The Colors Of Success

One of the single most overlooked areas in marketing is the use of color on websites and in offline marketing pieces. The way we view colors psychologically triggers how we feel, think, or even buy.

frank deardurff

Colors are similar to words as they both have interpretations as to their meanings. Are you stirring the right emotions with your online and offline marketing?

Marketing pieces such as your website, newsletter, company logo or business card could be sending the wrong message without you  even knowing it!

The Colors Of Success
The Colors Of Success

With the cost of print materials ever changing you want to make sure you get it right before you go to press, checking and rechecking spelling, grammatical errors, names, slogans and more; but overlooking the message you are conveying with the color.

On the web we can (and should) test and modify regularly, and we are taught to change  headlines and sub-headlines and rephrase paragraphs or move pictures but how many of us actually test the colors of our headlines or backgrounds and borders?

The following are frequently used colors and the definition of how these colors are perceived.

BLACK: Suggests authority, power, boldness, seriousness, is distinguishing and classic. Business wise it’s great for creating drama and is good for a background color (except on websites, it’s very hard on the eyes). It’s ideal for text on a light background.

Black also implies submission and is associated with evil.

BLUE: Represents trust and suggests security, authority, faithfulness and dignity. For business it suggests sanctuary  and  fiscal responsibility.  It  is the most popular and the second most powerful color.

Blue can also represent solitude, sadness, depression, wisdom, trust and loyalty. It is associated with ice and cold. Studies have shown that people are more productive in blue rooms.

Research also shows that people retain more information after reading text written in blue. Good tip for headlines in web copy.

BABY  BLUE: sSuggests weakness.

BROWN: Suggests richness, politeness,  helpfulness  and  effectiveness. In business it suggests less important items. Brown is generally a favorite color for men. Solid, reliable brown is the color of earth and is abundant in nature.

Light brown implies genuineness while dark brown is similar to wood or leather. It communicates credibility, solidity, strength and maturity.

GOLD: Suggests wealth.

GRAY: Suggests authority, practicality, earnestness and creativity. Business wise it is traditional and conservative.

GREEN: Is  the  color  of  nature and suggests health, fertility, freedom, freshness,   healing,   tranquility   and jealousy. Businesses use it to communicate status and wealth. It is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. It is a calming, refreshing color.

ORANGE: Is associated with warmth, contentment, and wholesomeness. It suggests pleasure, excitement, cheer, endurance, strength generosity and ambition. For business it is good for highlighting information on charts and graphs.

It can be used to indicate that a product is suitable for everyone, and can make an expensive product seem more affordable.

PINK: Represents femininity, gentleness,  well  being  and  innocence. For business you must be aware of its feminine links and implications.

PURPLE: Suggests spirituality, royalty, luxury, wealth, sophistication, authority and  mournfulness. It is also feminine and romantic. However, because it is rare in nature, purple can appear artificial.

RED: Symbolizes  heat, fire, blood, love, warmth, power, excitement, strength, sex, passion, vitality, risk, danger, aggressiveness and commands attention. Words and objects in red get people’s attention immediately.

Financially it is associated with debt. It is great for boldness and accents. The most emotionally intense color, red stimulates a faster pulse and breathing. The color red is extremely overpowering and it’s recommended to be used as an accent and not as a background.

WHITE: Is the color of innocence and purity. It is most used as a background color but can also be used to accentuate or highlight a darker color. Most associate white with things that are clean and sterile.   It is also used to represent cold, cool and refreshing.

YELLOW: Is  a spiritual color and symbolizes the deity in many religions.

Bright yellow can be tiring and irritable to the eye when used in large quantities. Yellow is similar to the color red as it speeds metabolism. It is often used to highlight or draw attention and represents caution. A softer yellow is related to the color of warmth and happiness.

When designing a company logo or brand it makes sense to use color to establish an image or perceived image based on the “definition” of that color. Use of color in branding is simply common sense marketing.

Take a second to think about some of the top brands to see if they have done the same.

When you think of Coca-Cola™ do you see red? With Tide™ detergent you  automatically think of the color Orange. Ford™ blue; McDonald’s ™ “Golden” Arches; you could go on and on with the color association but the biggest point do you think it was just a fluke they picked those colors?

My personal opinion is that they studied their market, researched the locations they would be selling in to determine  what  colors  are interpreted which ways.

You could easily do they same thing with some simple marketing research of your own. By observing other marketing efforts in the locations you will be selling to which could be time consuming if you do not live in that area or are planning on promoting world wide.

A research Campaign using YURPL™  is  even  a  simpler  method of   conducting   marketing   research right from the comfort of your home or office.

When designing your website you have to think about your audience and what your objectives are for your site. What colors will best help you accomplish your goals?

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Frank Deardurff

An early love for graphics brought me online over 20 years ago which lead me to consume a vast knowledge in marketing, conversion, design and various types of web technologies. That information led to becoming a web master, serial entrepreneur, author, coach, trainer and That One Web Guy!

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