The use of color in marketing is both fascinating and controversial. Much of what you see written about the usefulness of color in persuading clients to buy your service or product is simply guess work and personal opinion. Sometimes that personal opinion is based on very little experience. If you talk to ten marketing experts you are likely to get ten different opinions and possibly more! However, there is some research that suggests that there may be something more concrete in these claims and your business could benefit so it would be useful to find out more.
The problems with interpreting data on color preference
There are several problems inherent to the process of collecting and interpreting data on color preference in marketing. This first relates to the color itself. Not all yellows are the same! A bright citrus yellow is very different from a rich mustard yellow. One is a bright color associated with summer days whereas the other is an earthy, autumnal color. This affects how we feel. If you were asked if you liked yellow it would be difficult to answer. You may like some yellows and not others!
The other problem is that our reactions towards a certain color are fashioned by our own personal experiences and it can be very difficult to try and separate the two things. This makes it very difficult to rely on color alone as a branding tool. However, it can be very useful when used with other techniques
Using a range of techniques to market your business.
There is a range of techniques that you can use to increase traffic to your website and you can read more here. You can choose from many packages of support and use what suits your business best.
You can get more information on how color could fit into your marketing strategy. It seems that snap decisions are often made on the basis of color whereas more considered decisions are not.
Also, clients care if the color fits in with your brand. Beware of choosing a color because you think it will generate more sales. If it does not fit into the ethos and culture of your enterprise this simply will not work. The colors that you choose for your logos and your branding materials will influence what sort of ‘personality’ your brand is perceived to have. If the client likes your personality, they will buy your product or service.
This does not mean that you should copy the colors of established brands because customers do not like that. You need to choose your own unique combination of colors and then stick to them.
Be clever when choosing color
Think about why your client is buying your product. What would be their motivation? If for example, that are buying a product that will make them feel calm and relaxed, a mixture of high-intensity reds and yellows is not going to work for your brand. Your colors have to match the emotions of your client or at least match the way they want to feel after they have purchased your product!
Some colors do align well with some traits. For example, if your client is buying your product because they want to appear rugged and manly, brown is a good choice. In the same way, purple is associated with sophistication and could be appropriate for a high-end fashion supplier. Red is associated with excitement and could be good for kid’s toys or activities.
Be wary of green as it can be associated with calmness but is also heavily used for environmental credentials.
Targeting your ideal client
You will never get a color that will appeal to everyone so you must target your ideal consumer. Someone who will value your product, talk about it with their friends and come back and buy more.
Gender is important in this. If you are targeting men, you may want to consider blues, greens and blacks are these are favored by males. You may also want to avoid men’s least favorite colors which are orange, purple and brown. If you are targeting female clients, you could try blue, purple and red but avoid orange, brown and gray.
So, for both genders, it appears you can’t go wrong with blue!
The shade of the color is also important. Men reportedly prefer bold colors and women prefer paler shades.
Combining colors in your branding
The ways in which you combine colors is also important. For text, contrast is important. If something stands out, people are more likely to remember it. A single red button in amongst blue and white web page is more likely to be clicked. This is vitally important for conversion rates because it converts visitors to your site into paying customers. You can get lots more information on combining color palettes and color theory.
If you are not sure what combination of colors will work for your particular visitors you could try A/B testing using Google Analytics. You can compare the colors of buttons and text and see which works best on your site.
The names of colors are important
Be careful how you refer to the colors in your branding. Customers like to see sophisticated and attractive terms used to describe your colors. If you have brown in your logo, it would be best to refer to is as ‘mocha’ and scarlet sounds better then ‘red’. Visitors are more impressed by ‘burnt orange’ that they are by plain ‘orange’. The more romantic you can make it the better. Referring to the background of your logo as ‘azure blue’ will get you a lot further than calling it ‘light blue’.
The jury is still out on exactly how important color is to your marketing strategy but it clearly plays a role. If you ignore the use of color in marketing you are missing out on valuable marketing strategies that could benefit your business.