Using Colours to Market Your Brand

Have you ever noticed that lots of social media sites are blue? Think about it: Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr all use blue as a key part of their colour schemes. While this may seem like one big coincidence, the importance of colours in marketing has been recognized for a while now, and its impact on visitors is taken into account in design schemes. Here are three things to consider while deciding the use of colour for your brand.

Colours have a wide variety of meanings

Along with making your website generally appealing to look at, it is important to remember that different colours impact people in a variety of different ways. After all, 90% of snap purchasing decisions are made based on colour alone. Though reactions to colours will of course change from person to person, and you will never be able to anticipate everyone’s reactions, knowing your target audience can help you make more informed design choices.

For example, men and women tend to favour different colours:


As you can see, men and women tend to have different reactions to purple and black, while both dislike orange and brown. This information alone can already help you pick a colour scheme for your blog with your intended audience in mind.

Colour also has a large impact on certain types of behaviour. For example, orange, black, and royal blue tend to attract impulse shoppers, while pinks and lighter blues are more appealing to traditional shoppers. This is why you’ll rarely see pink associated with fast food companies—they are trying to appeal to people who are looking to make a quick decision to satisfy a food craving.

Brand recognition and participation

The impact of colour on memory is pretty astounding. It is often one of the first things our brains focus in on—studies even show that the human mind can focus on colour photographs for longer periods of time than black and white ones. It should come as no surprise, then, how important colour can be to your brand.

Colour contributes up to 80% of brand recognition. That means that most of your brand’s image hinders on whether or not the colour scheme you’ve chosen is memorable for the reader. Think about how strange the following image is:

The very idea of Yahoo having rainbow lettering just seems bizarre, doesn’t it? Both Yahoo and Google are so deeply associated with their respective brand colours that seeing them swapped like this looks almost silly.

Buffer has a really interesting quiz here, where you can guess the online brand based on colour scheme alone. Check it out and see how you do. It really goes to show how much a website relies on colour alone.

Using colours properly—a quick how to guide:

Like I said above, you cannot fully predict what people will associate with what specific colours. However, there are noticeable trends that you need to keep in mind:


If you know the mood you’re going for, the above chart can definitely point you in the right direction.

Of course, just because you know the meanings of certain colours doesn’t mean you should automatically go mixing them together without much thought. Combining purple, orange, and green may seem like the perfect look for a website encouraging women to impulse-buy health-related products on paper, but in practice it could come off looking like a rainbow has taken over your website.  Picking a pleasing colour scheme may take a bit of trial and error, and a few glances at a colour wheel—remember high school art class and complimentary colours? Well now you know why that’s important.

Readers, how much of an impact do you think colour has on you, if any at all? Have you ever recognized a brand based on colour scheme alone? Let me know in the comments below!

Tags: audience, Blogs, brand, branding, facebook, marketing, social media, twitter