BrandArena: Branding: Effect of Colour on Product Perception

Thursday 20 November 2014

Branding: Effect of Colour on Product Perception

In principles of Marketing by marketing gurus Philip Kotler and Gary Amstrong, a brand is defined as a "name, term, sign symbol (or a combination of these) that identifies the maker or seller of the product".

One of the key elements of building a strong brand is colour selection. Every colour has a different feel and various associations. By choosing a colour or a combination of colors for your brand identity, you will take on those associations.

Psychologically, colours evokes certain emotions and feelings towards your brand so it is vital to choose a color that will represent your identity effectively. If you own a color in your industry, this color will symbolize your product. This can act as a great identifier. For example, if you sell physical goods, your packaging will stand out from the competition. The color will also be recognizable on any promotional media and your logos.

Some brands choose not to associate themselves with one colour. Instead of two or three colours, they choose four or more. This represents variety. This makes sense for brands that are platforms or marketplaces as they host vast amount of different applications or goods.

When branding a product or coming up with a logo, some questions to ask yourself: What colour represents your brand's personality? What colour suits the characteristics of your product/service? What colour does your competitor(s) use?

Colours aren’t tied to any particular industry — though some may be better suited for some services/products than others. You should aim to pick a color that will represent your brand’s personality best.

One that will give your customers the right impression the first time they see it. You aren’t limited to one colour. Some brands like Google choose to go with many colours to represent variety — but you can also choose a couple of colours that work well together. Consider differences in cultural interpretations of your colour.

For instance in the Europe, white is considered the color of purity and peace, while, in some parts of Asia white is the colour of death. There is a need to ensure the colour selected will give the right impressions in the markets you’re present in i.e a colour opposite to that of your main competitor.

A brand’s strength lies in its ability to stand out. Picking the same color to that of your key competitor makes you a me-too product. Instead, you want to separate yourself from the competitor, you want to show that you’re different.

The colour of your main competitor is probably the most important point to consider. If you’re the first in a new industry or market segment, then you have first picks. Choose the color that represents your product and its personality. If you’re second, then that first choice may already be taken.

Research reveals people make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone.

When it comes to identifying your brand, your logo is probably the first thing your customers will think of.

While honing the narrative and message behind your logo should of course be your primary concern, research suggests that your logo’s design and specifically its colours - have more bearing on your customers’ opinions than you might think.

Colour can become a key part of any brand. Whether your logo is red and intense, yellow and joyful or black and mysterious, its colors are announcing something to the customer. As you create the perfect logo, be sure to pay attention to the color messages you're sending.

How do Colours Influence People?

Red is often associated with the heat of sun and fire and is considered a high-arousal color, often stimulating people to take risks, according to color think tank, Pantone. It has also been shown to stimulate the senses and raise blood pressure, and it may arouse feelings of power, energy, passion, love, aggression, or danger.

Yellow is often associated with the heat of sun and fire and is considered a high-arousal color. It may stimulate feelings of optimism and hope or cowardice and betrayal.

Blue is often associated with the coolness of the sea and sky. It has been shown to calm the senses and lower blood pressure. It may stimulate feelings of trust, security, order, and cleanliness.

Orange is often associated with the heat of sun and fire and is considered a high-arousal color. It may stimulate sharing, feelings of energy, balance, and warmth.

Green is often associated with the coolness of leaves. People often associate it with nature, health, progress, good luck, and jealousy.

Purple is generally considered a low- arousal color. It may stimulate feelings of spirituality, mystery, royalty, or arrogance.


Symbolizes feelings of practicality, old age, and solidarity. But too much grey can lead to feelings of nothingness and depression.


White is associated with feelings of purity, cleanliness and safety. Can be used to project an absence of color or neutrality. White space helps spark creativity since it can be perceived as an unaltered, clean state.

Black is a colour with a split personality. On the one hand it implies power and sophistication, but on the other hand it is associated with villainy and death.

More mundanely, most logos will need a black and white version for use in media in which colour is not available – and there is currently a trend for bold monochrome logos and word marks.

So, how are you incorporating colour into your branding and marketing efforts?

1 comment:

  1. Find this article quite interesting and helpful. Thanks