Colours That Influence Customers
Exploring the exciting world of colour psychology
Have you ever stopped to think about the emotional response triggered by the colours in your company’s latest advertisement, marketing campaign, or sign? If not, you may have just drawn in – or pushed away – customers without even realising it.
You see, colours conjure up feelings. Colour can make you feel at ease or alarm you, enthuse or agitate you. And that’s why knowing a bit more about these associations connected to colours can help you and your business.
After all, if you want customers to get excited about your flash sale, you don’t want to use a colour scheme that evokes serenity and relaxation, right?
So let’s explore the exciting world of colour psychology and see how you can apply this knowledge to your signage and marketing materials. You’ll also learn about the most commonly used colours and the specific subconscious messages they send to your customers. Ready to find out?
Colour psychology looks at how a certain hue can evoke emotions. How it can change someone’s perception of something, and even influence human behaviour.
For example, one study found that applying colour psychology to a video game enhanced the sense of immersion felt by players. Other studies have shown that colour also influences the perceived effect of drugs and even the flavour perception of food!
Now there are different explanations as to why colours affect us like that. And the effects may differ per person. Part of it is rooted in our genes, while another large influence is the culture and society around us. Some of it is simply down to personal taste.
But what is clear to scientists is that colours trigger emotions and associations. Which lead to action. And although every human being might have a slightly different response, there are clear patterns in our behaviour.
So as soon as you start tapping into these patterns, you can subconsciously influence potential customers.
The colour red is one of the most widely used colours and evokes a variety of emotions. It’s known as a warm colour – often symbolising heat and temperature – and you can see this reflected in people’s associations with it.
Common associations include urgency and action, which is why red is often used to draw attention. Think of red stop signs to urge you to stop or prohibition signs saying you can’t go in. Or how about a high street sales banner, grabbing your attention and urging you to take action (to buy).
Red is further linked to excitement, passion, and love. Just think of how Valentine’s Day is celebrated across the world, and how the colour red is (literally) at the heart of it.
Some notable brands that use the colour red in their branding and marketing include Coca-Cola, London Busses, Virgin, YouTube, Kellogg’s, and Levi’s.
The colour green tends to evoke quite opposite emotions. For example, green is often associated with feeling calm and relaxed. It also has a strong connection to nature, life, and the environment. Green is further associated with freshness, growth, and sometimes also ambition.
Green products or brands are often linked to health and wellbeing, which explains why pharmacies use green in their signage.
Other brands using green include Starbucks and Holiday Inn, promoting relaxation, and probably about a million tree surgeons, gardeners, and landscapers (environment & nature). You might have even noticed that we at Butler Signs use green in our logo as well, we’re calm, fresh, and growing!
Just like the colour green, blue evokes calmness. In fact, it’s one of the reasons why the popular meditation app Calm uses a blue colour scheme, teamed with green and purple.
The calming, soothing power of blue has even caused countries to change the lighting in certain public places, to help lower both suicide and crime rates.
Aside from this, blue is often considered the main colour symbolising cold and coolness. This is why it conjures up opposite feelings to a warm colour like red.
Other associations related to blue include health, peace, healing, and understanding. Darker shades of blue tend to represent knowledge, power, loyalty, seriousness, and integrity.
Some well-known brands using blue include Twitter, Facebook, Skype, and LinkedIn.
Black & White
Lastly, you shouldn’t underestimate the power of black and white (although they’re technically not colours).
Although you might think they’re the most basic hues on this list, they can evoke strong emotions among consumers. Just think of some of the world’s largest and most iconic brands like Apple, Nike, or Sony!
Black tends to show authority, power, stability, and strength. White is often connected to purity, innocence, cleanliness, and neutrality.
The two are often combined in logos and branding to create associations of timelessness, class, elegance, and trustworthiness. Think of companies like Chanel, Gucci, or Bentley. The combination of black and white is commonly seen as a less-is-more approach.
An added benefit is that black and white are incredibly versatile. You can easily apply them to any type of medium without having to worry about how the different hues will turn out. Whether it’s on an outdoor sign or an online screen, black and white will retain the same hue and quality.
All colours, including black and white, can influence your customers in one way or another. Some colours might cause just a mere subtle sentiment. Other colour-schemes can signal a big red flag your customers will – subconsciously – avoid at all costs.
But after reading this short article, you’ll hopefully know a bit more about the emotions colours can evoke. So, ready to take advantage of colour to bring new customers in?
Then contact us today to see how we can help you create some colour-conscious signage that gets your message across!
Still not sure which colours are best for your business? No problem. Our team of friendly experts are happy to help you further.