Influencing consumer behaviour with colour

A spectrum of possibilities

Colour is all around us – we see it everyday yet rarely take notice of how it impacts our lives and our emotions. Did you know that through proper use of colour management, colour can have a direct impact on how we interact with brands?

The emotional effect of colour

When looking at colours, each has an emotional quotient whereby people respond either by looking towards or away from your product or brand design. When choosing a brand colour, there are many factors to consider – such as the target audience, psychology of the colour, matching between colour and product, etc., but the idea is that choosing the right colour can be crucial to the success of your product or brand.

When determining the best colour for your branding or marketing strategies, keep in mind that red, blue, black, and shades of grey are the 4 most commonly used colours. Interestingly, companies use only one or two colours along with an icon or just text.  Less common, but still popular are companies who choose 3 colours or more for their logo and an image alongside text.  Will the colour of our brand be determined by a factor such as the gender of your target audience?  The following chart demonstrates the results of studies conducted amongst both male and female participants in relation to how they experience colour, and their colour preferences.

Favourite Colours


Least Favourite Colours



Studies have shown that foreshadowing a consumers reaction to colour and design is far more important than the colour itself. This is because some people may like purple over white but when looking for toilet paper they don’t want purple paper, they prefer white paper.  This is because the colour white suggests cleanliness and softness – who doesn’t look for those qualities in their bathroom tissue?  Did you know colour also translates into a brand’s personality? The chart below illustrates the 5 Dimensions of Brand Personality that can be found within the following colours: Cyan, Magenta, Green, Purple, and Yellow. Crossing between two personality traits can be possible and is found to be effective when used appropriately, although one colour usually dominates over the other. For example, Best Buy has two main colours, blue and yellow, and although a lot of their marketing and branding it blue, yellow is seen by consumers as the dominant colour.

“The kaleidoscopic nature of colour theory means we may never have definitive answers.” – Gregory Ciotti