Psychology Of Colors In Branding Process: What You Need To Know

There is no doubt about the fact that most of the decisions we make in our everyday lives are largely influenced by the colors that we see. Since many moons ago, colors have depicted the ability to garner emotions which eventually get manifested in our behavior. Even as teenagers, every girl blushed at the thought of being given a red rose by a boy she liked. On the contrary, a white rose was a symbol of peace and timeless friendship. No one taught us the significance of either of these colors, we just knew. As we enter our homes, it is not uncommon to see that most electronic appliances including our air conditioners are light in color while our televisions & microwaves are mostly black. Men are most often seen enjoying colors that fall within the brief spectrum of blue, white, grey or black. Women on the other hand, associate with brighter colors. Now let us narrow our thought process and imitate the same mindset in the entire branding process. But first, what is a brand? We live in a world where we are surrounded by brands on all sides. From the watches that we adorn, the interiors of our home, the cars we drive, the vacations we take and even the food we eat, everything comes from brands.

branding process

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What is important to understand is that brands are not built overnight. It is a process that involves identifying target customer group, defining the positioning we wish our brand to have and giving our brand a personality. This is where colors play a significant role and help us as brand managers in bringing that look, feel and vibe to our brand.

After tremendous research and analysis of the market, color psychologists have been able to understand the precise set of emotions that each color depicts. As clearly shown in the info graphic created by Vowels Advertising Agency from Dubai, we can see that the spectrum of color psychology is not limited emotions, industries across the globe have defined the colors that they associate with themselves.

The color yellow is known to evoke emotions like enthusiasm, opportunity, spontaneity, happiness and positivity. Therefore it can be witnessed that the industry within which this color is mostly used includes food, sports, transport, leisure and travel. At the same time, the color Red is believed to generate feelings like energy, passion, courage and attention. This is precisely why industries like entertainment, food, fire protection, sports or children’s products are seen using this color rather frequently.

We can see exemplification of these attributes of colors in the brands we consume regularly. The red and yellow of McDonald’s depicting deliciousness along with its ability to induce appetite and taste. The Blue of Tiffany and its ability to depict luxury, grandeur, class and elegance. These are examples of the level of difference usage of colors can make in the entire branding process.

The whole process of branding is a process of ensuring that your brand stands out and caters to a certain level of expectation from specific members of the society. These specific people are your target audience, this expectation refers to the brand’s positioning in the minds of its customers and standing out amidst the crowd refers to the process of differentiation. And the role of colors is especially critical in the second step of positioning. Positioning is the image that our prospective customers have in their own minds and this is precisely what colors do. They give our brands a personality and inspire behavior as established.

Research suggests that people make a subconscious judgment about a product or any environment within 90 seconds of initial viewing. And between 62% and 90% of these judgments are made based on the colors of the product or the environment. This shouldn’t come as a surprise since the first thing that we also notice about anything is the color.

Brands are specific and particular about the colors that they use. If we take top 100 brands of the world in terms of their brand value and analyze the colors for each of them, we will see that 29% of them use red, 33% of them use blue, 28% of them use greyscale and 13% of them use yellow or gold. This is quite a big number and goes to show that there is a clear pattern. Even on the basis of demographics, colors can be defined between the colors liked or disliked by men and those by women. Hence, colors that brands use are not selected at random. There is a reasoning behind them and it is the efficacy of this reasoning that inspires behavior among its prime audience.

We might have been taught in school that a color is nothing but the difference between peaks of light waves. But by now it is beyond evident that colors are much more than that. Colors impact our moods, emotions, decisions and eventually our behavior. The info graphic also depicts the design principles used suggesting that green stands for simplicity or yellow is for synchronicity. However, each of these colors will play a different role for different brands around the globe. Your brand has a unique personality of its own and it’s essential that the colors you define in order to depict your brand’s identity fit perfectly into that personality as well as play their role in enhancing this personality further.

branding process




About the Author

Jacob Wolinsky
Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of ValueWalk.com, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Prior to ValueWalk, Jacob was VP of Business Development at SumZero. Prior to SumZero, Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at)valuewalk.com - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver