folder Filed in Branding tips
How Color Psychology Affects Your Branding?
By SmartBranding Team access_time 6 min read

Why is Starbucks’ logo yellow and Facebook’s logo blue? Why does McDonald’s use the colors red and yellow specifically? And why did Microsoft choose to feature all four of these hues in it’s now iconic Windows logo? When it comes to the way a brand presents itself to the world, there are no accidents. These large corporations have developed a confident brand identity by using logos with particular colors. It doesn’t matter whether you notice the color scheme or not, but the web design team does. Every logo and talking points are carefully considered and closely analyzed before it’s presented to the public.

When used in branding different colors can impact the way buyers perceive a brand in ways that aren’t always immediately obvious.

Customers generally make an initial judgment on a product within 90 seconds of interaction with that product and about 62%-90% of that judgment is based on color.

That means you have these few seconds to trigger their reaction and behavior. How? In order to give you the best advice on how to make an impact in those eight seconds, we made a short interview with Samantha Draeger from UX Triggers. She gave us her expert advice on how should you use color within your branding, so let’s start.

What does color psychology really mean and how does it work?

Color psychology by definition is the study of hues as a determining factor of human behavior. To us, it’s the way in which individuals perceive and emotionally react to something that they observe like a logo or website. Everyone has a different perception of color and what it means based on experiences. But it can be applied, as a whole to unify a method at which to communicate with your core market.

Are some colors directly related to certain industries? Or does it remain very dependent and subjective to each brand?

Certainly. Take social media platforms for example — Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn all have blue logos. Many times, a service or organization that collects private information to drive their core business implements blue because it is innately associated with trustworthiness. You will also see this in banking or credit cards quite a bit.

Has brand identity design changed in recent years? What do you expect for the future?

There are always trends, like the oversimplification of logos — more and more brands are making their branding generic. While this allows customers to focus on the product it also removes the ability for a brand to stand out on its own. The only thing that seems to change are the trends, but the fact that everything changes every 10 years doesn’t change.

How can color influence a consumer’s impression of a brand or its products?

Studies have shown that color influences 84.7% of a customer’s purchasing decision. The color helps set the tone for the brand and its products. However, it’s just one piece of successful marketing. There needs to be context, typography, and interesting imagery among other things layered on to create a brand identity as a whole.

How do the most successful companies in the world use color psychology? Which colors are the most used among the world’s biggest brands?

It’s dependent on the industry, but it’s very common for fast food chains to use red in their branding because it implies action and energy. One study noted that red caused people to act with greater speed, so it would make sense for a place like McDonald’s whose objective it is to get as many people in and out as quickly as possible. Color played a huge role in the success of popular search engine company, Bing when they decided to match the shade of blue that they use in their links to their branding. That change resulted in an additional $80 million of revenue that year.

Can you explain why over 80% of Fortune 500 companies have two or fewer colors incorporated into their logo?

Studies have shown that the more colors there are, the more childish the perception of the brand. Having three or fewer colors in the color scheme is often a standardized approach.

From a color psychology perspective, what would entice a customer to click on an ad, visit a website or make the decision to buy a product– or not buy it?

It’s dependent on the customer’s preferences and the client you’re trying to communicate with. Our color analysis tool, UX Triggers can help you uncover if a certain demographic will like the image based on color data. This is a big part of successful marketing, but whether or not a customer will click on an ad isn’t something that color psychology alone can determine. There needs to be context, design, and other layers of marketing.

Based on your research, do the colors of a package make us choose one brand over another?

Yes, because it helps to gain the attention of the consumer. But it’s dependent on the customer’s preferences, age, and gender. Color is a component that makes an influence, as is design and branding. Color psychology is great for first reaction and sentiment perceptions, but it is not the total strategy of anything.

Your brand and products are known by more than just your logo. Color matters. As you can see, customers imbue brands with certain characteristics, and your palette choice should be based on research and should align with both your brand’s personality as well as the clients you are looking to attract.

Trying to pick your best business colors? Powered by color psychology data and behavioral research studies, UX Triggers is a service that is used to report market and psychology analysis on your web sites.

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