March 24th, 2021
By: Ruby Qian
Throughout our lives, we see various tinges and tones of colors, and these different colors are associated with a distant feeling or emotion. For example, people may associate red with danger or love; green with nature and calmness; and yellow with optimism or cheerfulness (The Know It All Guide to Color Psychology In Marketing). And since colors have such an effect on our moods, I’ve always wondered how colors play a role in marketing and how a company can affect/change consumer behavior and use colors as their branding strategy.
WHAT IS COLOR PSYCHOLOGY?
Color psychology is the study and understanding of how different colors and hues affect human behavior (Color Psychology: How Do Colors Affect Moods and Emotions). This is incredibly effective in marketing/advertising as it allows marketers to bring forth various emotional reactions they want to be associated with their brand/product. However, being able to efficiently use colors in marketing is no easy task, everyone perceives color differently and has their own preferences, so marketers must use the information to develop a successful brand image.
So, let’s take a look at a few examples of companies that use colors in intuitive ways in their branding strategy.
ONE: MCDONALD’S -- RED + YELLOW
McDonald’s red and yellow in their logo provides a stimulating and cheerful feeling. The color red stands out and is known to increase heart rate, which also increases people’s appetite. Yellow is known to be a cheerful and happy color and is the easiest color for people to see in daylight. With the combinations of these two colors, McDonald’s logo is able to encourage its consumers to buy its products by providing an appetizing and cheerful feel.
TWO: STARBUCKS -- GREEN
The green in Starbucks’ logo provides a balanced, rich, and healing feeling to its consumers. The green color suggests that Starbucks is welcoming and provides quality coffee. Furthermore, the brand designers of Starbucks chose the green color to be representative of the positive way the brand treats its customers (Starbucks Logo Meaning). In conclusion, the colors used in Starbucks’ logo are able to generate a welcoming, healing, and positive feeling to its consumers.
THREE: OREOS -- BLUE
Oreo mainly uses blue in its logo and packaging as the color blue is associated with the sky and sea, providing a sense of tranquility to a person. In contrast to the color red that garners a more physical reaction, the color blue provides a mentally soothing response, which relates to the reason why blue is a color many people favor. This color works well with Oreo’s brand as Oreos are comfort food for people to snack on in their free time.
That is all for today -- thank you for reading through my blog post on color psychology. Please comment on your favorite color and mention what kind of feeling it gives you or why you like that color! Feel free to read the sources below to learn more about color psychology and its uses in marketing/advertising.
Ruby Qian is Marketing Society’s 2020-2021 Co-Director of Content. She is a sophomore at NYU Stern, concentrating in Marketing and Management with a minor in Digital Art & Design.