Colors in Marketing (part 1)

As every color can have a different color in the minds of consumers, it is important for marketer to, at least, know the basics of the color spectrum. Some main insight are that perception of colors may differ from culture to culture, when presented in different brightness and when combined with other colors, but generally speaking if you hold to the rule of thumb that the colors associations come from nature, you will be alright. So here is a description of the main colors:


Black is the color of night. As people usually sleep at night and, thus, are most vulnerable, black is usually associated with evil, taboo, death, gloom and mystery. It is not thus surprising that people respect black and associate it to strength, power, and authority. In fashion people wearing black appear thinner, giving black the feel of elegance, sophistication and style. Black can further imply submission, making it a seductive color.

Overall black is a serious color that evokes strong emotions, which can become overwhelming in large dozes.


The opposite of black, white symbolizes light. It is a neutral and simple color, sometimes perceived as absent or transparent, thus may leading to a perception of wide spaces. As it is easy to get white dirty, making it a color of cleanliness and sterility. White is also a color of the beginning and the end, thus, being associated with life, purity and youth and sometimes death (specially in the Eastern countries, such as China).

Overall white goes with everything.


Red is the color of blood and fire, elements of nature, conditioned to immediate reaction. Red is often the first color that people notice and it stimulates faster breathing and heartbeat. On this account, red is sometimes associated with love, strength, excitement and arousal. It is often used to emphasis events, such as, sports, occasions and holidays (i.e., speed, red roses and Christmas) and thus it is a color of life.
Overall, red is the most emotionally intense and heavy color and it well suited to complement other colors.


While red is a color of passionate love, pink is a color of a “smooth” love. Pink is the most calming of all colors, as it drains energy and calms a person. Pink is associated with romance, love, gentle feelings and security, being often a symbol of femininity.


Blue is the color of the skies and oceans, and it is considered to be one of the most popular colors. As watching a cloudless skies or slowly moving water can be a very relaxing and peaceful experience, seeing blue may result in the feeling of calmness and tranquility, thus being the opposite of the red color. Blue is often being blamed for the feelings of boredom, as it might also be perceived as cold and depressive. In business blue is a popular color as it symbolizes wisdom, honor, loyalty, and trustworthiness. Blue is also a productive color. For example, studies show that weightlifters are able to lift more weight in blue gyms. In restaurant business, blue is a bad color to use as it decreases appetite.


Green is the color of untamed nature, thus being associated with growth, fertility, peace and freedom. It is the easiest color on the eyes, which can help to improve vision, as well as to create a feeling of harmony, calmness, refreshment and relaxation. Moreover, dark green is masculine, conservative, and implies money and luck.

(Stay tuned for the part 2 of “Colors in Marketing”!)

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  1. Emotions and colors « Intro Marketing

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