Jun 2021

Color Psychology: How Can Color Propel Your Brand Forward?

A behind-the-scenes deep dive into color psychology from a startup marketing agency

Here at Responsival, we understand the importance of color psychology. We know rebranding or creating a new color scheme might be difficult, it might save your brand.

Color psychology plays an essential role in marketing a brand, product, or service. Whether or not we acknowledge it, color has psychological effects on our emotions and feelings. Principles of color psychology can help your brand allure your optimal customer and create an emotional connection. The question is . . . how can you use color psychology to benefit your brand?

We know color psychology can feel a little meta. As a startup marketing agency, we understand you might have questions. You might be asking yourself: 

  1. What emotion do I want my brand to evoke? 
  2. How many colors should I incorporate? 
  3. Should I include accent colors or hues? 
  4. How many colors is too many colors? 
  5. What colors should I not use together? 
  6. Should I avoid the colors of my competitors? 

We are here to help you answer these questions and figure out color psychology can help your brand outshine your competitors. 

What is color psychology? Let us, a startup marketing agency, simplify it. 

colors and hues of the rainbow diagram
There are so many colors to choose from. What colors should you choose to represent your brand? 

Color psychology explained

Color psychology is the idea that colors can impact human behavior. Color serves as a form of nonverbal communication and can be understood universally. Color can create reactions or affect personality moods. As stated by 99designs, “Color theory goes a lot deeper than “pink is a pretty color.” Psychologists link it to the very evolution of humans; connections with certain colors developed after years of associating them with particular objects.” In addition, different tones and shades of color can produce other emotions. 

When looking for tips to understand color psychology, startup marketing agencies emphasize the importances of understanding how color can also be associated with different human life events. For example, at a wedding, it is expected that the bride will be wearing a white wedding gown, to show her ‘innocence’ and ‘purity.’ While a wedding is a ‘happy’ occasion, sadder occasions, such as funerals, also have colors associated and assumed. For example, you would never wear a bright-colored dress to a funeral. Instead, it is assumed you will show up wearing a clothing piece that is a dark-toned color, such as black, because it reflects ‘sorrow’ and ‘sadness.’ 

Why is color psychology important in marketing? 

clouds, speech bubbles, gears, and circles representing the process of marketing and ideas.
Color psychology + marketing can change the meaning of your brand. Make sure you choose the right colors to represent your brand. 

Color’s impact on marketing 

When discussing color psychology in relation to marketing, it is important to understand, “If you use color psychology the right way, you can influence your target audience’s decision process. Used correctly, you can help people feel the way you want them to feel and increase conversions.”

What can color psychology do? 

  • Impacts the way your brand is distinguished
  • Helps customers recognize your products and services
  • Allows your brand to outshine their competitors
  • Attract customers to your brand

Curious about what brands are killing color in the game? Startup marketing agencies suggest looking at other brands to get inspiration for your own. Certain brands such as Target, Whole Foods, Chanel, and Twitter have learned and mastered the ideas of color psychology.

Target

Target utilizes red to grab shoppers' attention and creates a sense of necessity to purchase their commodities. The color red also suggests clearance, which is often referred to as fantastic deals. Target also uses white to take up negative space. White is used to represent the brand's possibility and perfection. Other brands that utilize red and white are Coca Cola and ESPN. 

Whole Foods

Whole Foods uses shades of green and white to promote their cleanliness, sustainability, and purity. As a grocery store, they pride themselves on selling high-quality and all-natural food products. The colors green and white help the customer truly understand their purpose as a brand. Other brands that use green and white in similar ways are Starbucks and Animal Planet. 

Chanel

Chanel is a brand that oozes luxury and class. Chanel produces some of the most high-class items, clothing, and shoes in the designer category. Chanel uses black, a color often associated with elegance and power, to express the brand's refinement and poise. Other brands that use black in a similar way are Prada, Nike, and Gucci. 

Twitter

Twitter is a social media brand that is about connection, communication, and creativity. Their platform allows users to send messages back and forth for their friends to follow while also posting for the public. Twitter logo and brand uses tones of blue that foster communication and imagination. Other brands that use blue in a similar way are Facebook, Ford, and IMB.

What do certain colors express about a brand? 

If my brand is cheerful, how can I use color to express that emotion? 

When creating a new brand or re-branding a current brand, it is crucial to examine what emotion or connection to your brand you want them to have. It is also essential to understand what colors cause what possible triggered emotions

Colors of the rainbow + their triggered emotions: 

  1. Red: Confidence, energy, passion, and courage. 
  2. Orange: Comfort, vibrancy, and steadiness. 
  3. Yellow: Happiness, cheerfulness, and brilliance.  
  4. Green: Calmness, tranquility, and balance. 
  5. Blue: Devoted, affable, and powerful. 
  6. Pink: innocent, intimate, and delicate. 
  7. Purple: Curiosity, luxuriousness, and relaxation.

It is essential to understand that colors, tones, and hues can have multiple meanings. For example, the blue of an ocean can represent calmness, but the blue of a rainstorm might cause sadness. Therefore, it is important to choose colors that you think fit your brand's aesthetic in the way you want it to be perceived when expressing your brand. It is also important to consider factors of your target audience, such as age, gender, sexual orientation, location, etc. 

How do I choose a color palette for my brand? 

color palette.
Creating the right color palette is essential. If you need more assistance, reach out to a member of our Responsival team.  

The essentials of picking the right pop of color

Curious about how to pick the right colors for your startup? Marketing agencies cannot tell you exactly which colors your brand palette should include. There are no straightforward rules to choosing your brand color palette. Color psychology should not dictate your color palette, but it should always be considered the underlying message that color psychology sends. 

When choosing a color palette for your brand, it is vital to consider the product you sell and what vibe you want to emulate. You must ask yourself, do the colors I have selected appropriately represent my products or services? For example, if you are selling colorful children’s birthday party cakes, using dull-toned colors, such as grey or white, might not be the best decision. It is important to note, “62‐90% of a product assessment is based on colors alone, so it’s important to get your brand palette right.” 

Good color palette tips: 

  1. Use 1-4 colors 
  2. Use a variation of hues and tints 
  3. Choose a base color
  4. Choose a neutral color 
  5. Create multiple test palettes 

It is also essential to consider the relationships that specific colors have with others. For example, while pink and yellow might be two of your favorite colors, they might make your brand seem slightly childish. Likewise, combining colors, such as brown and black, might your brand seem uninspiring. 


Designing a palette will come after many series of trial and error; if you do not like the colors you selected, try again. Do not be afraid to redesign. 

Why we picked our brand colors: 

At Responsival, we sell services in the areas of marketing, design, and web development. We have customers from the food industry, toy industry, cleaning service industry, medical industry, fitness industry, religious practice industry, fashion industry, and countless more. When deciding how to market our brand, we looked at our wide range of audience. We did face some challenges because all the industries we work in are so vastly different, but we choose colors based on what emotions we wanted our brand to express. 

The colors of our brand are navy, magenta, teal, and green. These colors represent our brand because we want to express our dependability, support, creativity, conceptualism, uniqueness, and patience. When our clients first stumble upon our company website, they truly understand that we are one big family who loves each other and trusts each other.

How can I effectively use color psychology to my advantage in digital marketing? 

different social media platforms surrounded by their pops of color.
Color psychology can make or break your digital marketing plan. 

Reimaging your use of color

While color psychology cannot guarantee success, it can serve as a tool that will help your brand stand out. It is crucial to incorporate colors that will work alongside your product or desired goal when creating a digital marketing plan. 

For example, if you are trying to sell something on clearance, adding a pop of red might help develop a sense of urgency. The red can help support the message that your product is on sale or almost sold out. Similarly, green can be used to support posts that discuss the environment or earth. Green can encourage your customers that you have balance and understand the importance of tranquility.

If you are looking to rebrand, or need help implementing color psychology into your brand, reach out to a member of our startup marketing agency for more information about how Responsival can help you.

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