The Psychology of Color in Marketing

color and marketing
Have you ever wondered why just looking at a fast food brand logo makes you hungry, or why you assume the products at a supermarket are fresh because of their green color scheme? Colors elicit certain emotions, and they either help or hinder your company’s ability to sell products or services. Read about the psychology of colors and choose the right color scheme for your brand.


Red is one of the most powerful colors because it can elicit extreme positive emotions and extreme negative emotions. On the positive side, red can represent power, energy, and excitement. The color red causes the pulse to race, which is why it’s used for fast cars. It also stimulates appetite, which is why many fast food restaurants use it either as the main color of a logo or as a companion color. On the negative side, red can represent anger, pain, warning, and danger. These negative emotions can be used for a company’s benefit during a sale. Red sale signs give customers a sense of urgency to buy products.


Since orange is a color associated with sunshine, specifically sunsets, it generates warmth. The color can represent energy, friendliness, and courage. Lighter shades of orange can bring a sense of fun to non-corporate brands, while darker shades can bring a sense of earthiness because they represent autumn. On average, 26% of people view orange as a cheap color. This could be a benefit if your company’s aim is to offer low prices.


Yellow elicits the most positive emotions out of all the colors. Yellow is symbolic of sunshine, youthfulness, and happiness. This color, paired with a darker one, can create a great contrast as well as bring energy to a boring logo. Be cautious with yellow, because different shades of yellow can appear dirty or hard to see. On the negative side, yellow can represent fear, anxiety, or caution.


Green embodies nature. More often than not, health-conscious brands will use green in some way. The color represents growth, life, and freshness. It can also be symbolic for prosperity, so banking and finance companies often use green.


The most widely used color in branding is blue. Blue represents strength, reason, and trust. Many brands use blue because it means dependability, a characteristic that many companies try to portray to consumers. Blue is also the perfect color to elicit calm, relaxing feelings. There are no natural blue foods, so the color does the opposite of red and suppresses appetite and a sense of urgency. Since blue is the crowd favorite, it may be hard to stand out amongst all the other brands with blue logos. Pairing blue with a bright color can solve this problem.


Historically, purple has been the color of royalty. It can mean extravagance, wealth, or superiority. The color can also be associated with wisdom and spirituality. Some shades of purple can appear moody, and some tints of purple can suggest femininity.


Pink is commonly used to suggest femininity. In branding, the color can portray creativity and youthfulness. As the main color of a brand, pink is used to show the company’s target market. As an accent color, pink can add fun and novelty. The color can also be symbolic of hope and comfort. Although pink is supposed to suggest femininity, only 5% of women consider it their favorite color.

Black, White, & Silver

Black is most often used in luxury brands. The color is symbolic of power and sophistication, so it is well suited to brands that are more opulent than others. Black can also mean security. So, for companies that are trying to portray a sense of security to customers, a simple black and white logo could be beneficial.
White and silver can represent cleanliness and purity as well as innocence. White should be used with caution because it can appear lazy or boring, but done correctly, a white or silver logo can appear sleek and modern. For international companies, black and white have opposite meaning in western and eastern cultures. In western culture, white has a positive connotation while black can sometimes represent death. In eastern culture, black can have a positive connotation while white is negative because it is void of color.
Interested in finding the right color scheme for your website? Contact Uptick Marketing today! Learn how to utilize smarter online marketing and advertising tactics to grow your business.