The Use of Colour in Marketing

Hi, I’m Franzi and I’m currently an intern here at the Dairy. In my previous article, I talked about the meaning of colour as an introduction to my three-part blog series. For part two, I will be exploring the use of colour in marketing.

Buying behaviour is largely influenced and controlled by emotions and there are many influences through which you can create emotions. Some are colours and colour combinations.

Researchers have found that up to 90% of first impressions about products can be based on colour alone – depending on the product (study: Impact of Colour in Marketing).

Observing your surroundings attentively will quickly make you realise that in similar fields of advertising, the same basic colours are used – depending on the industry and the product.

Further studies have revealed that our brains prefer clearly recognisable brands, which makes colour incredibly important if you want to create a memorable brand identity. Each colour is said to have various effects in advertising and psychology, which may increase (in combination) the effectiveness of advertising.


The most common logo colours:

Red: Red as a signal colour creates urgency and is often seen in sales. The colour red also increases your heartbeat and stimulates your appetite. It’s no surprise, therefore to see it being used in brands such as Lay’s, Coca-Cola and H&M.

Blue: Blue is often used in corporate marketing. It soothes and creates a sense of security and trust within a brand. Insurance companies and financial service providers often use shades of blue, to create a trust with their customer base e.g. Barclays. Alternatively blue is used for innovative technological or scientific products that we can put our trust into. Like Oral-B and Ford.

Yellow: Yellow represents youthfulness, logic, new ideas and optimism. It is used to grab attention and can signify clarity. Brands making use of the connotations of yellow include Nikon, National Geographic and Post-it.

Most companies choose one of the above primary colours, but there’s a wide range of other colours to choose from – all with their own individual meanings.

Orange: Orange stands for a friendly, cheerful and confident brand which has a clear call to action e.g. buy, sell or subscribe. Orange can also indicate a sense of fun and that a customer is dealing with a cheaper/discount brand.

Examples include: Nickelodeon, Amazon and Hooters.

Green: Green is often used for food products and to promote a healthy lifestyle. It is also a signifier of wealth, fertility and relaxation and shows a connection to nature – for example, outdoor clothing.

Examples: Spotify, Starbucks Coffee, National Trust, Arla, Asda.

Violet: Violet as a sensual colour is often used for beauty products. It can represent a creative, imaginative and wise brand.

Examples: beauty UK, Hallmark, Victoria Secret.

A very special combination is gold with black or white. When you see products with these colour combinations you can generally expect it to be expensive and elegant. Just think about Lamborghini, Dior or Chanel for example.

For new brands it is of paramount importance to find specific brand colours that differentiate your company from its competitors. If the competitor uses blue, you can stand out through the use of turquoise as a variant without moving away from the connotations of blue.


In my third and final article as part of this series, I will be sharing some random but very interesting facts about colour. Keep an eye on our Twitter and Facebook pages to hear more from me in the coming days!