Last Updated: February 7, 2021
If you think that colors are used just for enhancing the aesthetics of a brand, then you are missing out on some tremendous opportunities for your business. We at HostingTribunal have collected the most interesting color psychology facts that we could find, so you can make an idea of how valuable some basic insight on this topic could be.
We often express feelings and subjective states of mind through colors: being sad is associated with the color blue, for example. But the psychology behind colors is more complex than that, and their meanings can be very different in marketing.
Using the right colors, you can actually transmit powerful messages to people without being explicit about your intentions. Let’s see how:
- 85% of purchase choices made by shoppers are influenced by colors.
- The psychological effect of colors – stress levels, mood, and behavior are also influenced!
- 93% of shoppers base their purchase decisions solely on the product’s visual appearance.
- Between 62% and 90% of a product’s first impressions are determined by its colors.
- People prefer ads in color, which they read 42% more than black and white ones – according to color studies
- Colors can increase your brand’s awareness by 80%!
- Gender and culture account for most of the differences in people’s perception of colors.
- Blue is the favorite color of 57% of men and also appeals the most to 35% of women.
- Blue is also among the best colors for business, with 33% of the world’s top brands using it in their logo.
- Orange (29%) and brown (23%) are the least favorite colors for both men and women.
Color Psychology Facts 2021 – Preferences, Associations, Differences
The purpose of colors goes well beyond mere aesthetics. They are instrumental for artists and writers when it comes to expressing various emotions, but marketers can also use them successfully.
Colors make up a large portion of people’s visual experience and we often interpret reality through sensory means before being aware of our thought process. This enables you to send strong suggestions to the unconscious of the buyers. Maybe you can learn more from these fascinating facts about colors:
1. Colors determine 85% of people’s purchase decisions!
Around 85% of all shoppers cite the color of the product as the main reason for purchasing it when describing their motivation. The implications? Color psychology can make or break your business, considering its huge importance.
2. It takes 90 seconds to form a first impression of a product.
(University of Winnipeg)
This shows how fast people make judgments about a stimulus that might be pretty complex – around 90 seconds.
Maybe you should direct your attention toward the meanings of colors, as long as the first impression about a brand weighs so much in people’s decisions.
3. Colors have a great influence on your mood, behavior, and stress level!
(Science of People)
According to psychology, different colors have different effects on your subjective experience. For example, blue suggests reliability, competence, and peace of mind. This is why it’s being heavily used, alongside other mood colors, by marketers who want to make you trust their products.
On the other hand, red is the appropriate color for transmitting a sense of urgency, passion, and excitement. Red usually evokes the desire for fulfilling your urges and impulses, but it can be associated with aggression and agitation because it accelerates your heart rate and increases your blood pressure.
While on the topic of colors and moods, yellow is the third primary color and it usually makes you feel happy, optimistic, and creative. But it can also provoke anxiety because it symbolizes warning and potential threats.
4. Perception of colors depends largely on gender differences.
Men tend to choose more powerful colors, while women prefer less bold and softer ones. However, their top 3 favorites are not that different: blue, green, and black for men; blue, purple, and green for women.
Differences also occur in what they dislike the most. Men generally despise brown, orange, and purple, while women’s least preferred are grey, brown, and orange.
5. A huge 93% of shoppers choose products based on visual appearance!
A staggering 93% of all shoppers declare that they focus on the product’s visual appearance when they think of buying it or not – which also implies shopping or choosing on-line services on the internet. For that reason, colors in web design are crucial as well.
6. First impressions are mostly determined by colors.
Between 62% and 90% of a product’s first assessment is based only on how you perceive its colors.
This takes us to the reason why you should pay a lot of attention to our next item of color psychology facts:
7. The logo color is the first thing that stands out for a customer.
(University of Winnipeg)
If you want your business to prosper, a good idea would be to invest a fair amount of time and effort in logo design and especially in the selection of its colors. Make sure the web designer you hire is knowledgeable enough and understands logo color meanings and importance.
8. Blue is king! 57% of men and 35% of women list it as their favorite one.
This explains why the color blue is so used in advertising and web design – it’s the preferred color of 57% of men and 35%.
Although you may think of blue as one of the “sad colors”, the actual feelings that it conveys are trust and security, much like another popular one – green. This is why you see so many green and blue logos in the business world.
9. Cultural differences in color perceptions are also at play.
For instance, purple is generally the color of uniqueness, royalty, and distinguished character. But for people in Brazil and Thailand, purple is a mourning color. So pay attention to these details when you target specific demographics or populations.
10. The least popular colors are brown and orange.
Some preferences are more universal than others because colors and emotions have sometimes stable relationships across all demographics.
Orange and brown can be both found among the most disliked colors, regardless of gender, culture, or age. 29% of people claim their least favorite is orange, while 23% don’t like brown at all.
Facts about Colors in Marketing
Until now, we’ve seen that colors have a wide range of psychological functions and significance. We can learn about many things through colors – including the personality of brands. Using colors, you can tell a lot about what your brand is about, and that also has to do with how well you match the purpose of the business with the colors that represent it.
In this section, we will dive into some interesting information about colors and branding that will benefit you greatly. So without further ado, let’s get it on:
11. People choose to read ads in colors 42% more than the same ones in black and white.
(University of Winnipeg)
In order for you to make an idea about how essential colors are for your business, let’s take a look at the importance of colors in advertising: as we can see from these stats, people spend 42% more time viewing ads in colors compared to the same ones in the non-color version. But how does this exactly translate to purchasing?
12. 60% of users accept or reject a product because of its color!
(University of Winnipeg)
The decision to buy something or not depends on 60% on the color depicting the brand. This stresses the fact that choosing the right palette could be paramount for your success.
13. Blue is the most used among the world’s top brands.
Blue is undoubtedly one of the best colors for marketing, being used by more than 33% of the top companies worldwide. In comparison, 29% of them use red as their main color, while 28% choose black and grey, followed by 13% users of yellow and gold.
Now let us dive deeper into the relationship between business and colors:
14. Buyers have mental associations between the product’s colors and prices.
If you want to make your product appear cheap, the easiest way to do so is by using the orange color, which 26% of people associate with low prices. Another way you can profit from the psychology of color in advertising is by doing the opposite – make your product seem expensive and high-quality by using black! (only 1% of users will see it as cheap)
15. You can use secondary colors strategically.
(Israel Abramov, Biology of Sex Differences)
In the first section, we’ve explained some of the meanings of the three primary colors. But brand color psychology goes beyond what Mcdonald’s relies on when exposing their red and yellow logo.
Green can be equally effective, suggesting stability and health and linking your products to nature-related causes and eco-friendliness. Purple, rarely found in nature, expresses luxury and it can be useful in the beauty industry. Among the best colors in business is also orange, mostly used to attract impulsive buyers.
16. Brown and non-colors have their purpose too.
Despite being usually seen as dull and uninteresting, brown can actually make your product appear comfortable and safe if used correctly. When discussing color and brand identity, we can’t forget that white transmits cleanliness, professionalism, and simplicity.
On the other hand, black can either evoke evil and death related elements or express elegance and sophistication, much like gray – which transmits intelligence, wisdom, and integrity.
17. Colors make your brand 80% more recognizable!
(Jill Morton, Why Color Matters)
Taking into account that people lean toward more easily recognizable brands, this is one more reason for you to pay close attention to your logo color: it can improve your brand’s recognition by 80%.
18. 83% of managers admit that color contributes to their brand’s success.
People from management have become increasingly aware of the effect of colors in their businesses – so much so that 83% of them place great importance on them.
This is how much value your fellow marketers put on the aesthetics, and you should adapt your strategy accordingly if you want to remain or become competitive.
Fun Facts About Colors
Now that we saw how you can use colors in marketing to make your brand more memorable, transmit the right message about the identity of your business, increase the number of sales and improve your conversion rates on websites, it’s time to sit back a little, relax and enjoy some of the more entertaining trivia that we’ve gathered for you.
19. 95% of brands use no more than 2 colors in their logo design.
As in many other walks of life, more is not always better. This is also the case when it comes to designing your ideal logo – the majority of brands will choose no more than 2 well-fitting colors and just roll with it!
Now we will advance to the next item in our collection of interesting facts about colors:
20. Black is pretty popular in the high-end industry.
Being the symbol of luxury, class, and elegance, but also expressing power and sobriety, black is used the most in high-end industries and in the production of expensive pieces of technology, cars, and clothes. Speaking of brands and their colors, what can we say about orange?
21. Orange is increasingly used for CTA buttons.
(Israel Abramov, Biology of Sex Differences)
Having a mix of characteristics from both red and yellow, orange is traditionally a color used to attract attention, energize you, and mobilize your resources. This explains its popularity for call-to-action buttons, despite the fact that many would consider orange the most hated color in the universe.
22. Heinz changed its main color and saw a $23 million growth in sales!
One of the biggest ketchup brands on the Globe changed its products’ color from red to green as a marketing experiment and woke up richer with $23 million – a simple move with a huge effect!
23. The “unisex” colors – white, black, gray, blue, and light brown.
As you may remember from the facts about the color blue, some colors are equally loved and appreciated by men and women alike. This is the case for blue (which is both genders’ favorite), black, gray, white, and light brown (which is equally hated, apparently).
24. Only 8% of men and 0.5% of women are colorblind.
(Suresh Kumar, “Consumers Buying Behaviour–A Diagnostic Study”)
If you thought that you can rule out 8% of men and 0.5% of women from the list of customers who will choose your product because of colors, jokes on you: they can still see the color blue!
25. People have developed color preference in order to adapt and evolve.
Why do we have favorite colors? The scientific truth about color preferences is that it has an evolutionary base and that it helped our ancestors in the past to avoid danger (poisonous animals in black and yellow, for example) or rotten food (brown) and to seek clear sky and water (blue).
Although it may not seem like a big deal in marketing, colors do have an important role in attracting customers and influencing their purchase decisions. The color psychology facts presented in this article show us what they can convey to people, how to use them accordingly, and why we should do that.
Colors can have multiple influences on people’s psyche: for instance, blue expresses serenity and trust, while red is the color of desire and passion.
While some colors can make you more alert and impulsive (like yellow and red), others can calm you down and induce a sense of harmony (blue and green).
It depends on the brand’s intentions, identity and target audience: finance companies use blue to suggest trust and websites have orange CTA buttons to trigger action. Keep them in mind the next time you’re deciding on a color pattern for your shopping cart.
The most attention grabbing colors are usually the ones that convey the strongest suggestions, like red, yellow or orange. Purple also stands out as being distinguished.
Colors reflect your brand’s values, personality and purpose. If you want to be successful in your business, ask yourself how suitable the colors of your logo are.
Blue is the most popular color in marketing and branding, but it really depends on the particularities of your product or service. Every color can be “the best for business” if used mindfully.