beauty and anti-aging products.
- Orange is a combination of red and yellow. That’s why it’s a mix of yellow’s energy with the power of red. It’s one of the colors in marketing that stimulate impulsive buyers. In web design, it’s often the color of choice for designers when creating call-to-action buttons. The reason? Orange is associated with affordability.
Marketing and psychology go hand in hand. And now that you know what the psychological effects of colors are, you can implement these colors in advertising your business. Choosing the right one can make or break your business.
3. Other essential marketing colors – Only 1% of people would consider a black product as cheap.
- Brown is the color of earth. That’s why people associate brown with quality, durable, and reliable products. Although people consider it one of the dull colors in business, it could easily convey your brand’s message to your potential clients. If done right, it could imply comfort, elegance, or security. Companies often use brown in their logo when their products are made of wood or leather.
- White is the color of purity. It’s associated with simplicity and safety. It’s also the symbol of intelligence, professionalism, and cleanliness. That’s why doctors and scientists wear white suits. Companies can use white to show they are creative since it can represent a new beginning.
- People usually consider gray a depressing color, but color studies show it has powerful symbolism. It’s associated with wisdom, intelligence, stability, and dignity. Wise old people have gray hair. That’s why gray also symbolizes experience.
- Black is a double-edged sword when using color psychology for marketing. In many cultures, black symbolizes evil, darkness, and death. Still, according to psychology, black represents power, tradition, elegance, and sophistication. Companies often use black for high-end products.
Now you know the meaning of brand colors and the psychology behind companies’ colors. To summarize, here’s what’s called the marketing color wheel.
4. What are people’s favorite colors, and what colors attract customers to buy? – Blue is the favorite color of 57% of men and 35% of women.
(Source: Joe Hallock)
- Blue is the most popular color regardless of age or gender. Green and purple share second place with 14% each. Red (8%) and black (7%) are the next in line.
- Women’s top three favorite colors are blue (35%), purple (23%), and green (14%.)
- Men prefer blue (57%), green (14%), and black (9%.)
- If you want to apply the psychology of colors in your business, here are the least favorite colors, regardless of age and gender – orange (29%) and brown (23%.)
- Light brown, gray, black, white, and blue are gender-neutral colors, thus are adequate for males and females alike.
You can use the above stats to apply the right psychology of color in advertising, depending on your target audience. In case you are wondering: “Why is color important in advertising?” – The answer is simple – to strengthen the messages your brand conveys on a subconscious level. Here are two examples that use black and gold to convey luxury, elegance, and undeniable brand recognition.
5. Love at first sight – the psychology of color in marketing and branding. Colors influence up to 90% of an initial impression.
(Source: University of Winnipeg)
- Users form an opinion about a product within 90 seconds. People base that assessment mostly on its color.
- Colors alone are responsible for 60% of users’ acceptance or rejection of a product.
- People read ads in color 42% more compared to the same ads in black and white.
- The logo color is the first thing a customer will notice when they see a brand.
Using the right colors in marketing and branding can impress your customers right from the start. With the overwhelmed market of products and services, you need something to make your brand stand out. Each color sends a different message, so choose wisely which one(s) depict your business best.
6. How to choose the best colors for your business? Color influences 85% of shoppers’ purchase decisions.
(Source: Suresh Kumar, “Consumers Buying Behaviour–A Diagnostic Study”)
- About 8% of men and 0.5% of women are color blind (have a color vision deficiency). Still, almost each one of them can see the blue color.
- Companies that target men as their clients use blue, black, and gray as their colors.
- Typically, businesses that sell women’s accessories emphasize pink, red, and purple.
- What is the best color for a business? It depends on your business – red, orange, black, and royal blue attract impulse shoppers. Navy blue and teal appeal to shoppers on a budget. Pink, sky blue, and rose draw in traditional buyers.
Choosing your brand colors is essential – each logo color conveys different meanings depending on your target. Here’s a color psychology chart that shows brands and the emotions they evoke.
Source: The Logo Company
7. Color psychology facts for small business owners – 90% of them believe color can help them attract new customers.
- 81% of SMB owners believe their business colors give them a competitive edge.
- 83% of managers say their branding colors make their business look more successful.
- According to 90% of small business owners, colors help customers remember presentations and documents better.
- 76% of executives say colors make their business appear larger to clients.
- Colors boost employees’ creativity, according to 78% of managers.
Since you already know what each color means in marketing, you can apply this knowledge to expand your business. Furthermore, you can increase your employees’ productivity and creativity.
8. What are the psychology colors in marketing? – 93% of shoppers focus on products’ appearance when they consider a purchase.
- 84% of people cite color as the main reason for buying a product.
- Color psychology stats show 26% of people associate the orange color with cheap products. More than one in five (22%) correlate yellow with affordability. According to 13% of consumers, brown is the color that best fits cheap products.
- 42% of customers associate black items with high-quality products. The blue color holds second place with 19%.
We can all agree that customers judge a book by its cover. Using the right colors in marketing can not only convey your company’s philosophy – it can also have a direct impact on your sales.
9. Colors and branding – 33% of the world’s top brands use blue in their logo.
- Color psychology stats show 29% of the world’s most recognizable companies use red as their primary color.
- More than a quarter (28%) of the most famous brands use black and gray as their branding colors.
- 13% of the top 100 brands use yellow and gold to promote their brand’s psychology and values.
- 95% of the world’s most famous companies use only one or two colors for their logos. Only 5% have more than two colors.
So how does color affect a brand’s identity? You know that a picture is worth a thousand words, right? Well, the same goes for colors. A single color can tell your customers more than anything else. For instance, if your logo is blue, you don’t need words to say they can trust you and your products are reliable. They already presume that.
10. The power of psychology behind a brand’s color – colors can increase brand recognition by up to 80%.
(Source: Jill Morton, Why Color Matters)
- According to psychology, people judge a brand’s personality based on its color.
- People’s brains prefer recognizable brands. For example, if you enter a store and you see a Coca-Cola bottle next to an unknown cola drink, you’d go for the Coca-Cola one. In fact, 59% of people choose to spend their money on familiar brands.
- The color appropriateness to the product is far more important than the color itself. Think of a pink chainsaw, for example.
- High tech companies prefer black as their branding color – 27% of them use it in their logo. Blue and gray are the other colors of choice, each with 23%.
- The logo’s color and shape have such an impact on customers that some logos don’t need words – like Nike and Apple.
- A study shows that 100% of eight-year-old children can match logos without words to the appropriate brand.
People will see your business the same way they see your brand color. If your logo color conveys excitement, that’s what your customers will expect of you. Don’t mislead your clients with your logo colors – use the right one(s) for your business.
11. The price of a successful brand logo – Symantec paid $1.28 billion to get the black and orange checkmark for their logo.
- Pepsi’s three-colored logo design cost the company $1 million.
- BBC paid $1.8 million for its logo redesign.
Source: Logo Design Love
- Google and Coca-Cola logos were created by their co-founders, thus cost nothing for the companies.
- Twitter bought their logo from iStockphoto for $15.
- A graphic design student created Nike’s logo and got $35.
Your logo can cost you from nothing to a billion dollars. At the end of the day, the important thing is that it conveys the right message.
12. Color psychology facts, applied in real-life examples – Heinz changed the color of their ketchup from red to green, which resulted in a $23 million growth in sales.
- In the 1950s, Pepsi used light-blue painted vending machines in South East Asia. What they didn’t know is this color is associated with mourning and death in this part of the world. By the time they changed the color of the machines, their sales had collapsed.
- Schools in Hamburg used blue-tinted light in their classrooms, which reduced children’s hyperactivity by 77%, and they made 45% fewer errors.
- Performable.com (which is now a part of HubSpot) changed their CTA button color from green to red. That simple change increased conversions by 21%.
- The apparel shop RIPT changed their CTA color from green to yellow. This resulted in a 6.3% increment in sales.
Colors have a significant impact on people, but keep in mind they have different associations in different cultures. Adapt your colors according to your target audience.
People look at your business from the prism of its colors.
Each color conveys different associations and evokes various feelings.
That’s why this color psychology facts list matters – to help you choose wisely.
And just before you leave, here are two useful tools to help you choose your brand’s colors.
- Cymbolism – this tool shows what color people associate with a particular word.
- Color generator – it can help you find the right color for your business by choosing several criteria.
Hopefully, you’ll find your way through the palette of colors to decide which one is right for you.
Good luck, and I’ll see you next time.