Color theory’s critical – but often hidden – role in marketing

If you haven’t thought deeply about the relationship between color and branding, a quick look around any retail environment will be an eye-opener. Consider the rich red tones used by Coca-Cola, the warm pink hues of Victoria’s Secret, or the bold green colors used by BP.
Color theory within the context of advertising and marketing plays a key — but not always obvious — role in how consumers perceive and understand these brands. Before we begin to process a marketing message (whether through advertising or by viewing a simple logo), we first experience the color in which that message is embedded. How we relate to that particular color often sets the tone for everything that follows.

Using color to connect with audiences

Satyendra Singh, an academic researcher at the University of Winnipeg, published results from a study that showed two very interesting things. First, people make up their minds about brands or other people within 90 seconds of meeting them. Second, between 62 and 90-percent of this assessment is based on color. The choice of color plays an instrumental role in influencing moods and feelings — and ultimately attitudes.

Given this importance, a strong grasp of color theory can help support marketing efforts by making messages more resonant and powerful. Choosing the appropriate primary colors, secondary colors and tertiary colors can also make messages much more readable and help with comprehension. By failing to grasp the importance of color, the effectiveness of messages can be significantly diminished.


With that in mind, here are some key things to understand before choosing your own color schemes:

  • If you’re looking to maximize conversions (and who isn’t?) choose bold and bright primary colors. Primary colors, such as blue and red, are those which can’t be created by the combination of other colors. Darker colors typically have lower conversion rates.
  • Consider the benefits of blue. Look around at corporate marketing and branding and you’ll see that no color is as popular as blue. Facebook, IBM, American Express — the list of prominent firms that use blue is a long one. In fact, 51-percent of Fortune 500 logos contain some shade of blue.
  • Choose simplicity over complexity. 82-percent of Fortune 500 firms use two or fewer colors in their logo. By keeping your color scheme simple, you encourage immediate brand identification (Coca-Cola and red, Facebook and blue, etc.).
  • Red delivers a message of energy. Blue evokes feelings of trust and placidity. Green generates feelings of naturalness. Orange and purple are “fun” colors. Black suggests luxury. If you understand the specific feelings and mood each color evokes, you’ll be on your way toward successfully applying color theory in your advertising and marketing.

Finding the right partner

There’s no need to type “top Florida advertising agency” into a Google search; BIGEYE is right here and we’re ready to help. We’ve helped countless clients understand and apply the insights of color theory for their own benefit, and we’d be happy to do the same for you.

By creating sophisticated and highly compelling content — and pairing it with an innovative and data-intensive approach to distribution — BIGEYE is able to deliver exceptional marketing ROI for all of its clients. Contact our team today and let’s spin the color wheel together.

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