According to a survey by KISSmetrics, 93% of the consumers’ purchase decision is based on color and visual appearance of a new product. Color is also said to increase brand recognition by 80%. This makes colors a compelling design element for branding and building business identity. Emotions can be attached to colors because they can lead to a particular reaction in the minds of the customers. Scientifically, they create specific neurological triggers that affect the production of adrenal and causes a rise and fall in our heart rates. Have you ever wondered why most food chains and restaurants use Red in their branding? Red is said to stimulate hunger cravings, excitement, and urgency.

Brands have realized the power of using colors to condition the customer’s mind into creating a particularly favorable response. Mercedes Benz doesn’t use the combination of black and silver by chance, in fact, the shades were chosen because they evoke a feeling of luxury and class. So, when used right, colors can create a positive brand perception in the minds of the potential and existing customers – isn’t that the whole goal of positive branding?

Cultural References to Colors

Colors have interesting cultural connotations, symbolizing different emotional references around the world. For instance, the color Red is associated with mourning in South Africa. In fact, a section of their Nation Flag is colored red to symbolize the suffering, sacrifice, and violence during their freedom struggle. On the other hand, red is among the most culturally important colors in India. It represents power, fire, wealth, fertility, beauty, desire, seduction, and festivity. A married woman in India wears red bangles, decorates her hand with red henna and uses a red powder across her hairline called sindoor. In America, red stands for Energy, urgency, sportiness, and youthfulness.

Colors in Marketing and Branding

Source: QuickCompany.in

Businesses have given a lot of importance in choosing and maintaining their brand colors. In fact, some of the most popular brands have put in significant efforts to perfect their brand colors, but testing out several combinations and conducting focus studies. They also go the extra mile to secure their brand colors with a trademark registration. Luxury jewelry maker Tiffany & Co. practically owns the robin egg blue color for their iconic jewel boxes. Several brands have memorable logos, but some have even memorable brand colors. What comes to your mind when you think of a chocolate bar with purple packaging? That’s right, Cadburys!

Color Psychology

Source: Cardiff University

Let’s look at how brands have used the enigma around color psychology to their benefit.

  1. Shades of Grey: This is a neutral shade that gives a feeling of tranquility and class. It also indicates wisdom and maturity, while giving an impression of elegance and luxury. For instance, Swarovski plays on this exact emotion to depict important brand virtues of the company, namely, class and style.
  2. The Blackest Black: As a symbol of status and power, black extrudes luxury and elegance. Brands like Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent use black as a representation of prestige, sophistication, and supremacy. The color is extremely popular in the fashion industry with brands like Armani and MAC Cosmetics using it widely in their branding and marketing campaigns.
  3. Sunny Yellow: Popular amongst several brands, yellow is a sign of energy, warmth, and cheer. Also, it’s a very attractive color, which the human eye can spot the fastest. The bright shade draws the attention of the customers instantaneously, making it very common in outdoor advertising campaigns. International brands like Nikon and McDonald’s use this high-intensity color to reinforce brand identity.
  4. Trusted Blue: The characteristic of blue is that it represents reliability, dependency, and security. This is the reason why several financial institutions like the Bank of America and Citi Bank use shades of blue in their color scheme. Blue can also be used to depict good health since it is calming and soothing. Brands like Oral-B use blue to emphasize care and health.
  5. Evergreen Green: People associate green with nature, health, freshness, prosperity and wealth. Due to the lush green countryside, Ireland is called the Emerald Isle, and green is extremely popular in the country, right from Leprechauns to Saint Patrick. Companies like Land Rover and BP use this color to signify their environment-friendly approach.

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