How Colour Affects Marketing & Branding

Years of psychological research and analysis shows that the use of colour can provoke specific emotions and feelings from people. Psychologically is always used in marketing and branding, even if you don’t realise it. Colour is the most obvious and used psychological feature of marketing and can be a huge advantage to your business when used right. In this blog we will discuss specific colours, how they are used in marketing/branding and examples of companies which use this colour for the discussed effect.


Yellow plays both sides of the coin: it has both good and bad connotations. It is associated with happiness, warmth and friendliness. At the same time, it’s used for warning signs and it activates the anxiety centre of the brain. Despite this, the marketing world focuses on the positives of using yellow, specifically lighter shades of yellow and in a sparing manner. You can see this colour used in many company’s logos, such as Subway and BestBuy, but it will be used in a very minor role for their business websites.


Similar to yellow, orange is also used to project friendliness but also cheerfulness and excitement. It is also mainly visible on logos (branding) and used less on websites. For example, Amazon’s arrow is orange and it uses different shades of orange on their website for their clickable links, buttons and calls to action. This is used to highlight the friendliness of the brand as well as the excitement of finding and purchasing new products.


Red is used to project a much higher degree of excitement as well as urgency and youthfulness. Think of Lego and Nintendo – two huge companies with young target audiences. Not only is the colour red simply eye-catching by itself, but the youthful aspect of the colour is used to specifically target the young audience of these companies. The user interface of the Nintendo website is completely red with white text, until you get to the store in which it changes to blue (for a reason.)


Blue projects trust, dependability and security – which is why almost any e-commerce website will use blue at least a little. As mentioned before, Nintendo’s website user interface was exclusively red, but when you reached the store this changed to a clear white background with all the buttons being blue. The most obvious example of this colour being used is the very website your own now – ours! Our marketing and web design is filled with blue – not only does it psychologically promote trustworthiness, it is also hugely convenient for our company name.


Green is the most balanced colour – after all, it is right in the middle of the colour spectrum. It can represent a number of things, such as health, natural, environment or finance. Environmental use if the most obvious – the environment is green so a website/company about the environment will use green. An example of financial usage is banks. The Lloyds Bank website is almost exclusively green, with different shades. It also utilises (in a much minor way) some shades of blue to project the trust and security affect which is important for online banking and other financial activities.


So, to wrap up, all those big businesses didn’t select their website and branding colours based on which one they liked more – every detail is worked out to increase revenue and reach. So, the next time you think about a new logo or website design, remember that colour has so much more importance than “looking nice.” And if you are thinking about a new logo or website design, feel free to give us a call on 01925 552050!

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