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What Colour Means in Marketing

When you’re developing your marketing strategy, it can be hard to know where to start. From imagery to design, there’s a lot to think about. Some people often oversee the importance of the colours that they use within their marketing strategy.

Our team of design and marketing experts explain which colours to use and why they’re effective within this blog post.

It’s widely believed by psychologists that colour is closely linked to emotion and may trigger particular thoughts, feelings and actions. These emotional cues are often wasted by brands who don’t understand the importance of this link.

Colour Within Branding

Your brand identity is carefully crafted, it reflects your personality and the brand’s story. Think about big brands – Coca Cola, Apple, Nike, Tesco etc. You recognise their branding and specifically, the colours that they use within it. The colours that they use aren’t a coincidence, they’ve used the information on colour psychology and integrated the colours the reflect their brand.

Colour Within Your Site

For designers and marketers, colour is one the most powerful forms of non-verbal communication. It’s an instant means of communicating a brand message. It’s not just the logo that needs to be considered, the entirety of your branding needs to be carefully thought about where colours are concerned.

Take some time to learn about the psychology of colours and how they impact upon the emotions and actions of customers. This way, you’re able to begin using colours in the right place at the right time. You also need to be aware of the importance of variations of style and colour to ensure that you’re using them to the best of their ability. An example of this would be that your colour use must be adaptable to ensure good readability on your site. Achieving a good balance with contrast can aid in highlighting important sections of your site, such as important announcements and offers. Effective contrasts ensure that eye strains are at a minimum which makes customers feel comfortable whilst they’re visiting your site. If there’s a specific action that you want customers to undertake, you can use colours to encourage them to do this.

When somebody visits your site, they want a smooth experience that guides them through the process easily. To ensure this, you should choose fonts which are easy to read. It’s common to use dark text on a light background to guarantee readability. It can be tempting to go for something more fancy, but this could cause customers to leave your site.

Colour & The Art of Persuasion

The theories surrounding colour psychology are complex. There are many factors which influence our individual perceptions of colour. These include, personal preference, cultural differences, previous experiences, the context in which a colour is situated in and seasonal factors too.

The secret to using colour online is to think practically. In other means of marketing you can be more playful, but online you must remember what colours mean and to ensure that it’s readable and easy to view.

Think about which colours are appropriate for your brand. For example, Land Rover aren’t going to use trendy pink and copper colours within their branding. These colours don’t reflect the strong, established brand that they are. Think about colours that underpin the image of your brand.

Contrast to Communicate

There’s not just one shade of green, you’ve got a whole collection of shades and tones of it within the colour wheel. It’s vital that you utilise correct contrast when using colour within your online marketing. To have content that is visually appealing, you must balance contrast correctly.

The perfect contrast is black text upon a white background – it’s easy to read which is vital when working to achieve an enjoyable online experience for your customers.

Colour For Brand Recognition

Customer actions have a direct correlation with your conversions. Colour impacts these actions, which means you can’t afford to oversee the importance of colour in your branding. Online these actions can be in the form of clicking onto products, following CTA’s, reading your offers in a pop up, signing up to email newsletters.

It takes less than 90 seconds for customers to form an opinion on your content. Almost all of this opinion derives from the colours put in front of them. In terms of brand recognition, it’s helped by colour by 80%. Carefully choose your colour and stick to it consistently.

So, what do colours mean?


Yellow reflects happiness, joy, optimism – all of the positive emotions. Yellow’s wavelength is long, meaning its’ psychological effects are one of the highest. It also helps that yellow is one of the easiest colours to see by the human eye.

Yellow is helpful for giving confidence, lifting spirits and encourage positive emotions. However, too much yellow can make people critical, especially of themselves. It can trigger fear and anxious feelings as well. It’s essential to get the right amount of yellow to stay on the right side of peoples’ emotions.

Encourages Thoughts Of




Impacts Upon

Mental processes  




In shop windows


A combination of the power of red and the positivity of yellow, orange is a good reflection of physical comfort by means of food, warmth and shelter. Orange is also the colour that stimulates appetite. Orange makes us motivated and enthusiastic. For your brands’ visuals, orange creates fun, freedom and comfort.

Encourages Thoughts Of

Friendly actions



Impacts Upon





On food packaging


Power is the most common term associated with red. It reflects physical needs, whether we should portray positive or negative emotions for survival. Red energises and can put across friendliness and strength to customers. However, it can show aggression and anger too so this is where you need to consider the context in which it’s being used.

To gain attention or going for a powerful brand image, red is a good colour to use.

Encourages Thoughts Of


Bold Actions


Impacts Upon



Action and confidence


In sales and clearances


Commonly associated with spirituality, purple possesses energy and power combined from red and blue. It’s a perfect mix between physical and spiritual. Often associated with luxurious products, mysteriousness and magic.

It soothes as well as allows for thoughts of mystery. For this reason people often associated creativity with purple. However, using it too often causes distraction due to wondering thoughts.

Encourages Thoughts Of



Impacts Upon

Good mood

Calm minds




In the beauty industry


Think trust, dependence and reliability for blue. As well as being soothing, blue ticks a lot of boxes for branding. Whilst red strikes cords in physical thoughts, blue impacts more upon the mental side. However, being one of the last colours to be seen and often being perceived as cold and unfriendly means it shouldn’t be used too often.

We chose blue as one of our brand colours as it brings calmness and reflects trust in relationships. Especially in marketing.

Encourages Thoughts Of




Impacts Upon





Within the branding of banks and businesses


Associated with nature and peacefulness. It restores well-being and can also be associated with positive material objects, such as money.

Encourages Thoughts Of




Impacts Upon

Relaxation – both mentally and physically

Mental health




Banks and natural products


Professional, reliable, practicality and intelligence are terms which are said to be linked with the colour grey.

Encourages Thoughts Of




Impacts Upon



Sense of unsettlement


Within the technology industry


Pink is a gentler version of red. It can create a sense of compassion and love. It’s a soothing colour rather than a stimulant. If you’re looking to create a soft, caring image then pink is a good choice.

As well as emphasising hope, pink is associated with love, empathy and sensitivity. Too much pink can be draining and show a lack of authority.

Encourages Thoughts Of



Impacts Upon


Actions and conditions


In products directed to female customers


It may not be the prettiest colour, but brown is a sign of structure, security and protection. Brown offers support in all aspects of life.

Serious and down-to-earth brands can benefit from adopting brown into their branding. Brown’s pitfall is the notion of being reserved and boring that it possesses. Use when necessary, but don’t depend upon it.

Encourages Thoughts Of




Impacts Upon


Natural energy



On male beauty products


If you’re trying to portray sophistication, seriousness, control and authority black is ideal. Be careful though because black is also associated with evil, depression and often death. It’s a colour that lacks any light whatsoever. Keep it separate from others to ensure its’ full benefits. Too much black causes negative emotions to arise so don’t overdo it.

Encourages Thoughts Of




Impacts Upon

Feelings of inconspicuousness

Feeling of calm isolation



Luxury product packages


Pure, simplicity, innocence – all captured within white. Think cleanliness and peace when you think of white. White has an equal balance of all colours meaning it can portray several meanings. Too much white can cause feelings of loneliness and emptiness so be sure to break it up.

Encourages Thoughts Of




New ideas

Impacts Upon

Mental clarity

Desire to clear



Medicinal products and the beauty industry.

Which Colour For Which Purpose?

To Attract Impulsive Shoppers





Royal blue

Bargain Hunters

Navy blue


Traditional Shoppers




Sky blue

Blush pink


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