As marketers, we understand the power of imagery to elicit emotion and influence consumer behavior. But did you know color is the strongest motivating factor in most purchasing decisions? A study in the Management Decision journal demonstrated that people make decisions within 90 seconds of seeing a product, and color alone contributes up to 90 percent of the information that influences the decision.

In other words, color is currency, which is well-established in the branding and marketing world. In fact, the color wheel is one of the first lessons marketers have to learn when analyzing visual elements.

But you don’ t need a degree in color psychology to work magic with your messaging. Whether you’re a high-end fashion brand or a local brewing company, you can easily leverage the power of color to create persuasive brands and show-stopping marketing campaigns that will light up your online presence, and ultimately, your bottom line.


What is color psychology, exactly?

Color has more influence than most people realize, from our daily moods to our food choices, which is why savvy marketers learn the nuances of colors – to raise brand awareness and inspire consumers to take action.

And although color psychology isn’t black and white, here is a small taste to wet your palette…

The color scheme 

Yellow: Yellow signifies playfulness, energy, optimism, curiosity, and happiness making it an ideal for advertising children’s activities.

Orange: Another dynamic and energetic color, orange communicates joy, enthusiasm, excitement, and creativity, and action. We often see brands use orange when targeting youth as well as companies looking to inspire impulsivity and action like Amazon,, and Etsy.

Red: One of the most effective colors in marketing campaigns to evoke strong emotions, red symbolizes excitement, passion, seduction, danger, and action.

Purple: For centuries, purple has stood for royalty and power, but also wisdom and spirituality. High-end, exclusive brands and products such as Rolex and Crown Royal have leveraged this symbolism in their branding and marketing campaigns for decades to convey an elite experience and sense of luxury.

Blue: The color blue elicits feelings of trust, depth, loyalty, and credibility for most people, which is why it’s a go-to for financial institutions and large corporate entities. Think JP Morgan, LinkedIn, Ford, and Walmart. Blue also proved to be the winner in a study by Curalate, showing that mostly-blue images got 24% more likes than those that were predominately red.

Green: We associate green with all things nature, in the literal sense, but also to communicate growth. Green also conjures up a sense of safety and reliability, stability, honesty and freshness.

Pink: Pink is almost always connected to femininity and all things love, sweet, and playful. Think Victoria’s Secret and Barbie who use the color heavily.

Black: Black is a color that has a variety of meanings, depending on the context. It can symbolize mystery, even malice, or it can show sophistication, power, and elegance.

White: White represents the notion of purity, simplicity, and innocence. It can also represent peace and neutrality and convey cleanliness, serenity, and balance.

Now, even with just a basic understanding of color psychology, I bet you can see the symbolism and strategic messaging in Prada’s 2019 Spring Campaign.

Hue is your audience?

Although there is a science to color, it is not an exact science. People’s perceptions of colors vary based on personal preference and experiences and differences in age, culture, and gender. For example, many western cultures associate white with peace, while in some Asian cultures, white symbolizes death. So, as is always the case, you should select your hue based on who you are targeting.

So, now that you’ve seen the power of color, don’t be left in the dark. But don’t be afraid to color outside the lines and shake things up either. As long as you are connecting with your audience and staying true to your brand’s story and personality, any shade will do!


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