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How brands use colour to influence emotions

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How brands use colour to influence emotions

Beyond Pixels

Colours tell the world how we think and display our emotions. Our favourite colour reflects some of our personality's key aspects and can determine not only our moods but also the decisions we make. Research shows that the colour of a brand can account for the attraction of up to 60% of customers so it is important to think carefully about the colours we choose in our brands.

Colour can influence behaviour

Colours have a crucial role in our behaviour, feeling, and even way of thinking and acting. Cold colours usually transmit a sensation of calmness and peace, whilst warm ones call us to action and excite us. Marketing specialists have carried out extensive research on our behaviours and use colours to trigger our emotions during the buying process of goods or services.

Colours and cultures

For a global brand, colour becomes even more of a concern where, in different cultures, colours can represent different things. In the west, green which is the easiest colour for the human eye to process is known as a colour of luck and nature, however in Indonesia this is seen as the forbidden colour. Understanding this psychology will help to enhance your brand on a global scale.

Red branding

The colour red, traditionally used on McDonald's and fast food branding is not random: it triggers hunger in us. Red and orange create a sense of urgent need, a call to action for consumers to just buy. McDonald’s have slowly started to replace the with green to try and dull down their unhealthy fast food tag with a more natural and welcoming feel. Yellow which represents joy is known to be one that is most visible in the daytime which is why you can see those golden arches so easily from afar.

Blue branding

Blue, which is known for intelligence and communication is often used by banks and social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to transmit trust, reliability and safety for costumers. Blue lovers tend to be calm, loyal people who, in turn, can be conservative and rigid which fits well with the branding of these companies.

Pink Branding

Pink is mainly associated with female and beauty products, however in Japan it is seen as a masculine colour. Victoria's Secret, the lingerie brand, uses various shades of pink throughout their product to instill both a sense of calm and excitement. This use of different shades helps them appeal to a wider audience.

Black Branding

Black is often present in the packaging for luxury products such as expensive cars such as Mercedes and champagnes like Moët & Chandon, as it represents sophistication and glamour.  Black can also have a negative feel but used correctly with complimenting colours it can produce a classy end product.

White branding

White, as an indicator for simplicity, enables mental clarity and is used to symbolise purity and innocence. Medical facilities are the main adoptors of white but ecommerce shops such as ASOS also use white to help users focus their attention on the products.

Use colour to enhance your brand

It is clear then that colours are a powerful tool to control the way we feel in certain environments and situations. They are an essential reality of our world as well as one of the most powerful tools for psychologists and marketing specialist to do their jobs. Not only do they change our mood but they also help to set the scene for a brand and sell products and services. Understanding how your company can use colour to its advantage is key to creating a truly successful brand.