Using Color Psychology For Effective Business Marketing

Posted by Fitz Villafuerte under Business, Sales and Marketing on August 1, 2008

Theories in color psychology can play an important role in business and product marketing. After all, research shows that colors have the power to alter the physiology and mental states of a person.

In fact, a 1981 study by Wohlfarth and Sam concluded that blood pressure and aggressive behavior can be controlled by simply altering the lighting spectrum within a subject’s environment.

Through the years, market researchers, brand managers and product designers have used this information to effectively solicit favorable business perceptions and influence initial product engagement. Just look around and you’ll definitely see evidence of this marketing strategy – fastfood restaurants are usually red and orange, banks and financial institutions are often blue, while luxury products are typically packaged in black.

Are you currently designing your business logo? Or maybe thinking of redecorating your store? Perhaps you’re planning to repackage a product or simply choosing a new template for your website? Then I suggest you consider using color psychology to enhance your brand to make it more appealing to your target audience.

Here are the typical impressions commonly associated with some basic colors to help you start.

red coca cola Using Color Psychology For Effective Business Marketing

Red is the color of heat, passion and excitement. It easily grabs attention and evokes speed and energy. Feeling tired? Coca Cola might help you get that boost.

orange enervon Using Color Psychology For Effective Business Marketing

Orange is the color of warmth and vitality. It’s also associated with reliability and playfulness. As Enervon would say: More energy, mas happy icon smile Using Color Psychology For Effective Business Marketing .

yellow mcdo Using Color Psychology For Effective Business Marketing

Yellow is the color of optimism and creativity. Bright yellows represent sunshine, cheer and happiness. Now you know why kids love McDonald’s.

green body shop Using Color Psychology For Effective Business Marketing

Green is the color of serenity and health. It connotes growth, nature and freshness. This is why you feel calm inside The Body Shop.

blue globe telecoms Using Color Psychology For Effective Business Marketing

Blue is the color of security, truth and stability. It implies loyalty, reliability and an open communication. Maybe this is the reason why I’ve been a Globe subscriber for eight years now.

purple cadbury Using Color Psychology For Effective Business Marketing

Purple is the color of spirituality, intelligence and wealth. It can also mean royal, sentimental, creative and sophisticated. So every time you grab a Cadbury chocolate, you tend to get that luxurious feeling.

pink sanrio Using Color Psychology For Effective Business Marketing

Pink is the color of youthful intensity. It conveys energy, fun and excitement. Sanrio exemplifies this expression in their products. (Image credit: Alvarez Julie)

brown ups Using Color Psychology For Effective Business Marketing

Brown is the color of durability and class. It could represent age, stability and relaxation. UPS used this as their primary color to convey individuality, reliability and security.

black jaguar Using Color Psychology For Effective Business Marketing

Black is the color of power and drama. It’s serious, bold and strong. Jaguar’s target market are high-income people with sophisticated and prestigious lifestyles.

white ipod Using Color Psychology For Effective Business Marketing

White is the color of simplicity and cleanliness. It’s message is youthful, mild and pure. Maybe this is the reason why most people prefer buying the classic white iPod because it complements the uncluttered and minimalist interface of the gadget very well.

Always remember that colors may have different meanings across various demographics and cultures, so always think about your target market and learn their general psychology.

If you want to use colors to enhance your brand, you may want to start by considering your company’s vision and mission statements and from it, define what message do you want to send out to your customers. After that, you’ll hopefully have an idea what primary colors to choose.

Furthermore, incorporating two or three colors and experimenting on different hues can help produce a more effective engagement from your audience. For example, people are more likely to give favorable responses to someone wearing white and blue (“Would you like fries with that?“).

Don’t be afraid to experiment and conduct market research to see which combination works best for your business. Lastly, understand that color psychology is just about impressions and perceptions. In the end, product quality and excellent customer service that’s consistently delivered will be more important than any brand aesthetics.

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Photos courtesy of Flicker Clicker, ubshealthcare, thomas.merton, vivido, Reuters Pictures, marichica88, Pink Yume, its tehmina, Cushdy and directstream

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9 Responses to “Using Color Psychology For Effective Business Marketing”


  1. Now I know why eBay is so successful. :-)

  2. McBilly says:

    Hey this is really good Fitz! Great post. I’ll definitely take these into consideration next time I design a new website logo! Haha.

  3. Hello, I allow me to write you because the fotography which you use to illustrate the pink and the brand Sanrio, belong to me.
    I liked has to say to you that I was very got that you use my work in your article and wanted to ask you if it was possible to put a small link towards my gallery on flickr.
    Thank you for your understanding and for your choice in my fotography.

    Sorry for my poor english i am french.

    Julie Alvarez

  4. Fitz says:

    Hi Julie, I actually included links to the Flickr gallery of the original photos at the end of the post. But in any case, I added another one for your case inside the paragraph where I refer to your photo. Thanks for letting me use it.

  5. joana says:

    hi there!i was planning to put up a small bussiness(burger stand)still dont have any idea on what color to use as my color code,bussiness name and bussiness logo…i hope you could share me some of your idea…thanks a lot…godbless

  6. Fitz says:

    Hi Joana. Red, orange and yellow usually works best for the food business.

    Here are other articles that can help you:
    How To Come Up With A Good Business Name
    How To Come Up With A Good Business Logo

  7. TimePast20 says:

    Does anyone know how you would go about majoring in school for Color Psychology?
    Its unbelievable how colors have there own world in business.

  8. Psychology is one of the most interesting branches of science because there are so many unknowns.~~,

  9. koti says:

    What are the best colors for wooden floors business website?

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