We engage with thousands of colors every day, from our clothes and morning coffee to our furniture and computer screens. They spark emotions within us: a bold blue blazer can breed confidence, the dark brown of espresso invites a taste, and earth tones in the bedroom comfort our heavy heads to sleep.
Our connection to colors is why they’re so intrinsic to how brands project their values and how customers respond.
A website’s choice of color is a fundamental element that reinforces both the brand’s personality and the qualities of the products and services it offers. Color not only impacts customer experience, but can also influence perceptions and sway decisions, with different colors having the power to evoke specific emotions.
This color-emotion association is the heart of color psychology, which studies how hues can influence human behavior. Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz conducted a survey of 4,598 participants from 30 nations and found that people from all over the world actually associate the same colors with the same feelings. For example, red was globally associated with both love and anger.
The colors a company chooses for their web design and digital marketing can be used as emotional triggers to increase brand recognition and conversion rates. Research compiled by Jill Morton, Color Specialist and CEO of Colorcom, says that consumers “make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone.”
Since colors stick out strongly in our minds, a company’s brand will often be associated with the color of their logo, website and packaging. It’s vital to choose colors that match the brand’s personality best and will leave a positive impact on the customer. Color psychology can help inform this decision.
Color Psychology in Marketing Strategy
The design of a website showcases a company’s unique style and identity, setting them apart from competitors and marking the tone for their marketing narrative. The right use of color can increase a brand’s appeal, with different colors representing different ideas. Businesses need to make sure that the perceptions created align with the message they want to convey.
According to digital marketing agency WebFX, 84.7% of consumers attribute color as the main reason they buy a particular product, with 80% saying that color increases brand recognition. When you think of McDonalds, do you visualize red and yellow? Can you recognize Facebook’s shade of blue, or Starbucks’ iconic green?
That’s the power of color psychology.
McDonald’s choice of colors was designed with this in mind. The fast food chain’s bright red increases appetite and creates a sense of excitement, while the yellow of its Golden Arches fosters a sense of cheerfulness, creating positivity around the brand.
Branding isn’t the only benefit of choosing the right hues. WebFX found that ads in color were read up to 42% more often than the same ads in black and white.
Colors influence people, and whether conscious or unconscious, these visual cues impact customer behavior. Retirement service provider Voya Financial partnered with top universities to conduct research on how changing the color scheme of the options on Voya’s online enrollment interface could affect the initial contribution decisions of employees with 401(k) plans. Changing the color of the interface from orange to green, yellow and red increased the rate of personalized enrollment by 15%.
Software company HubSpot also conducted a color experiment on its website, testing the colors of its call-to-action (CTA) buttons. They found that changing their green CTA button to red resulted in 21% more people clicking the button. Everything else on the page remained the same, with the button color being the only change. Behaviorally-informed design decisions as simple as a shift in color can dramatically increase ROI.
Color psychology has the ability to help digital marketers connect with consumers, strengthen brand recognition, convey a company’s messaging and drive conversions. At Codazen, we work closely with companies toward a creative digital strategy.
Our data scientists combine color psychology with computer vision and artificial intelligence to create easy-to-use tools for our clients’ needs. Subscribe below to get our latest blog posts and see how we can help your business harness the power of color.