The Psychology of Color
The use of color in your logo is important. Once defined, you will continue to bring those same colors into other forms of your marketing. Color in marketing speaks loudly to the subconscious mind. It can have a positive or negative reaction to your prospect within a matter of seconds. And on the internet you have less than 30 seconds to connect and make a great first impression. That’s why branding, the use of color and image has a lasting impact on whether a prospect will decide to work with you.
On the internet you don’t deal face to face. Therefore, it’s a powerful visual and psychological medium. The words (or sales copy) on your website have by far the greatest psychological impact on your visitors and thus become your most important communication and marketing tool. But another important psychological aspect of your website that’s often overlooked is the colors. Just as you use words to express yourself, colors can be used as an expression as well. Color is a language all on its own. The background color of your website, color of your banner, color of your text, bold headlines and sub-headlines – all of these have a psychological impact on your visitors.
Color is like a silent language that can motivate and persuade or demotivate and turn off prospects in an instant. People actually respond more to nonverbal cues than verbal ones. Therefore, be sure to consistently use the psychology of color in all your marketing and branding – your website, business card, social media, advertising, etc.
When color is used correctly, it can send a number of messages to your prospects. It can also highlight important points. However, if used incorrectly, color can quickly confuse your prospects and lead them away from your marketing message altogether. Colors trigger a variety of emotions and memories. To know which colors will appeal to your prospects, you must understand your target market well. Below is a list of some of the common colors and what type of psychological emotion they invoke in people.
BLACK is associated with seriousness, authority, power and boldness; it is distinguishing and classic. Business wise, it’s great for creating drama and is good for a background color. When overused on websites it is too hard on the eyes; therefore, it should be useas an accent or text color only (not for backgrounds).
BLUE is associated with trustworthiness, success, security, authority, seriousness and professionalism. When used in business, dark blue or navy is best because it showcases responsibility and power. A lighter blue may showcase calmness.
BROWN is associated with earth, nature, simplicity, richness, politeness, helpfulness and effectiveness. Light brown implies genuineness while dark brown is similar to wood or nature. It is a good neutral color but should be used sparingly in marketing so that it doesn’t provoke a dark or negative impression.
GRAY is associated with authority, professionalism, reserved, practicality, earnestness and creativity. Business wise it is very traditional and conservative, but can make a great accent color for a more corporate organization.
GREEN is associated with health, freedom, freshness, healing, environment, tranquility, nature and harmony. It is a calming, refreshing color when used effectively and not overused.
ORANGE is associated with celebration, fun, youth, affordability and excitement. When used in business it is good for highlighting information; yet it can also showcase discount, so use it sparingly and effectively. There are different shades of orange that will create different emotions. Dark burnt orange, for example, can fit well with greens and browns and create a more natural calming feeling.
PINK is associated with softness, sweetness, innocence, youthfulness, femininity, gentleness and well-being. For business you must be aware of its feminine links and implications.
PURPLE is associated with spirituality, royalty, luxury, wealth, sophistication, authority and even fantasy. In business it is upscale and works with artistic types. It can also appear to be a more feminine and emotional color.
RED is associated with excitement, strength, love, passion, impulse, action, adventure, vitality and aggressiveness. It commands attention. When used in business it showcases boldness and emotion. It works well as a strong accent color. Dark red or burgundy can soften the emotions and may create a more professional image if used for more than just an accent color.
WHITE is associated with purity, cleanliness, devotion, contemporary and simplicity. For business it can be anything from sterile to refreshing. It’s good for basic highlighting and balance in your marketing copy.
YELLOW is associated with playfulness, warmth, sunshine, cheer, happiness, curiosity and amusement. It appeals to the intellectual types and is a good accent color. Yellow enhances concentration, hence its use for legal pads. Goldenrod yellow is one the best sales conversion rate colors to use online and also for direct mail. It is also the most difficult color for the eye to take in, so it can be overpowering if overused.
In conclusion, not only can use of color impact the psychological and subconscious of your prospect … so can your words. Choose each word of your marketing and branding wisely and speak directly to your target market in benefit-rich language.