Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

61. Color Theory: When It Comes To Color, This 1 Thing Matters More Than Anything Else

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Last week we talked about how to surprise and delight customers, as well as the difference between satisfaction and delight and its impact on loyalty and profits. I also wrote an article that went live on this week titled “Want to build brand loyalty? Surprise your customers—literally.” 

ALSO: The presale for the Brainy Course on pricing is now live. Lock in your discount

You’ve probably heard the basics of color theory before – that certain colors link to certain feelings or emotions in people, and so some colors are better than others for brands.

There are tons of color charts out there. I’ve even linked to a few. I’ll give you the general associations in this episode, but I’m also going to explain what really matters when it comes to using colors in your branding – the common mistakes and the most important things to keep in mind.


Show Notes:

  • [05:03] Red: is full of excitement and said to be youthful and bold. It is also said to make people hungry or angry, and is associated with stopping.
  • [05:45] Orange: is said to be cheerful and have confidence. It is also fun, whimsical, childlike, friendly, spontaneous, glowing, hot, and persuasive.
  • [06:16] Yellow: has optimism, clarity and warmth. It is also joyful, illuminating, nourishing, sunny, sweet, stimulating, innovative, energetic, hot, surprising, or can bring awareness.
  • [06:50] Green: is said to be peaceful and associated with growth and health. It can also be calm, quiet, fresh, lush, soothing, renewal, balance, life, and fertility.
  • [07:43] Blue: is associated with trust, dependability and strength. Some other words (again, depending on the shade) can be calm, quiet, water, clean, peaceful, reassuring, serene, transcendent, open, sophisticated, confident, tasteful, cool, credible, authoritative, classic, traditional, nautical, or professional.
  • [08:42] Purple: is associated with creativity, imagination and wisdom. It can also be romantic, thoughtful, nostalgic, thrilling, dramatic, regal, intuitive, mysterious or visionary.
  • [09:19] Pink: ranges from vibrant, flirtatious, attention-getting and high energy to soft, subtle, romantic, compassionate, delicate, innocent, fragile or youthful.
  • [10:08] Grey and other neutrals: are bringing balance and calm. It is also classic, corporate, timeless, quiet, logical, reserved, basic, modest, efficient, accountable, staunch, professional, sleek, classy, mature, sophisticated, and methodical.
  • [10:50] Brown: is earthy, rugged, outdoor, rustic and woodsy, but as you change the shade to chocolate it could be delicious, rich, robust or appetizing.
  • [11:28] Black: is powerful, empowering, elegant, sophisticated, mysterious, bold, classic, strong, expensive, nighttime, stylish, or prestigious.
  • [12:12] White: is positive, pure, clean, innocent, simple, airy, bright, pristine, or bridal, but it can also be seen as sterile, cold and clinical.
  • [13:11] Colors have tons of associations and meanings, and often opposite associations depending on the shade or context.
  • [14:13] Gender does have different impacts on preference for colors, which can be important for brands.
  • [16:06] Blue and green are universally predominant favorite colors. Orange and brown are least favorite for both genders. Purple is gender polarizing. 
  • [16:27] BEYOND GENDER In some cultures, white is bridal, pure and innocent, but it is a funeral color for others. Black can be sophisticated or menacing. Red can be aggressive or mean luck.
  • [19:33] THINK ABOUT BRAIN ASSOCIATIONS The associations absolutely do matter, and studies have found that appropriateness of the color to the brand persona matter quite a bit.
  • [20:18] Think about how all the context triggers come together to support or contradict the color used in your brand, logo or other aspects of your marketing.
  • [20:41] When people are not already familiar with a brand, the common emotions tied with the color of the logo make a big difference in the way they interpret the brand.
  • [21:13] When starting your brand be aware of the associations with color and the emotions those colors bring up. Knowing the color associations can also help you go against the traditional theory if that is your strategy. 
  • [23:00] When it comes to the way a designer or someone working with colors would explain the type of color, there are three important items: hue, value, and chroma.
  • [23:51] The hue is the color itself. Purple, red, and green are all hues.
  • [24:14] Value shows us how light or dark a color is – the level of brightness.
  • [24:18] Chroma is the saturation of color or its vividness.
  • [26:00] Google tested to find the perfect blue for its links. 
  • [27:13] There are ways to use color in your business, beyond brand associations and color choice.
  • [28:28] The thing that is most important when it comes to calls to action is to have a lot of contrast. This is known as the isolation effect or the Von Restorff effect.
  • [29:39] You want to pick your colors based on congruency to your message and the personality, as well as the market you are targeting.
  • [30:03] Go with contrast when picking secondary or tertiary buttons and links, so they stand out.
  • [30:22] Know what your competitors use so you can stand out. 
  • [31:26] Fight the urge of your herding brain and be different from the competition.
  • [32:05] Trendy colors generally aren’t good for brands, but they can be great for for special editions etc. 
  • [32:56] For physical items, keep in mind what your competitors are using and find colors that help you stand out on the shelf.
  • [35:31] Color is incredibly important for brands to understand and consider when creating their materials. With a little bit of thought and consideration, you can absolutely use color to your business’ advantage.

Thanks for listening. Don’t forget to subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Android. If you like what you heard, please leave a review on iTunes and share what you liked about the show. 

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