The Color of Marketing

One of the single most over looked areas in marketing is the use of color. The way we view colors psychologically triggers how we feel, think, or even buy. Colors are similar to words as they both have interpretations as to their meanings. Are you stirring the right emotions with your online and offline marketing? Marketing pieces such as your web site, newsletter, company logo or business card could be sending the wrong message without you even knowing it!

With the cost of print materials ever changing you want to make sure you get it right before you go to press, checking and rechecking spelling, grammatical errors, names, slogans and more; but over looking the message you are conveying with the color. On the web we can (and should) test and modify regularly, and we are taught to change headlines and sub-headlines are rephrase paragraphs or move pictures but how many of us actually test the colors of our headlines or backgrounds and borders?

The following are frequently used colors and the definition of how these colors are perceived.

BLACK – suggests authority, power, boldness, seriousness, is distinguishing and classic. Business wise it’s great for creating drama and is good for a background color (except on websites, it is very hard on the eyes). It is ideal for text on a light background. Black also implies submission and is associated with evil.

BLUE – represents trust and suggests security, authority, faithfulness and dignity. For business it suggests sanctuary and fiscal responsibility. It is the most popular and the second most powerful color. Blue can also represent solitude, sadness, depression, wisdom, trust and loyalty.  It is associated to ice and cold. Studies have shown that people are more productive in blue rooms. Research also shows that people retain more information after reading text written in blue. Good tip for headlines in web copy.

BABY BLUE – suggests weakness.

BROWN – suggests richness, politeness, helpfulness and effectiveness. In business it suggests less important items. Brown is generally a favorite color to men. Solid, reliable brown is the color of earth and is abundant in nature. Light brown implies genuineness while dark brown is similar to wood or leather. It communicates credibility, solidity, strength and maturity.

GOLD – suggests wealth.

GRAY – suggests authority, practicality, earnestness and creativity. Business wise it is traditional and conservative.

GREEN – is the color of nature and suggests health, fertility, freedom, freshness, healing, tranquility and jealousy. Businesses use it to communicate status and wealth. It is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. It is a calming, refreshing color.

ORANGE – is associated with warmth, contentment, and wholesomeness. It suggests pleasure, excitement, cheer, endurance, strength generosity and ambition. For business it is good for highlighting information on charts and graphs. It can be used to indicate that a product is suitable for everyone, and can make an expensive product seem more affordable.
PINK – represents femininity, gentleness, well being and innocence. For business you must be aware of its feminine links and implications.

PURPLE – suggests spirituality, royalty, luxury, wealth, sophistication, authority and mournfulness. It is also feminine and romantic. However, because it is rare in nature, purple can appear artificial.

RED – symbolizes heat, fire, blood, love, warmth, power, excitement, strength, sex, passion, vitality, risk, danger, aggressiveness and commands attention. Words and objects in red get people’sattention immediately. Financially it is associated with debt, it is great for boldness and accents. The most emotionally intense color, red stimulates a faster pulse and breathing. The color red is extremely overpowering and it’srecommended to be used as an accent and not as a background.

WHITE – is the color of innocence and purity. It is most used as a background color but can also be used to accentuate or highlight a darker color. Most associate white with things that are clean and sterile. It is also used to represent cold, cool and refreshing.

YELLOW – is a spiritual color and symbolizes the deity in many religions. Bright yellow can be tiring and irritable to the eye when used in large quantities. Yellow is similar to the color red as it speeds metabolism. It is often used to highlight or draw attention and represents caution. A softer yellow is related to the color of warmth and happiness.
When designing a company logo or brand it makes sense to use color to establish an image or perceived image based on the “definition” of that color. Use of color in branding is simply common sense marketing. Take a second to think about some of the top brands to see if they have done the same. When you think of Coca-Colaâ„¢ do you see red? With Tideâ„¢ detergent you automatically think of the color Orange. Fordâ„¢ blue; McDonald’sâ„¢ “Golden” Arches; you could go on and on with the color association but the biggest point do you think it was just a fluke they picked those colors? My personal opinion is that they studied their market, researched the locations they would be selling in to determine what colors are interpreted which way’s.

You could easily do they same thing with some simple marketing research of your own. By observing other marketing efforts in the locations you will be selling too which could be time consuming if you do not live in that area or are planning on promoting world wide. An Ask Campaign using the Ask Databaseâ„¢ is even a simpler method of conducting marketing research right from the comfort of your home or office.
To find out the many ways Ask Database can simplify your marketing research visit today!

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About the author: Frank Deardurff III ( is CoFounder of, and a direct response web designer. Developing custom graphics, web sites and web applications for companies and some of today’s top internet marketers.
For more than 24 years, he has created graphic works of art utilizing industry standard design packages. He is also a Microsoft Certified – Network Consultant which enables him to pull from a wide range of acquired knowledge and resources in the computer industry.


About Frank Deardurff

My Passion is my Faith, Family, Love for Music, Art and Photography. I myself have delivered many of my own training courses as well as webinars and teleseminars for many other coaching groups. I’ve also published a book titled “50 Biggest Website Mistakes”. Having many decades of experience in various forms of graphics and IT experience and aspects of online business, my vision is to help others overcome their fears and frustration with taking their businesses online and reach the next level of success.

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