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  • Writer's pictureEduardo Limon

The Influence of Color: How It Shapes Branding and Consumer Behavior


When we think about Marketing, we usually think about strategies, campaigns and how to use them, but there is a powerful ally that we rarely mention: color. Beyond its obvious appeal, color plays a crucial role in shaping brand identities and influencing consumer behavior.

Whether we like it or not, whether we take advantage of it or not, colors evoke emotions and create associations that can make or break a brand's success. Let's see how color impacts branding (and marketing) and why understanding its significance is key in building effective marketing strategies.

Color has the ability to speak deep into our souls, triggering specific psychological responses. According to experts, colors can elicit feelings of joy, trust, excitement, or calmness. In the realm of branding, the correct application of color can help businesses communicate their values and connect with their target audience on a deeper level.

As Kate Kowalsky, Consultant & Strategist, explains, "Color psychology plays a vital role in marketing and branding. It can influence consumer behavior, create brand recognition, and make products stand out in a crowded marketplace. Use it effectively and color can create a very significant emotional connection with your target audience and greatly influence their perception of your brand." Understanding the psychology behind colors is crucial in creating brand personalities that resonate with consumers.

Ikea located at Madeleine, in Paris, France.

For example, the "everyman" archetype, a symbol of equality, often utilizes a vibrant and diverse color palette to capture attention and show belonging. Brands associated with this archetype aim to awaken a sense of fairness and strength through their visual identity. One such brand that exemplifies this is IKEA, the renowned furniture retailer. With its bright and bold use of yellow and blue, IKEA creates an atmosphere of energy, enthusiasm, and approachability. These colors stimulate creativity and make the shopping experience feel vibrant and dynamic.

In contrast, the use of color in branding can also evoke a sense of sophistication and luxury. Chanel, the iconic fashion brand, has harnessed the power of black and white in its logo and overall design aesthetic. These colors connote elegance, timelessness, and refinement. Through the deliberate use of color (or absence of it), Chanel communicates its brand values to consumers, attracting those who seek a sense of sophistication and prestige.

Colors, like features, follow the changes of the emotions. -Pablo Picasso

Color choices extend beyond logos and visual branding. They are also crucial in creating effective marketing materials, such as advertisements and packaging. A study conducted by the Journal of Consumer Research found that the color of packaging significantly influences consumers' perception of a product. The study revealed that warm colors like red and orange elicit feelings of excitement and energy, while cool colors like blue and green evoke a sense of calmness and reliability.

In the world of retail, color plays a strategic role in creating an inviting and engaging shopping experience. Following the example of IKEA, known for its flat-pack furniture and Swedish-inspired designs, incorporates a distinctive color scheme of blue and yellow throughout its stores. The vibrant blue and yellow colors not only reflect the brand's Swedish roots but also create a cheerful and welcoming atmosphere. These colors are carefully chosen to evoke positive emotions, make customers feel comfortable, and encourage them to explore the store's vast offerings.

The influence of color extends beyond individual brands. Industry sectors often adopt specific color schemes that become synonymous with their offerings, whether it is because they copy each other among competitors and a fierce lack of originality and also part that, thanks to the colors, they can evoke the basic ideas that link the sector. For example, the healthcare industry often utilizes shades of blue and green, which convey trust, calmness, and a sense of well-being. Financial institutions frequently incorporate shades of blue, symbolizing stability, reliability, and professionalism.

In conclusion, color is a powerful tool in branding that should not be underestimated. Its ability to evoke emotions, create associations, and influence consumer behavior is a key consideration in building effective marketing strategies. By understanding the psychology behind colors and their impact on consumer perceptions, brands can make informed choices in their branding and marketing efforts. In a world where visual communication is king, color emerges as the golden knight for brands to leave a lasting impression and build strong relationships with consumers.

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