When brands use color, often times it can seem random. But what if I told you there’s scientifically-backed evidence that colors invoke instinctive human emotions that help define brands how they want to be seen? In my latest survey, I asked 50 people whether they believe that businesses use color as a branding technique and the results were astounding — only 38% of those surveyed believed that brands use colors to strategically define themselves to consumers. Well, just about 72% of business across the globe use colors as a branding technique to get you to think of them favorably. We suppose now is a good time to ask yourself how you came up with the colors you use to represent your brand. Perhaps its time to re-brand to position your business how you want to be thought of by customers and prospects. We want to dive into what colors mean when used in a branding/marketing context.
Blue is by-and-large the most powerful branding color there is. There’s a reason companies such as Facebook, Walmart, Intel, Skype, etc. use blue to represent their companies. This reason is complex. For starters, many researchers have determined part of the reason people see blue as a positive color is because they associate it with things that make them happy, such as pools and the sky. Other research has shown that blue has calming properties. In fact, Westland’s Research Group conducted a study where they monitored peoples vital signs as they entered rooms of different colors. The outcome was that the blue room lowered heart rate and blood pressure across the board. The color blue has also been linked to being a symbol of consistency, trust and dependency. From a retail perspective, blue equates to people feeling safe and is helpful in building customer loyalty. We don’t know about you, but I think all of us could benefit from running businesses that evoke a sense of trustworthiness, honesty and care before customers even enter our optical retail stores.
Hues of blue can also make a big difference. For example, pale blue represents creativity and freedom. Did you just think of Twitter? We did. Dark blue translates as a color that emits responsibility, seriousness and great knowledge. It’s no wonder that so many law firms integrate dark blue into their branding. Sky blue emits a sense of calmness, selflessness and helpfulness, which is why so many non-profit organizations use sky blue as a cornerstone to their marketing.
Green is a bit less complicated than blue. Green represents health, peace, eco-consciousness and freshness/a breath of fresh air. This is why brands such as Whole Foods, the USDA and Starbucks use this color. Thanks to societal influences, green also means “go”. We have created a positive connection to green, which makes it even more tempting to use in our branding. When running e-mail marketing tests, we often test various colors against each other as call-to-action buttons — guess which color wins out every time? Yep, you guessed it: Green!
We’re sure you’ve heard about how red equals anger and anxiety. While that is true to a certain extent, the color is more complex than that. Red is also a color that stands out amongst all other colors. If used sparingly, red can be great to capture your audience’s attention. The reason? Well, according to Emotion, a journalistic publication, people react to red more forcefully and intensely. This is why retail “sale” signs and other promotional displays/visuals utilize red. Now, red isn’t just a terrible color that makes one feel uneasy. In fact, red also represents passion, love and power. What we’re trying to say is don’t skip on using red for your Valentine’s Day campaigns because you think it will make people angry and break up with their significant others! Red is also a fairly successful color when it comes to food and taste, which is why brands like Coca-Cola, Wendy’s, McDonald’s and Chick-Fil-A use red so often.
These three colors are the most important to understand from a retail/business owner’s perspective, which is why we broke them down into more detail. Below you’ll find what the rest of the color spectrum means for your optical retail store more concisely:
Yellow: Happiness, feeling uplifted, optimism, warmth
Orange: Confidence, friendliness, adventure, fun, approachability
Purple: Creativity, imagination, wealth, extravagance, wisdom, spirituality
Pink: Compassion, femininity, nurturing, loving, youth
Human brains are complex to understand, but the point here is that color matters when it comes to your business. Black and white ads perform about 60% worse than ads filled with color. How you use colors has the ability to impact your brand and bottom line rather significantly, so next time you build an ad for your optical retail store or want to paint your retail walls, consider what each color says about your business.