The Know It All Guide To Color Psychology In Marketing + The Best Hex Chart

Colour has a great role in influencing the customer's purchase choices. They help in sending the right message and creating a brand's recall value. Here in this blog we will explore the importance of colours for a brand and will also be understanding about the nuances of colours. Let's begin

Color Psychology In Marketing:- The impact of colours in persuasion and the human psyche has been a controversial topic over the years. Marketers across industries perform extensive research to click with their target audience and maximize their revenue. 

Using the colour spectrum to send out the right message for the marketing of a firm’s product or service is a skill that is in hot demand. In this blog, we will explore the role of colours in influencing business, human perception of colours, and how to combine various shades. We will also glance into the topic of the Hex Chart.

Before we detail the significance of choosing the right colours, let’s try to understand what the term “Colour Psychology” means.

What is Colour Psychology?

Colour Psychology

The study of how colours in the visible light spectrum affect human behaviour and perceptions can be defined as Colour Psychology.

From a marketing standpoint of business, this concept focuses on impacting potential customer’s brand impression. It also aims at improving the conversion rate by persuading them to make a purchase.

This branch of psychology is a crucial element to consider when starting a new business venture or attempting to rebrand an existing one. As per a study conducted on the impact of colours, around 90% of the product purchases were done based on snap judgements of colours alone. 

Colours help us interpret things quickly. A lot of examples are applicable in our daily lives. For instance, seeing an octagonal shaped red sign gives us a clear indication of danger.

The reactions towards specific colours can vary with each individual. But there is a general reaction people have on viewing some standard shades such as:

color psychology symbolism

  • Green – this colour depicts balance, peace, nature, and safety. Financial institutions, eco-tourism, restaurants, etc., can choose green for better customer engagements.
  • Red – shows passion, emotions, danger, energy, physical element. Danger signs, youth attraction sites, horror movie posters, etc., can leverage this colour for quick viewer attention.
  • Blue – analytical, logical, dependable are some aspects that are associated with this colour. IT companies, logistics, e-commerce, etc., are good lines of businesses that can leverage blue.
  • Orange – creates a sense of motivation, warmth, and fun in the viewer’s minds. Sporting events, supermarkets, etc., usually have orange tones on their logos and name boards.
  • Yellow – emotions like confidence, happiness, enthusiasm are expressed using yellow. Emoticons, clothing stores are familiar examples that use this shade.
  • Purple – this colour shows a sense of mystery, creativity, sophistication in the entity being marketed. Luxury products, amusement parks, magic shows, theatres etc., use shades of purple in general.

These are general guidelines and not the final word for choosing the right colours for your business. In the upcoming section, let’s look at some aspects to consider while making this decision.

Factors To Consider While Choose the Right Colors For Marketing

Factors To Consider While Choose the Right Colors For Marketing

Before you start on this journey, ask yourself the kind of emotion, mood, or vibe your brand is trying to bring into the minds of potential customers. It is a first due diligence step that will make your colour decisions easier.

Brand Appropriateness

The first point to consider is, does the selected colour fit what you are trying to sell? This is where the “Perceived Appropriateness” of the colour comes into play.

One way you can fix the appropriateness is by surveying the prospective customer segment. For example, if you’re trying to sell jeans for youth online, target the student community or young working class between the ages of 18-40 in the urban areas.

Brand Personality

Colours can also influence the personality of the brand you’re trying to market. Certain colours do relate to specific traits which your customers perceive for a product/service line. For instance, brown or other earthly colours are associated with ruggedness; white is associated with purity.

According to a study conducted by Stanford University professor Jennifer Aaker, the five core dimensions that influence a brand’s personality are as follows: 

Brand Personality

  • Sincerity
  • Excitement
  • Competence
  • Sophistication
  • Ruggedness 

Ultimately, colours should support the personality you are trying to showcase to the public rather than forcing yourself to follow the conventional stereotypical colour associations.

A brand’s colours can also be a mix of different shades. But, there will be a dominating colour among them, nonetheless. You need to choose that carefully.

Gender Appeal

Gender Appeal

There have been several studies conducted to find the associations between the preference of colours among genders. Cultural perception of colours does have a significant influence on liking specific colours.

Shades, tints, and hues of the same colour can also appeal differently among men and women. Results of numerous researches have shown men selecting sharper and bolder shades while women preferred softer ones. This outcome is subject to discussion, and there can always be exceptions.

Successful brands are known to work outside of such stereotypical results. Any organization must not have such a rigid mentality that a particular gender will only like a few colours. Brands can’t succeed only based on survey results alone.

This particular conundrum brings us to our next deciding factor.

Brand Differentiation

For your brand to have an identity, people must immediately associate a colour when they think about your brand. If you’re just starting with creating a new brand, pick the colour carefully so that there is no overlap between those selected by established incumbents or peers.

Isolation Effect

The proper selection can make your brand stand apart from the rest of the crowd. This concept is termed as “Isolation Effect”, i.e., a unique entity that stays in people’s minds for longer durations.

Colour combinations can also be leveraged to create a differentiating link. There are conflicts of opinion when it comes to the combo. Some people prefer similar colours to be used together. At the same time, others enjoy seeing extreme contrast in the two.

Several studies show that the Call To Action (CTA) button on any website or mobile application needs to stand out in terms of colour to persuade more users into clicking them. 

However, there are other factors to be checked here as well. The landing page content and the colours associated with the rest of the webpage that brought your prospective client to the CTA button also matters. 

Fancy Colour Names

Though the perception of different colours varies, it often helps to have a peppy name for a colour. According to a research titled “Colour naming influences on decision making”, subjects found products (make-up/cosmetics) with fancy names more appealing. 

Fancy Colour Names

For instance, a brown coloured lipstick alternatively called “Mocha” gathered more amusement and interest from the test subjects. This concept applies to a wide range of products where customers found interestingly named colours to be appealing compared to the regular names.

From lollipops to exterior paints to pastries, colour names manage to attract customer attention, more often than not.

Nuances of Colours

Before we discuss the nuances of colour, let’s try to understand the different category of colours used for visual presentations.

Nuances of Colours

Primary Colours

Colours that are not created by mixing other colours. In the branch of arts, these are red, yellow, and blue.

Also, other models define primary colours, such as CMY (Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow) and RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) models that are widely followed.

Primary Colours

Secondary Colours

When we mix two primary colours, a secondary colour gets formed. For example, blue and yellow give green.

Secondary Colours

Tertiary Colours

Mixing one primary and secondary colour creates a primary and secondary colour. 

Now that we have a decent understanding of colour categories let’s look into the nuances of colours and why they are significant in marketing.

Tertiary Colours

Pure Colour/Hue

Any primary, secondary, or tertiary colour that does not consist of any added black, grey, or white in them is termed a pure colour/hue. 

Tints

The addition of white to a pure colour makes it a tint. These are also known as pastel colours, and they have a softer and paler look in comparison to pure colour. 

Shades

To create a darker and dull version of a colour, you can add black to it. This constitutes a shade. 

TintToneShade

Tones

Grey (a mix of black and white) can be added to any colour to make a tone of the original colour. 

Saturation

This is an important term in the nuances of colours, as saturation decides the brightness and dullness of any given colour.

Lowering saturation levels is done to make the pure colour a lot duller. While increasing the same can make specific details vanish from the original colour. 

So far, we have discussed the technicalities associated with colour nuances. Let us now look into the core aspect, i.e. how it matters in marketing.

Importance of Colour Nuances in Marketing

Importance of Colour Nuances in Marketing

If you are a marketer trying to influence buyer behaviour using visual media, you need to be skilled at rightly utilizing the nuances we discussed in the previous section. The apt colour schemes can convey the right message in marketing. At the same time, the wrongly used ones can kill it immediately.

A good example will be to heavily use saturation on pure colours if your business tries to appeal to the urban youth demographic. Pale and tinted colours can ruin the impression in the first look of your poster/infographic/website etc.

Colour Harmony is another concept that is closely linked to colour nuances. It focuses primarily on how various colours in a scheme work well with each other. The objective is that this combination must please the eyes of your target customer base.

Usage of complementary colours is a part of colour psychology where the quantity of each colour is decided. Some examples of commonly used complementary colours are:

  • Blue and Orange
  • Red and Green
  • Yellow and Purple

complementary color

You, as a marketer, need to decide the ratio of colours to be used. 80-20% is a generally-used combination ratio used for large outdoor flux prints. Using a 50-50% combination means neither colour dominates and causes irritation to the eyes. We highly recommend you avoid this ratio in all marketing content for your business.

A well-balanced combo of a warm and cool colour can look exciting and appealing to the viewers.

Pro Tip:

No matter how good you think the colour combination is, it must never cause a strain in the viewer’s eyes. This issue can cause them to turn away from your online/offline content immediately. A perfect example would be bright neon green lines on a black computer screen, which can be stressful for the eyes.

Best Hex Chart For Capturing Different Emotions

In this section, we will check out what a hex chart is and how it can be leveraged to precisely capture the specific emotion from the target audience. This aspect is pivotal for the success of your product/service market campaign.

Digital colours are named with a unique Hex number. Every colour, tone, and shade in any colour wheel is defined with a specific Hex nomenclature.

Hex Chart

This Hex code associated with each colour has three parts. The initial two represent the red, the next two for the green, and the last couple is for the blue as any colour is a combination of these three.

For instance, Hex numbers for Red, Green, and Blue are:

  • Red – #FF0000
  • Green – #00FF00
  • Blue – #0000FF

As per the survey that focussed on connecting words with specific traits, this is how your Hex chart must look like while creating a brand impression and personality, as given below. The top three colours and percentage of respondents that associated the colour with the trait are:

Trust

Blue_white_green

 

  1. Blue (#0000FF) – 34%
  2. White (#FFFFFF) – 21%
  3. Green (#00FF00) – 11%

Quality

black blue white

 

  1. Black (#000000) – 43%
  2. Blue (#0000FF) – 20%
  3. White (#FFFFFF) – 09%

Security

black blue green

  1. Blue (#0000FF) – 28%
  2. Black (#000000) – 16%
  3. Green (#00FF0) – 12%

Fun

orange yellow purple

  1. Orange (#FFA500) – 28%
  2. Yellow (#FFFF00) – 26%
  3. Purple (#800080) – 17%

Speed

red yellow black

  1. Red (#FF0000) – 76%
  2. Yellow (#FFFF00) – 07%
  3. Black (#000000) – 04%

Courage

purple red blue

  1. Purple (#800080) – 29%
  2. Red (#FF0000) – 28%
  3. Blue (#0000FF) – 22%

There were other traits associated with brands studied as part of this research, which can help your business capture the proper attention. 

In a vast ocean of colours that float past your potential customer base, choose your palette wisely. This measure helps your brand and business stand apart from the rest of the crowd. 

Wrapping It Up

Capturing the right kind of attention from the desired customer segment can make or break your business’s success. The study of colour psychology can be a game-changer in accelerating your brand awareness among the target customer segment.  

Always perform a preliminary analysis with due diligence to understand what emotion your brand is trying to convey through your marketing campaigns. Based on the result of this analysis phase, implement your study on colour psychology using the metrics we have discussed in this blog.  

We hope you could gain some valuable insights on leveraging colours to effectively market your product/service in the best possible way. Let us know your take on the branch of colour psychology in the comment section below!

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