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Understanding the Use of Colors in Marketing

By September 22, 2021No Comments5 min read

Visuals are a crucial part of communications. As visual creatures, people connect more with what they see. While words send a message to the consumers, they are not sufficient enough to achieve the goals single-handedly. Marketers, therefore, back up their marketing tools (words and alluring images) with other tools to capture the customer’s attention, connect and send their brand message.

Marketers and designers know and understand the role played by colours in determining the success of advertisement and branding. The focus on colour is meant to impact the customer’s impressions of brands and make them consider buying specific products.

Colour largely relies on the subjective experience of the person and cannot be universally be applied as one preference fits for all.

Colours evoke the emotions of the customers, creating brand relevance in their minds and motivating their purchase. Colours are used to give the audience the perception you want them to see, feel and do. Correct colour choice and its understanding is therefore very crucial in impacting the brand message, forming market assets, building new businesses or rebranding.

When talking about building a unique brand identity, we mentioned the importance of establishing visuals to evoke an emotional connection through brand messaging. The brand colours (colour palettes) are important and should be part of a brand style guide for effective branding and marketing.

Here is what you should know about the use of different colours and their impact on marketing and advertising.

Colours in Marketing

Colour psychology studies how colour influences people’s behaviour towards a brand, their decision making and in this case what they purchase.

A good choice of colours will help people decide what is important and suit them. As such, marketers and advertisers need to understand the role different colours play in branding.


Red is an attention-grabbing, energetic and vibrant colour. It sends signals and emotions of danger and urgency. It stimulates the body, raise the blood pressure and heart rate of someone due to the mixed emotions of excitement, passion, confidence, boldness, and movement, love and warning.

It leads customers into making urgent decisions of purchasing through tags like Order Now! Offer! Clearance of Sale! Red arouses the appetite of the consumers, especially in fast-foods and restaurants.

In most dating apps or sites, red is used to communicate love and stir up the emotions of needing love or a partner. On YouTube, it creates a sensation of the desire to watch videos.


Orange is an interesting colour, a blend of colour red’s power and energy and colour yellow’s friendliness and fun. It is used to provide comfort and warmth and stimulates consumer’s appetite.

Orange offers motivation and a positive attitude as well as giving encouragement and creating a sense of freedom and enthusiasm to the customer’s mind. Its attractiveness yet not so commanding effect as red sends caution and allows creativity and adventure which leads to impulse buying.


Connected to the environment, green is a versatile colour that creates balance and harmony. It is warm and sends feelings of pleasure, nature, good health, goodwill rest, stress relief and peace. It signifies fertility and growth thus associated with wealth creation thus mostly used by banks and money-mobile platforms like M-PESA. It is also used to promote good healthcare and natural products.


A sign of sunshine. It is visible from far which depicts energy and youthfulness. It sends emotions of joy, happiness and cheerfulness. It displays friendliness, confidence and inspiration thus lifting the spirits of people creating positivity and optimism.

This inspiration causes the desire to have the product or service or its use. Snapchat’s logo is yellow in colour and is often used by the youthful generation in communication and display of the “energetic” lifestyle.


Associated with the sky or sea. It depicts coolness and is an indicator of trust and dependability and is often associated with the masculine gender. Blue is used to communicate more to the mind than the physical in that it brings calmness.

Blue connotes stability, harmony, peace, tranquillity, mental soothing, refreshing, reliability and responsibility thus a better colour to build relationships. This is evident in Facebook and Twitter logos as tools connecting people globally.


Signifies the colour of the earth, wood or stone. It may not be as stimulating as other colours because of its reserved feel. It is a safe colour to use where black can be used.

It is a sign of security, structure, protection and support. It reflects dependability. Brown is usually used in natural products and organic food to indicate originality.


Pink expresses softness and care. It evokes emotions of compassion, love, empathy, caring, sensitivity, understanding and nurturing.

Pink is often associated with the feminine gender than males. It is a sign of hope, sweetness and romance hence its use is to convey this such as the bakery industry.


Creates imagination and spirituality in people. It is a combination of red and blue thus balancing the mental and physical aspects of connection.

It signifies royalty, luxury, magic, power and nobility. It soothes and gives room for creating new ideas thus associated with wisdom.


A symbol of treasure, luxury, kingly, charm and confidence. It is used to communicate friendliness, abundance and prosperity which is naturally attractive. It’s used to market luxurious products like jewellery and trophies.


Reflection of control, seriousness, elegance and sophistication. It is a powerful colour that sometimes relates to sadness, negativity and mystery. It communicates power hence its use in luxurious products, professional outfits and classy vehicles.


Symbol of peace, purity, cleanliness and completeness. It indicates simplicity and humility. It communicates new beginnings and refreshing ideas hence often used in weddings and website backgrounds.


In having a unique brand, working with colours in mind is important to convey the brand message to the audience. Colours should be used strategically with the audience in mind and what the brand is selling and not what looks good to you. You don’t want to misrepresent your brand!