Color is an incredibly important facet of your online presence and your overall brand strategy. While most brands build the colors of their brand standards based off of what colors they like, there is a whole element of psychology involved in how different hues and shades affect your purchasing decisions.
Ask yourself, why did you choose the white iPhone over the black one? Why the green running shoes instead of the grey ones? Why the red car over the blue one? There has been intense amounts of research and study over how to make sure that that particular phone or car or shirt appeals to the mass audience and inevitably gets into your hands.
By employing color psychology, businesses can determine how consumers react to their brand and maximize their potential results.
Color In The Real World
Heinz Green Ketchup
While considered a flop, Heinz sold 10 million bottles of limited edition green ketchup in the first 7 months following its introduction, which resulted in $23 million in sales. You can read more about it here.
Apple introduced the iMac G3 in 1998 and it was dramatically different from any previous mainstream computer in design and color, which fit in perfectly with the late 90s culture. In three months, their profits went from $44 million to $152 million after two years of financial struggling.
While studies have shown that colors cannot inspire fixed responses, such as fear, anger, or love, they do have measurable effects on people:
- Blue – research shows that blue working environments can make employees feel calm, and more able to explore creative solutions.
- Red – a study found that red introduced aggressive bidding when negotiating prices, while blue had an opposite effect.
- Green – one study showed that participants who were shown the color prior to a creative task performed better.
In the top 100 brands’ logos, the 33% use blues, 29% use reds, and 8% use greens. In small business logos, the most prominent colors are 27% blues, 19% reds, and 11% greens. The rest are either a mixture or none of the above.
So How Does Color Impact Customers?
92.6% of people say they place the most importance on visual factors when purchasing products. 84.7% think color is one of the most important factors when choosing a product.
This explains why rose iPhones are a thing, why Crystal Pepsi was a flop, and why I had a sunburst orange Cavalier for awhile. A 2007 study by the University of Loyola in Maryland found color increases brand recognition up to 80%.
A similar study by Ludwig-Maximilians University Hospital in Munich showed that our brains respond better to recognizable brands and that the color of a logo will be remembered more than the actual imagery. This is also why sports team colors rarely change drastically or you won’t see a blue can of coke any time soon.
Additionally, colors help you catch the consumer’s attention. Readers decide whether to read or reject a piece of unsolicited mail in 2.5 seconds and 55% are more likely to pick up a piece of mail or a flyer that is colorful. This may be a very basic design concept, and yet there are millions of dollars spent every year on uninspired, bland materials being used to catch people’s attention.
Of course there are exceptions and the right product can make use of all colors or no colors and still do just fine, but this is just scratching the surface to get you thinking about how color influences your choices and affects your feelings. Here is a great video about understanding the value of colors and how saturation and value figures in: