As a colour on the cool end of the spectrum, blue can be perceived as chilling and unfriendly. Despite this, it is the most popular colour for a logo, with a whopping third of the biggest brands using it. The beauty of all colours is in their duality, as blue can also bring up feelings of calm and dependability. In some African countries, blue is the colour of peace, harmony and love. Meanwhile, in the UK, the colour blue can be associated with authority as it is the colour of the police.
Ancient associations with royalty and wealth mean this colour can stray to the side of decadence if used too frequently. This long-held tradition of purple inducing feelings of sophistication and wisdom may be an advantage to some brands, as few companies use it. It could make you stand out from the crowd. Used by the Wimbledon Championships and the Aussie toiletries brand, both elicit an air of refinement and luxury.
A colour that commands attention and demands respect. Embodying power and fearlessness, igniting passion, anger and stress. Using bright red is a classic marketing trick to grab attention and create a sense of urgency. This is because red is commonly associated with danger and warning, similar to traffic lights and the Red Cross. In China, red is the colour of luck, happiness and fertility; in South Africa, it symbolises violence. So if you're feeling bold and want to make a statement, red may be a wise addition to your colour palette.
Orange is usually seen as a non-corporate colour due to its association with fun, creativity, and even immaturity. Think Nickelodeon splat. However, for the luxury brand Hermès, the hue carries confidence and courage; for some Middle Eastern countries, it represents mourning and loss. It could be another chance to stand out from competitors and bring an element of fun to your clients, depending on where they are based.
Yellow is a colour that definitely makes a statement. Bold, bright and eye-catching, it's not for the faint-hearted. But while it's often connected with ideas like optimism, creativity and extroversion, there's more to this sunny shade than meets the eye. In fact, yellow can be linked with anxiety and cowardice. This colour is also associated with intellect and wealth, which makes sense considering how many high-end brands use its variations in their branding.
Green is a symbol of all things natural, fresh and healthy. It's no wonder that health shops like Holland and Barrett use green in their branding, along with environmentally conscious companies that recognise it as a sign of sustainability. However, some may find green dull and uncreative. Nevertheless, green comes in many shades, from soft pastels to bold neons, and being around greenery has a calming effect on our brains. So when you're choosing your palette, don't underestimate the power to invigorate and soothe at the same time.
Black equals sophistication, power, and elegance. Used in a logo or as part of your palette, it can make your designs sleek and luxurious. However, on the flip side, it can represent death and mourning or coldness and oppression. For this reason, it is not for every industry and may detract from your company's objectives.
Adding white to your colour palette can definitely give you that modern, simplistic vibe if that's what you're going for, especially when paired with black. But, keep in mind that white can also be seen as sterile and represent absence, which is not necessarily a good impression for every industry or brand that wants to make an impact.
Once you know what colours can mean and their psychological effects, you can incorporate them into your strategies to better target your audiences. Here are a few ways colour psychology can impact your B2B marketing strategy.
Develop a brand identity
A brand is more than a logo or colour. To create a lasting impression, there should be emotion, values, and, ultimately, personality. So, when picking your colour palette, ask yourself: Which colours align with your company's culture and values? What do you want your audience to feel? What don't you want your audience to feel? Defining your palette ensures customers in the competitive B2B sphere can more easily identify you.
Recognising your target market's values and incorporating them into your strategy helps increase trust and understanding. Choosing colours that elicit a psychological reaction from your clients and align with what they perceive as challenges or critical factors for purchase is one way to create a relationship that allows for long-term collaboration and partnership.
Using too many colours can overwhelm your designs and audience; having a defined colour palette ensures your audience knows what is going on and can connect with your objectives and values. A colour wheel can help you decide on your palette.
However or wherever you use CTAs, they are vital to your sales funnel and should be eye-catching and powerful. Using a colour that provokes an emotional response and a sense of urgency could nudge prospective customers into action.
Ultimately, there's more than just emotion to think about when choosing a colour palette, including what colours the industry uses or won't use. For example, black may not be a good choice in the health sector because of its association with death. Where your company operates, while in the UK, blue is associated with the NHS and medical sector, in Italy, blue is associated with religion. What colours do your competitors use so you can stand out? However, understanding how your client base may react to your choice is always a good place to start.
This post was written by:
Stuart is the Managing Director of Tiga Creative Marketing. He founded the agency over 30 years ago.
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