For decades, people have talked about the effect of color on emotions. Color’s influence can be difficult to gauge. Though there have been numerous studies on the many ways color influence emotion, such as pink’s ability to calm aggression, much of people’s responses to color is dependent on personal preference.
At the same time, numerous studies prove the way color affects people’s emotions, including its use in marketing and branding. Understanding the psychology of color goes a long way toward determining the best way to use it in your business.
What is the Psychology of Color?
Essentially, most people believe that colors represent certain emotions and feelings. Looking at the main color groups, we have:
- Blue: calm, strength, dependability, and stability
- Green: nature, harmony, strength, peace
- Orange: cheerful, confidence, joy, and enthusiasm
- Pink: calm, soothing, relaxing, and feminine
- Purple: creativity, knowledge, imagination, and luxury
- Red: bold, exciting, energetic, and youthful
- Yellow: joy, optimism, warmth, and energy
- White: purity, cleanliness, balance, and neutrality
- Black: power, elegance, mystery, and the unknown
- Earth tones: warmth, soothing, welcoming, and stability
When it comes to determining the psychology of color, much of it relates to the expectations of what the color represents, as well as what your brand represents. Branding and color need to work well together.
How to Utilize Colors Influence in Your Business
Like everything in marketing, you have to understand your target audience and use color strategically. A great deal depends on the type of business you run. No matter what type of business it is, though, you want a unified palette, so pay attention to color schemes as well as psychology and branding.
If you operate a men’s clothing store, you likely want to create a masculine décor, but you also need to remember that many women shop there, buying for significant others, offspring, and others. Blue palettes work well for this reason, as men and women both overwhelmingly choose blue when asked to name their favorite color. You also want to include some accent colors, and what you choose depends on the feeling you want to impart. Neutral colors, such as black and gray, add cool sophistication. For energy, add some of the deeper shades of red.
Boutiques and salons aimed at women should consider tints, such as pastels, as the same study linked above notesthat women tend to prefer softer colors. Again, considerations of your target market come first. A store specializing in goth apparel, for example, misses the mark if it’s painted in pastels. Also consider the predominant age of your clientele when choosing paint colors.
If yours is a unisex store, blues are again your best bet, mixed in with earth tones. These color palettes are popular with both men and women, and offer a great deal of variety.
If you have a creative business, such as a new age shop, gift shop, or florist, consider a palette strong in “creative” colors, such as shades of purple, green, and turquoise. When using stronger colors, you also need soft, neutral shades, such as whites, beiges, or grays for balance.
Shops geared toward children need to appeal to both young and old. Primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) are high-energy and popular with the little ones, but you also need some softer, more neutral colors so as not to overwhelm the people actually paying for your goods and services.
If you run a restaurant, café, or coffee shop, you want warm colors, preferably shades of red and orange because these have been shown to increase appetite. In addition, they create an energetic, social atmosphere, keeping your customers munching away. However, these colors can be overwhelming when used in abundance. Soften them with neutral colors.
There are different rules for different types of restaurants, though. A fast food place wants to use yellow, which whets the appetite but keeps patrons moving. Red also stimulates appetite, while white implies cleanliness. At the other end of the scale, high-end restaurants need accents in muted shades of red and orange, such as peach, coral, and terracotta, to serve as appetite stimulation, along with richer colors that denote luxury and opulence.
Colors Influence Your Bottom Line
If you’re ready to see how color can make your business pop and draw in new customers, contact CBP for a free consultation. We’ll tour your facility and provide a free quote on repainting your business.