Who doesn’t love color, right? It has the power of turning the bland into breathtaking, the dull into daring, the mundane into magnificent. When it comes to promoting your business, though, color is about so much more than simply making your materials look good. There are a lot of psychological factors at play; many of which we rarely take time to process with the deliberate mind.
Today, we know that the use of color in advertising is vital when it comes to increasing visibility, while simultaneously capitalizing on impulse sales and gaining a branding edge over the competition. For those of you looking to expand your palate, here are a few of the most significant reasons to color it up.
To Make Your Message More Memorable
There have been a wealth of studies over the years on the impact of color in brand selection (Singh), and the findings continue to inspire marketing experts from every industry and corner of the globe. One of the most impressive, determined that consumers and decision makers are far more likely to remember an advertised message or presentation which incorporated the use of color, versus those shown in grayscale or black and white (Tutssel).
To Differentiate Your Brand or Services
Ask any successful business owner or marketing director, and they’ll be the first to admit that incorporating color into your brand advertising is one of the most effective ways to stand out. Have you ever wondered why Coke uses an absolutely specific pantone for their uber-visible red, or why virtually anyone on the planet can tell you that the McDonald arch is yellow? This is not by coincidence. Consumers, as well as those in a position to buy your products or hire your services, are influenced and attracted to colors.
To Draw Attention to Your Ads or Materials
You don’t need to sift through a pile of clinical abstracts to test this one; just grab two documents from your office – one in color, and one in black & white. Place them on a desk, and close your eyes for a few seconds. Now open them and see which one pops into your field of vision first. With the exception of the estimated 6% of the US population who suffer from color blindness (Kaufman-Scarborough), the mind is hard-wired to seek out color. This should serve as an instant justification to make your ads and promotional materials more vibrant.
To Brand Your Company Logo
When it comes to branding, consistency is king. And for those of you who aren’t using black and white corporate logos, the colors in your marketing and advertising efforts should be a reflection of those you’ve selected for your logo; or vise-versa, depending on where you are in the branding process. Choosing colors that reflect the core nature of your business, (green if you run an environmental agency, orange or yellow for tanning salons, etc), is a smart way to subliminally associate your company identity with the specific type of service you provide.
To Identify More Closely with Specific Target Markets
The debate on whether men and women respond differently to color in advertising is over, and this can, and should, weigh heavily on how you use different shades, hues and major tones to reach out to your specific target audiences. Studies have shown (Hallock) that men, for example, respond more to consistently to brighter colors such as blue and green, while women are more frequently drawn to softer colors and pastels such as purple, lavender and pink. Knowing this can help you more effectively structure your logo, website themes, corporate colors, and printed materials.
How are you using color to brand your business? Has color changed the way you go about marketing specific products, services or events? Leave your feedback below and let your voice of expertise be a branding beacon to the world!
Singh, S (2006) “Impact of color on marketing”, Management Decision, Vol. 44 Iss: 6, pp.783 – 789
Tutssel, G. (2000), “But you can judge a brand by its color” Brand Strategy, November, pp. 8-9.
Kaufman-Scarborough, C. (2002), “Seeing through the eyes of the color-blind shopper: developing
dialogues for understanding”, Colors Matters
Hallock, J. “Color Preferences” www.joehallock.com/edu/COM498/preferences.html