The Psychology Of Colour In Marketing

Colour affects our buying habits. An investigation by The Times in January 2016, and also reported in The Guardian,  found that certain items aimed at women and girls were more expensive in pink. They cited a well known company for example, as having a scooter aimed at girls that was £5 more in pink and that pink disposable razors at a certain supermarket were more expensive than the standard equivalent simply because of their colour. 

This isn't fair and isn't right in this day and age.  I actually couldn't believe it when I read this article. It's almost like a sexist surcharge. 

But you can't get away from the fact that colour affects what we buy.  Pick an appropriate colour and your sales can go up, pick a colour that is not a good fit for a brand and your audience and your sales can go down.  

Apparently 85% of people cite colour as one of the main reasons in buying a product so you can see that it's vitally important that brands pick they right colour for their product and logo. Don't forget too that the psychology of colour varies in each different culture.

In The UK

Blue is often associated with trust, is used by corporate brands and is liked by men.

Red creates a sense of urgency and is also associated with passion.

Green is associated with natural products and health.

Black conveys a sense of exclusivity, elegance and expense.

Orange can be seen as 'good value'.

In Other Countries

Blue is associated with healing in Turkey, Greece and Iran, whilst it is associated with femininity in Holland and masculinity in Sweden.

Red is unlucky in Germany but associated with masculinity in France and the UK

Yellow is associate with infidelity in France and envy in Russia.

Colour 'Fit'

Brands also need to think of the 'fit' of a colour to their product, or the perceived appropriateness, and although there are always exceptions to this rule, this is a general guideline. For example, Harley Davidson or Jack Daniels have a black colour scheme, as their core customers are men. To have these logos in a colour like red or pink wouldn't be appropriate for the market.

This ties in with understanding your audience and what their response would be to certain colour schemes.

Other factors to consider include:- 

 - is the product a luxury or budget product?
-  is it a fun or serious product? 
-  is it an organic or natural product?
All these questions would have colour implications.

Colour can create an emotional response in people too. Pink has been shown to calm people down and green can spark creativity. 

As you can see, if you marketing a brand, colour plays an important part in all your marketing materials, from your logo and website design to your business cards, mail shots and newsletters. 

What brands do you recognise from their iconic colour scheme?

4imprint, a leading UK company for promotional products, have created this infographic on – The psychology of colour in marketing and branding. It's interesting reading!

If you are looking for promotional products for your school, college, after school group, sports club or anything else, 4imprint have a selection of items from water bottles to pens, power banks to polo-shirts.

*PR Collaboration


  1. Wow this is so interesting. I agree. Colour do influence me.

  2. I must say this has taken me a moment to process, I agree there are certain items that i buy purely because of the colour but these days i am looking more into the style and if they have the colour i want then i will buy

    1. I think colour is one of a number of contributing factors but I guess we often don't realise conciously what a part it does play in our buying habits.

  3. This is fascinating. I am such a sucker for buying according to colour. Great to read a little more on the subject.

  4. This is so interesting! I never really think about the power that colours can have in marketing brands.

    1. Jemma, it's amazing the effect colour can have on your buying habits, isn't it?

  5. I find colour analysis really interesting, I tend to choose the colours of my clothes each day dependent on my moods so there must be something in it.

  6. This is really making me think how much I'm influenced by colour. I've always bought the men's razors rather than the silly expensive pink ones. There are definitely some colours that catch my eye more in promotion and products. This is making me wonder what my blue with hints of pink blog colour scheme says about me!

    1. Maybe it says you want your blog to appeal to men as well as women?

  7. I found this fascinating. I once read the McDonald's have a red sign as it makes people eat quicker.

    I tend to avoid pink products as they feel too "designed for girls". I didn't realise they were also more expensive!