The Importance of Colour in Marketing

Importance of Colour in Marketing

Colour in marketing can fundamentally change the way we view a brand or product. Understanding how this happens is crucial when designing the aesthetics for anything we are involved in.

Many businesses struggle when it comes to deciding on the design of logos, websites, fonts, and so on, and with good reason. Aesthetics are incredibly important to the average consumer, whether they realise it or not. The look of your business can be the difference between a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ when it comes to purchasing decisions, regardless of the quality of your product.

Over the years, marketers have come to realise that even colour alone can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of your design, with different colours having the power to evoke different feelings and emotions in people. Here is a quick look at how you can use colour in your marketing efforts to get the results you need.

What do different colours say about your brand?

  • Yellow is seen as a fun, optimistic colour. Interestingly, our eyes process yellow first before other colours, which is why it is often used on warning and road signs. This has seemingly made it popular with businesses often found on the roadside.
  • Orange is seen as a friendly, confident colour. It is not commonly used.
  • Red is seen as a reflection of power, excitement, and urgency. There are, however, distinct differences in how different cultures view the colour red. We’ll discuss this later in the post.
  • Purple is often used to reflect creativity and sophistication. It is also symbolic of royalty in many countries.
  • Blue is linked with trust, honesty, and strength. It is often used by companies who want a reputation based primarily on professionalism. Research suggests that blue tends to be the favourite colour of both men and women.
  • Green is used to emulate feelings and thoughts of peace or growth. It is typically used by wildlife and health related brands linked with the outdoors or keeping fit.
  • Grey represents a calm or neutral feel. It is often used by brands wanting to project a clean, professional, or simple image, such as Apple.

Using Colour in Marketing

Image credit: The Logo Company

Examples of colour in marketing:

IT and finance

Blue is an extremely popular colour within the IT and financial industries, primarily due to its perceived reflection of honesty and reliability. This is crucial in areas where security is an important factor in decision making for potential customers. A few examples from the IT industry include Dell, HP and Intel, with JP Morgan and Barclays being well known examples from the financial sector.

Health and wildlife

Green is widely used amongst organisations focusing on health and wildlife. This is because research suggests that we associate green with growth, health, and preservation.

Colour trends for men and women

Research has indicated differences in the way that men and women react to certain colours. According to a study by Joe Hallock, men tend to prefer bold colours, whereas women lean more towards softer colours. In the same study, it was found that men are more likely to choose a shade of a colour as their favourite, where a woman is more likely to choose a tint.

Use contrast

Contrasting colours help provide emphasis to certain elements of a design, be it for a logo, webpage, or email. Reserve your most prominent colours for highlighting an area you would like your audience to pay the most attention to. In a piece of written content, this could be for a button acting as a call-to-action.

Individual and cultural differences

These rules are not dead set. Individual and cultural preferences can muddy the waters slightly, making it difficult to say anything for certain. For example, in China red is linked with prosperity. This is reflected in HSBC’s logo and branding.

In many other parts of Asia, red is also associated with positive feelings such as spirituality and life. In contrast, countries such as Africa associate red with death. These sorts of cultural differences should always be considered when deciding to enter a foreign market.

Final thoughts

Whilst it can be broadly said that colours do tend to evoke certain emotions and thoughts, it is equally if not more important that the colours reflect the personality of your brand, not just your product.

If you are looking for help with your branding, contact us.


Ryan Sedgwick
Managing Director & Marketing Consultant at Impact Digital Markeitng
A Chartered Marketer, Ryan has gained extensive B2B and B2C marketing experience working across a broad spectrum of industries. Having graduated with a Masters in Marketing Communications from the University of Huddersfield, Ryan successfully utilises his skills and knowledge to effectively support businesses in getting the most from their marketing investments.