Do you search in your closet for a blue jacket to wear when you need to give a presentation?

Studies have shown the color blue is associated with productivity and creativity.

color

Would you like your guests to feel more tranquil in your waiting area? Try painting it green. Earth tones are known to produce a calming effect.

You can use elements of color psychology to your advantage as well

Without us even realizing it on a conscious level, color can affect our mood, our energy, and even our appetite. Businesses use color to influence how long we stay in a store, how much we purchase, and even how much food we eat. You can use elements of color psychology to your advantage as well.

Scientists have examined the relationship between color and how we behave. Researchers at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC, for example, studied the effect of color on 665 students, ages 17 to 39. In the 2009 study, the students completed various detail-oriented and creative tasks on computer screens that were set to a red, blue or white background color.

The majority of the students scored higher on the cognitive assignments, which included memory tasks and proofreading, when they did them on a red background. However, they performed better on the tasks that called for creativity and imagination with the blue background.

Let’s look at specific colors and the moods and responses that are associated with them and how you might use them in your business. (Before we do, however, it’s important to note that colors can have different significances for different cultures. For example, in many Asian countries, red signifies prosperity and good luck and therefore is a traditional color for a wedding dress.  Our culture’s traditional color for a bride, white, is considered a funeral color in Asia.)

Black: Power, elegance, sophistication. Black is a commanding color and represents authority in our culture. Dressing in a black suit can give others the impression that you are confident and professional.

Blue: Loyalty, creativity, centeredness. The color blue is known to lower pulse rates and body temperature in studies and to help create creativity and productivity. It’s no wonder it is the most popular color. It is used in advertising to convey trust and is considered a good choice for materials or reports that need careful consideration.

Brown: As an earth tone, brown represents dependability and practicality. Use brown when you want to convey something that is no frills and no nonsense but gets the job done well.

Green: Calm, peace, relaxation. As an earth tone, green can help to relieve stress. It is associated with growth and rebirth. Green is a good color choice for a product for which freshness is important or for a new or re-branded product line. Green is also good for inspiring the thought of saving or making money.

Orange: Energy, enthusiasm, warmth.  Orange is well known as an uplifting or mood-brightener color. It has both the energy of red and the warmth of yellow.  Many restaurants use orange in their menus or in their decor because studies have found it can increase the appetite.

Purple: Wisdom, luxury, spirituality. Purple can be used to convey a high-end feel to a product.

If your market is those who are living a luxury lifestyle, purple is a great color choice.

Red: Excitement, passion, intensity. Studies have shown red can cause our blood pressure and heart rate to rise. In advertising, red draws attention and is often seen in products for men. The color red invites people to react on an emotional level instead of an intellectual level.

White: Purity, innocence. Also creates a sense of space and even cleanliness.  Popular as a background color to set a strong contrast, white generates an expectation of flawlessness.

Yellow: Cheery, warm, increases alertness. Yellow is associated with fun and openness. In advertising, yellow attracts attention and is a good choice for products or places you want to project as inviting and welcoming. Studies do show that too much yellow can be fatiguing to our eyes, so it is best to use yellow as an accent color.

What difference can color make in your business? A study by P.J. Farley and A.P. Grant published in the Journal of Psychology showed that consumers retain information shown in color at a rate 65% higher than information displayed in black and white. Advertising expert David Ogilvy noted that color advertisements produce 50% more inquiries than black and white ads. From your clothes, to your workspace, to the products you make, you can let color help you make a strong statement.