Psychology of colour.
This subject I have always been fascinated by. I’ve always told myself if I ever wanted to do my Masters degree, i’d choose a topic on the psychology of colour. Yes, it’s been done before, there’s always going to be different reactions to colour, but that’s the captivating part, everyone experiences it slightly different.
Different personal preferences, experiences, upbringing, cultural differences, and context often blur the effect individual colors have on each and every one of us.
I still feel we have lots to learn and consider if we accept that everyone perceives colours differently, but you can still target the majority and make an impact.
First let’s address branding, which is one of the more important issues relating to colour perception and the area where many articles on this subject run into problems.
People’s perceptions of brands, or how they see a brand, can be traced back to their perceptions of the primary color used by the brand. Purchasing intent is greatly affected by whether the person is in a good mood, or a bad mood, the use of colour alters the person’s mood, whether that is consciously or subconsciously, hence a vital tool when it comes to product marketing. Take Subway for instance, their primary colour is green. A common occurrence for the colour green, is people perceiving it as fresh, natural and organic. Do you still think Subway would be such a successful brand if their primary colour was red and black?
I once did some work for a significant player in the RTO Industry (I know, I know, but they were actually one of the good guys), their primary colour was purple. Purple doesn’t subconsciously mean much to me in an educational context, but you get the sense if purple, blue or dark colours are used it implies authority.
But it was never used. It was only ever used in the brandmark. No other competitor had purple, they were alone amongst their competitors using the colour purple. In the marketplace, people looking for a short-course, they usually shop around before committing. Remembering a brand has never been more important, when you’re directly competing in such an intricate market. In the initial meeting, I asked, “why don’t you use the colour purple on your signage, print advertising and website?” Their reply was that no one else was doing it, so it must be wrong. 6 months down the track, after a quick brand refresh and purple was out there. I get a phone call from the director exclaiming they got referred to as the purple company. In a sea of logo’s, colours and signs, if people can remember your brand by simply referring to a colour, you’re about to make some serious money.
When selecting a colour for your brand, you must carefully consider your competitors, your product, your intended demographic or gender. Selecting the right colour for your brand is one of the most important pieces of your brand puzzle.
This article was written by Alex Fettling.