If the colours of the clothes we wear can affect our mood, behaviour and stress levels, and even the way others interact with us, then it is only fair to conclude that the colours we use in presentations cannot be left to chance. How do we feel about yellow? How about red? Blue? Green? Many things…
In this article from “Psychology Today”, which relates persuasion and colour psychology, we can read that the subject is as interesting as it is controversial. “There have been numerous attempts to classify consumer responses to different individual colours. The truth is that colour depends too much on personal experiences to be universally translated into specific feelings. But there are broader message patterns that can be found in colour perceptions. For example, colours play a very significant role in shopping and branding,” you can read.
There are several studies confirming the relationship between brand and product colour and consumer perception. The study “Exciting Red and Competent Blue”, for example, confirms that the intention to purchase is greatly affected by colours due to the impact they have on the way the brand is viewed. In other words, it means that colours influence how consumers view the “personality” of the brand in question or that message, advertisement or campaign. What’s more, more research shows that our brains prefer recognisable brands, which makes colours extremely important in creating a brand identity. Using colours in the logo is key to differentiation, it also concludes.
In this article from “Science for People”, colour specialist Leatrice Eiseman says that there are no magic answers but that, yes, there are generalisations that can be obtained after decades of research on how people see colours or how they feel about them, knowing that one’s personality can change one’s look or perception.
But let’s immerse ourselves in the colours, to which they are associated after all? Blue: loyalty, truth, wisdom, stability and tranquility. In the same article in “Science for People” there is an explanation for this: “Blue is almost always associated with blue sky, which when we are children is a positive thing – it means playing outdoors and having fun. Then it also means that there will be no storms and there will be good sunshine for the crops. That’s why blue reminds us of stability and calm”. Interesting, right?
Red: passion, energy, aggression, excitement, action, desire, intensity. It is the warmest of all. In this article from “G1” of the Globe, under “Time for Marketing”, we go further: “Red is considered one of the strongest colours there is. It passes the feeling of power, danger, love and passion. Understand that whenever there is an advertisement where love, passion and sexuality need to be passed on, it is red that rules”. Red, also reminds the “Science for People” activates the metabolism and increases the blood pressure, which helps to explain the choice of colour for forbidden signs and extinguishers.
Yellow is often associated with happiness, confidence, enthusiasm, optimism and youth. The “G1” article confirms the theory: “Yellow is the colour that is directly linked to joy, happiness. Have you ever stopped to see a sunny day, how happy it is? It is the colour that brings optimism, that awakens creativity and inspires to do good things”.
And the green, in what does it translate? Freshness, security and harmony, but it is also associated with money and the traffic light, friend of the verb “to go”. But there is also another side to green, as the “G1” reminds us: “Green is the colour of nature, of trees and plants. And because of this it is associated with growth and renewal“. Furthermore, “it represents hope, it keeps away depression, sadness, it is the colour that comforts and stimulates”.
Black may be associated with power, professionalism, mystery and seriousness, it may be elegant, but the truth is that brands and companies usually don’t make much use of this colour. As CrazyEgg explains, although company websites fill up with more white and strong colours, black can be powerful. “The brands that use black with good results are luxury or sophisticated brands, sold to a mainly male audience – Rolls Royce and Lamborghini”, for example. So what does black do for sales? “If you are not selling luxury cars, use black in moderation. But it can be an effective colour as an element, even in a light-coloured site”, says CrazyEgg.
People associate purple with royalty, luxury and sophistication as well. But it’s also a colour that’s related to magic, says Science for People. There are other ways, as Conversioner tells us: purple is also on the same page of creativity, spirituality and individuality.
Finally, white is turned towards purity, innocence, simplicity, elegance, towards clean materials, while brown tells us about nature, stability and reliability. Orange is also associated with energy, fun, optimism and warmth, but can also be to what is spontaneous.
Colours are a world just like the world we live in, complex, full of different perceptions and sensibilities. Let’s finish this article with a ride by Neil Patel, who according to “Wall Street Journal” and “Forbes” is a high profile influence, one of the gurus of digital marketing.
Making someone buy something, we know, is an art, it is seduction and persuasion. “Although there are many factors that influence how and what consumers buy, a lot is decided by visual cues, the colour being the strongest and most persuasive,” explains Patel in his blog. “When marketing new products, it is essential to consider that consumers place visual appearance and colour above other factors such as sound, smell and texture”. Colours, he explains, increase brand recognition by 80% and this is directly linked to consumer confidence.
Although we are all different and incredibly uneven when it comes to human complexity, colours have an impact on everyone. In essence, colour theory helps predict how people will respond to different advertising messages. The sensations conveyed, which are not excessive and at odds with the product or values of the company, can contribute to sales.
Summing up and wrapping it up in Neil Patel’s words, we close like this: “When we talk about persuasion, emotion is the main target. And nothing, not even words or images, is more appealing to people’s emotions than colours to create a positive or negative experience”.