As a human, you’ve probably experienced color-induced emotion. Certain colors make you feel certain things and have probably even impacted your decision making.

In the world of marketing and branding, understanding the impact of color is essential. But is it as simple as green=peaceful, blue=dependable, red=conversion?

Is anything in marketing so simple?

The emotions colors incite can be as individual as the individual himself. Personal experience shapes our thinking in every area of our lives, colorful emotions included.

Who Cares About Color?

Does this mean we can throw out any research on the impact of color and simply pick our favorites?

No. (Hear it resounding…)

While personal experience plays a major role in our response to color, different colors have their different tendencies that shouldn’t be ignored.

The last time you walked through an outdoor sporting goods store, you probably didn’t come across a whole lot of pastel purples or pretty pinks. In fact, if you were to come across such colors in such a place, you’d probably experience the emotion of lost respect for the brand. It just doesn’t make sense in the emotional side of our brains to have pastels represent the rugged world of outdoor sports.

If you’ve strolled through the baby section at Target, you probably didn’t see lots of deep, dark reds or browns. People just don’t think maroon and baby. It’s weird.

See, color is important in spite of the potential to impact people in different ways. Here’s a study that concluded that people decide how they feel about you or your product within 90 seconds, and up to 90% of them will base their feelings on color alone. You can’t please everyone in your target market but you can get pretty darn close.

What To Do About Color?

Just like pastel purple isn’t an ideal color choice for hunting gear and maroon isn’t typically perceived as the best choice for a duvet cover for a baby’s room, there is an appropriateness to color choice. It’s a generally accepted perception. Studies such as this one show that perceived appropriateness of color is key. Does the color of your brand actually fit your brand?

Things to consider when choosing an appropriate brand color are:

  • Your target market. Remember our examples. If you’re trying to market camping gear to the avid outdoorsman, pretty pinks won’t do. But if you’re the creator of a children’s clothing line, add some sparkle to that pink and you’ll be going places. There’s also a pretty clear difference in color preference between genders. Women tend to prefer softer, tinted colors while men go for more bold and shaded colors. Know your target market and appeal to their emotional color preference.
  • Your brand personality. Is your brand outdoorsy or sophisticated or efficient or imaginative or cheerful? Whatever the case, the colors typically associated with that personality should come into play. If you’re going for a dependable personality, research all the different hues of blue. Are you creative or unique? Explore the purples.
  • Your competition. Because every company that is having any kind of success has likely spent plenty of time deciding on the right color, it’s a high probability that your direct competitors have chosen a color or two at the top of your list. Just because green may seem like the most appropriate color for your landscape company doesn’t mean you have no other choices. That leads us to the next thing to consider…
  • Going outside the box. Pushing the boundaries with color isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it could be the very thing that sets you apart from your competition. You can be appropriate with your color while still being unexpected and intriguing with your choice, making yourself stand out from the crowd.

How To Use Color?

The creatives at Blackwood know color. We speak its language. We share in its emotions. If you’re in search of just the right color for your brand and how to best use it, contacting us would be a very wise decision. We are a secure, sophisticated, and powerful company that is authoritative in not only color but all things marketing. Our brand color is proof.

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