All the Colors of the Rainbow: 5 Ways Color Psychology Can Boost Your Marketing Campaign

The psychology of color is a primary component of all marketing and advertising. When content designers and writers take the time to blend the perfect color palette with just the right words, magic happens. Thoughts and feelings are conveyed that reach beyond the bounds of spoken and written language. That’s because color has a profound effect on your psyches. Colors cause chemical reactions in our brains. Whether happy, sad, angry, or indifferent, colors inspire a wide range of emotions. This information is vital in order to make color psychology work in your favor on all of your digital assets as well as banners, flags, and other custom printed materials


Why it Matters

Instead of focusing solely on verbiage, consider crafting a color scheme that inspires creativity. Colors are capable of conveying emotions words may not be able to express and psychological research has proven that this in turn has a strong effect on a customer’s shopping habits. It’s also interesting to add that half of consumers are swayed by how websites look in deciding to buy something or not. Poor color choices can thus have the opposite effect, and this also holds true for your brick and mortar locations, ads, marketing materials – you name it. 

Color Effects and FX

The challenge with creating strong feelings and affecting buying choice is to go beyond the rookie advertiser’s mistake that logo and brand colors don’t matter beyond their immediate purpose. Remember, good enough is never good enough. The colors that define your brand must be well thought out to elicit the mood and emotional experience your brand desires. Then it must all be audience-tested. Even if it’s just family and friends. You want to make every effort in your marketing choices to always deliver not only the best possible result but the right one as well.

Get Specific

It has been proven that bargain buyers react more to products that are navy blue or teal. Impulse buyers react more to red, orange, black, and royal blue, and traditional clothing buyers – the ones that buy something when they absolutely need it – react to pink, sky blue, and soft colors. Everyone, however, steers away from brown. Brown has negative effects across the board. Does it mean it cannot be a minor, complimentary color? No, but why take the chance?

Cultural Color Interpretation

As if analyzing color wasn’t tricky enough, color can also mean different things in different cultures. The first part of any marketing scheme, especially before picking a color, is to figure out your target audience’s cultural background. As the variance can be quite large, there is definitely no one-size-fits-all solution. For example, yellow in Japan is used for courage, in the US it’s used for cowardice, in Latin America, it’s used for mourning, and in China it’s a vulgar color with vulgar connotations. Doing heavy research on your target audience’s culture can make or break your product and sales even before they’ve hit the shelves so doing your best on research in this department precisely is key to having a positive step forward early in your marketing and advertising design.

Testing 1-2-3

As we covered earlier, testing is the only way to know if you’re making the right decisions in your marketing and advertising strategy. When you have narrowed down your choice of colors for your brand, the next step is to “split test”. In split testing, you have different ads to show in front of test subjects: one set for Group A and another set for Group B. 

Once your colors are chosen, take answers you gleaned from split testing and use them in your marketing and advertising campaigns. Use the same split test-style approach on vinyl banners, signs, and T-shirts, and over time, you will be able to tell which ad gets a stronger response. After that, you will be able to hone in on the primary colors you are going to use in all of your materials based on long-term positive results. 

Don’t forget to test different colors for specific purposes. Generally speaking, CTA’s (Call to Action) need a vibrant, motivating color. But you may find that for certain products, those colors are jarring. Ask yourself the philosophical question: what is the fundamental purpose of this item? The second question is, what is the emotion behind that fundamental purpose? Then match that emotion with colors and choose which combinations to test accordingly.

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