Have you ever questioned why your social networking apps like Facebook, Messenger, Twitter and even your Mail icon are blue? Or what about your conversational apps – Messages, FaceTime and Whatsapp – why are they all green?

As you can guess, they aren’t that way by accident. The psychology of colour and its relation to persuasion when it comes to branding is one of the most interesting topics in marketing. You’ve probably heard it before – colours evoke different emotions or feelings when you see them.

Marketers have long recognised that colour plays a role in the success of any marketing campaign or branding efforts. So how can you use this to your advantage?

When it comes to marketing, colour is an extremely powerful tool that should be carefully considered. The study aptly titled Impact of Color in Marketing found that “people make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62‐90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone”.

Colour is a non-verbal communication tool that not only influences the way we feel, it’s also proven to increase brand recognition by up to 80%. Careful use of colour can help differentiate your product from competitors’, while prompting certain moods and emotional responses. In turn, this provokes different attitudinal responses, therefore turning potential customers into actual purchasers of your product.

First things first though – it’s all about your customers! While most marketing practitioners are most-concerned with differentiating themselves among competitors, it is important to remember that consumers often associate with brands that they feel reflect aspects of their own personality or enable them to express their ideal self. So, while some colour associations appear to be generic, a lot really depends on the age, gender, location, culture and personality traits of your consumer – pick your colours according to your ideal customer or target market.

When it comes to constructing your brand personality (research defines to be “the set of human characteristics associated with your brand”) it is important to consider the symbolic use of colours and consumer’s subsequent associations with different human personality traits. For example, and you’ve probably heard it before; customers associate yellow with happiness, youth and optimism, while a bold colour like red demonstrates power and strength.

When it comes to picking the “right” colour for your brand, research has found that stronger brands activate a network of cortical areas in the brain, involved in positive emotional processing and associated with self-identification and rewards. Therefore predicting consumers’ associations with, and subsequent reactions to, different colours is just as important as the colour itself.

For example if your brand personality is masculine, i.e. you want your customers to think of attributes such as strength and power, you wouldn’t use pink or purple – instead think about colours like black, red and orange. The reverse applies for a product such as Barbie dolls – think about the customer – young, mostly females, aren’t drawn to dark blues, black or red – they are drawn to, and prefer to associate with, feminine colours like pink or yellow.

Yet more research also showed that strong brands are processed with less effort on the activated part of the brain. Strong brands are those that are easily recognizable. Again, recognition can be achieved through the use of distinct colouring.

So, just to reiterate the importance of colour in your branding, here’s an experiment. Can you recognise the following brands by looking solely at their colours, sans brand logo or name? (The answers are at the end of this blog).

1. 2.


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Evidently, colour plays a vital role in successful marketing and branding. Of course, if you’d like help with your brand’s marketing makeover, we’d love to help. You can give us a call on (02) 9994 8005 or drop us a note.


  1. Tiffany & Co.
  2. Louboutin
  3. Cadbury
  4. Commonwealth bank
  5. McDonald’s
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