How to use the psychology of colour to influence brand perceptions.

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Australian consumers are presented with thousands of marketing messages everyday. The abundance of advertising makes it difficult for businesses to stand out in what appears to be a crowded market. It is important for businesses to leverage the differentiating factors that will enhance their USP (Unique specific proposition) to improve the perceived value of their product or service, thus enhancing their brand. One of the main ways to achieve this is through the presentation of their brand. Major companies invest millions into the brand logo and product packaging designs as it can greatly impact the perceived value and sales of a business. Australian businesses that are seeking ways to enhance their brand must consider revamping their brand design with colours that will positively influence their own brand’s perception.

Why is the psychology of colour important to the brand?

The market your product or service is operating in can cause your offering to be perceived as a commodity. When products and services become perceived as a commodity, their perceived value drops which impact the pricing elasticity the product can achieve. Rather than the product being recognized for value in its product or service proposition, the value of the product or service will only be recognized on price. This can lead your business to engage in a price war with other providers and cut down your profit margins over the long term. For a businesses to mature successfully, it must transcend itself from price sensitive customers and stimulate demand from high-value prospects. The use of colours can drive value through other influencing factors such as emotion and attention.

How colours can be used to influence and persuade?

Colours can be used to influence the conversion rate aspects of products, services and call to actions. Ask yourself “Have you ever been in a situation such as wanting to purchase a car and you were prepared to go ahead with the purchase if they had one in black?” We are conditioned from an early age to give preference to colours. Marketers that understand the importance of colours that are used as influencing factors in their decision making process can exploit these factors to stimulate buyer motive and persuasion.Fox News did a report in 2014 where they suggested the colour can act as a shortcut to how we express ourselves in the world. It is a factor that car companies understand really well.

Colour branding breakdown.

If you would like to orchestrate the behaviors and actions of your prospective customers, it is recommended that you use the following colour scheme breakdown as a guide to selecting the right colours for your brand’s perception and competitiveness.





The colour red is a colour that can create a high impact with an audience. Red can be associated with so many factors and elements. Some of these include:














In an indirect message from a BBC, they reported in 2014 how red warps the mind and can arguably be the most manipulative colour. While all colours do impact our moods and perceptions, red is even said to influence a change in physiology through the balance of your hormones. Red is also thought to project dominance and confidence; a trait held by those that seek power. Additionally, there are links to sin, desire and seduction such as the story of the ‘Scarlet whore of Babylon’.


In terms of call to action, it is a high contrast colour that can stimulate people into taking action and making decisions. It is a commonly used colour on call to action buttons as an emotional trigger.


The colour yellow is often associated with the colour of the sun. This brings in warmth, happiness, optimism and energy. When the colour is used well, it can add vibrancy and ensure a contrast that will clearly direct the navigation pattern of the web user. Use this colour to communicate your confidence and boldness.


White is associated with purity, goodness, light and purity. White can offer the brand a sense of elegance. In some cases for products (such as cars), it can be a consideration factor for reducing heat absorption. In many faiths, white is seen as the ultimate sense of purity. Brands can leverage this into their brand marketing.


Blue triggers a sense of peace and serenity. Look up to the sky and you should be overwhelmed with the beauty of a blue backdrop. Go by the sea and you will be welcomed by the soothing sounds of the blue sea on the seashore. The colour blue can evoke a sense of trust, confidence, faith, devotion and truth.

Brands such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype and Salesforce use blue as a part of their colour branding. In the post ‘Why is Facebook Blue?’ you can see how these colours draw attention and improve the recognition for brands.


Green is a highly influential colour in marketing. In a nutshell, any association with the colour green is good. The qualities of the colour green are linked to nature, peace, well being and freshness. The colour also promotes safety, calmness and harmony. It is even believed to have some healing power.

Many people choose green as their favourite colour, which gives brands a strong advantage when it comes to influencing their perception. Brands that use the colour green to reinforce positive associations.


Orange is a fun and friendly colour. Brands that make strong use of orange include the children’s cartoon network Nickelodeon and soft drink brand Fanta. It is a colour that is associated with joy, determination, success and stimulation. When it is used in web design, it offers a clear contrast against most backdrop colours that will orchestrate the web user to interact with the most important areas of your web design.


Purple is said to be associated with royalty, nobility and prestige. If you want your brand to project the image of luxury and extravagance, then this is the colour to use. You will find that this colour has been popular with iconic brands such as Barbie, Cadbury and Yahoo.


Black is a unique colour to use in marketing branding. It is a colour that can be used in various ways. It is often associated with prestige or sophistication. It’s a colour that is widely used in the fashion industry. However, it is one that should be used cautiously when it comes to print and web design. Marketing expert David Ogilvy stated that he saw a drop off in engagement in conversions when their campaigns used a black background with a light contrasting font. This is because it increases the difficulty in reading the type font.


A combination of these colours can be used to influence the desired actions and perception that a brand wants a consumer to take. There is an interesting discussion that was published on YouTube by Entrepreneur magazine discussing the use of colours and contrasts that influenced the psychology and conversion performance of brands. You can see the video below.



Australian businesses need to consider the impact of colours on their brand’s perception and how it can be used to orchestrate the desired actions from their prospective customers. If it is something that has never been considered in your business, it is time to sit down and take a hard look at the opportunities that you may be missing. There is a golden pot at the end of the colour rainbow. It is yours to take!

About Jason Soultan

Jason Soultan has written 1 post in this blog.

Jason Soultan is the founder and director of Soul Digital, a digital marketing agency in Melbourne, specialising in digital strategy, web design and web development. He is passionate about helping businesses build and enhance their online presence as well as writing useful content that resonates with business owners.

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