The Psychology of Color and How it Applies to Successful Marketing

Color psychology is about how colors affect people’s perceptions and behaviors.

In the world of marketing, marketers carefully select colors based on how they will impact customers’ impressions of a brand and product.

Get the color scheme right and you could persuade consumers to choose your brand’s products over another. So, when coming up with marketing strategies for your business, it is important that you understand psychology and use it appropriately.

Warm and cool colors

The first thing you should know about color psychology is the difference between cool colors and warm colors. Cool colors are ones like blue, purple, and green, while warm colors refer to ones like red, yellow, and orange.

In general, cool colors can make people feel calm. Though, they can also create feelings of sadness or neutrality. Warm colors typically evoke feelings of warmth, but the color red can also signify anger or danger.

different colors in psychology

What different colors represent

To get a better understanding of how you can appropriately use colors for successful marketing, you should know what specific colors can represent in more detail. So, here is a brief overview.


Blue can represent things like calmness, security, strength, and trust. It can cause people to feel a brand is dependable and trustworthy. However, sometimes blue can signify coldness and unfriendliness.


Purple can signify things like wisdom, sophistication, and wealth, so many brands use purple to signify a superior product or brand. Though, purple can also represent moodiness and decadence.


Green, the color of nature, can signify naturalness, health, freshness, relaxation, and hope. So, it is often used on fresh food products and natural beauty products, and by brands that are focused on eco-friendliness. But green can also signify stagnation and blandness.


Yellow represents warmth, happiness, and youthfulness. Though, sometimes it can create feelings of irrationality and anxiety.


Orange can bring about feelings of warmth, courage, confidence, and creativity, although when used on some products, it can also come across as immature.


Red is a little more complex. It is a powerful color that is often used in marketing because it can signify passion, excitement, power, and energy. It can also cause people to feel hungry, so it can potentially be a good color to use on food products. But red can also create feelings of danger, aggression, and pain.


Pink is often used for fun products and feminine products. It can make brands feel imaginative, youthful, or quirky. But when used on the wrong product, it can come across as immature or cheesy.


Black is often used for high-end luxury products as it can create feelings of sophistication, elegance, and power. But when used on the wrong products, black can signify darkness, coldness, and even evil.


White can create feelings of innocence, purity, and freshness. However, it can also make products feel plain and boring. White is typically best used in marketing when combined with other colors.

Combining colors

There are two sides to every color in terms of what they represent, so it is important that you match colors to the right brand or products. You also need to carefully consider what a combination of two or more colors can represent.

Combine colors in the right way for your brand or product and you can successfully use color psychology to reach potential customers.

For instance, McDonald’s uses yellow and red in its branding. The yellow signifies sunniness and positivity while red is appetite-inducing and makes people feel happy.

Consider the global market

If you are selling products or services in the global market, you need to consider your use of color even more closely. You may need to even change your color schemes for products depending on the country you are targeting.

The reason is that colors can signify different things in different countries, especially in eastern countries compared to western countries. For instance, red can signify luck in China while it can signify danger in the west.

You can bend the rules to suit your specific brand or products

While there are certainly some general rules in place with regard to color psychology and its impact on marketing, at the same time, not every customer will respond to the same colors in the same way.

Personal experiences can cause colors to lose their universal meaning. So, while every marketer should understand the effects of color psychology, marketers should also not necessarily stick to hard and fast rules.

The key is to find colors and color combinations that work well for your specific brand and products. For instance, black is not usually used for bathroom products, but Alpecin caffeine shampoo bottles use black as the main branding color.

By doing so, the company has understood that it can stand out on shelves in a crowded marketplace, while also using black to tie in with the product’s main ingredient: i.e. – We associate black coffee with caffeine.

You do not need to have design skills to create the right color scheme for your brand and products

You do not have to study design and color psychology in order to choose the right colors for your marketing efforts. Instead, you can use a free online color scheme generator that will help you find the right colors for your brand, your products, and other design purposes. 

Get started with VOCSO’s Color Palette generator. The easy-to-use tool helps you to create the ideal color scheme for your project in a matter of minutes.

Though, if you do want to learn more about using color for marketing, you may want to consider enrolling in a graphic design course.

The takeaway

While you can use color scheme generators to help you come up with the perfect color scheme for your brand, products, or services and thereby create successful marketing, it is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the meanings of different colors, how combinations of different colors can mean different things, and how colors can mean different things in different global marketplaces.

You will then be much better positioned to create successful marketing campaigns and ensure your brand can compete in crowded markets.

By using color psychology wisely in your branding and marketing, you can create greater consumer interest and, ultimately, generate more brand awareness and greater revenue.

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