The Psychology of Color in Marketing and Branding

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color psychologyIn today’s world, marketing is an art of persuasion. The psychology of colors concerning persuasion is a very interesting subject. It is one of the most controversial aspects of marketing. Color has long been known to have a very strong psychological impact on the behavior and decisions that people make. Different colors influence the buying decisions we make when we walk into stores.

Designers and marketers make use of colors to influence the buying decisions we make every day. Color can just affect the main reason someone buys an item. Color theories help in creating a logical structure of colors and includes an array of definitions, design applications and concepts. To understand these issues well, consider the distinct parts; the color harmony, the color wheel and the way colors are used.

Color Interpretation

Different colors are open to different types of interpretation.  These interpretations are based on a person’s experiences and thoughts that come from an extensive collection of conventional interpretations.


Red is the color of blood and fire and is often associated with energy, danger, war, strength and power. In the States, red is predominantly used to express romance and arouse a feeling of desire, love and romance. Red stimulates appetite glands, and this is the reason it is mostly used in restaurants. Red also creates urgency, and that’s why it is often used during clearance sales. Some of the leading brands using red as their predominant color include; Youtube, Heinz, Target and Netflix.


Yellow is a color that stimulates the mental process. Though it strains the eye, it encourages communication and increases cheerfulness. In the field of marketing, yellow represents optimism, clarity and youthfulness. Research has shown that yellow is the first color infants react to is yellow. This color has the longest wavelength and this makes it one of the most psychologically compelling colors. It draws attention to itself due to its visibility. However, avoid using too much yellow as it can cause anxiety, so find the right balance in using it, Brands leading in the use of yellow color include Nikon, CAT, IKEA and DHL.


Blue is a color well known due to its association with water. It is a color that curbs appetite as it represents calmness. It is mostly used in office spaces because it’s known for increasing productivity. Regarding branding, it creates a sense of trust and security. Research shows that people are 15 per cent more likely to retain your store or shop if it is painted blue. Financial institutions make use of color blue heavily because it instills a sense of trust.


Green is a color that signifies serenity, health and tranquility. It represents nature and alleviates depression. The human eye can interpret most shades of green. In marketing, stores use green to create a relaxing feeling. Green is associated with the wealthy. Marketers use it when they want to attract eco-friendly clients. Some of the brands where green is the predominant color include; Holiday Inn, Spotify, Whole Foods etc.

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