The Design Division

The Impact of Colour in Marketing

There’s an old fashioned phrase that runs – ‘Let’s see the colour of your money’. Meaning, of course, that ‘you’ will have a bit more cred when you lay some cash down. The link between colour and money is actually quite a profound one when it comes to marketing.

Some savvy designers have long known which colours to use for pack designs or ads that gain attention and influence attitudes favourably. However, the advent of the Internet has given the whole issue an even sharper focus. It appears that even changing the colour of a button can increase response by as much as 20%. There’s an infogram by a company called KISSmetrics that gives the lowdown on which colours to use for which products and applications. As I say, some of this stuff is fairly well known in professional circles, but still makes fascinating reading:

  • Black – great for looking sound and professional, say for banks or legal companies.
  • Blue – suggests calm, focus, spot-on for medical or recruitment companies.
  • Red – excitement, energy – just what many fmcg like food and drinks products want
  • Pink – feminine, romance – lingerie or Mills & Boon type fiction
  • Green – healthy, natural – good for all things environmental

Pretty much common sense, when you think about it. However, did you know that women love purple and green but hate orange and grey? Likewise, men are fond of blue and black but can’t stand brown or purple? Obviously massive generalisations, but I always say there’s no smoke without fire.

In truth, you can’t over-emphasise how important colour can be in marketing. It’s reckoned that a staggering 93% of purchase decisions are influenced by visual appearance, as opposed to 6% by texture and just 1% by sound and smell. Again, an uber generalisation, as you’d expect hi-fi for example to score more on sound and perfume on smell, but food for thought nevertheless.

It’s also worth noting that colour is massive catalyst to brand recognition, increasing levels by around 80%. Stands to reason – what would your reaction be if you saw a blue coke can sitting on a retailers shelf?!

Other key pointers relate colour to the type of purchase. For example, red is great for impulse purchases, or drawing attention to bargains in a sale. In contrast, blue is compatible with planned budget-based shopping.

Clearly, it’s a huge issue and one that no marketer can afford to ignore, whether they’re concerned with milk shakes or car maintenance. For professional advice,  call 0845 230 4810.