Colour psychology – using colour to appeal to your target market
Every business should have a clear idea of their target market, and most of their campaigns will be deliberated created with their typical customer in mind.
There’s lots of different ways to appeal to the customers who are the best fit for your business, but colour is one method which is often overlooked.
Using colour in the right way, for the right purpose, for the right audience and at the right time can pull in new customers with minimal effort.
It’s important to recognise that there are few hard and fast rules in colour psychology that apply universally; there will always be exceptions. However, there are some generalisations which apply to enough of the market to be of real use.
Here’s a look at colour psychology and how you could make it work for you.
The gender difference
Although it’s impossible to make absolute generalisations between men and women, there does tend to be some overall differences between the colours that the different sexes are attracted to.
Studies suggest that women like blue, green and purple but dislike orange, brown and grey. The same study said that men are attracted to blue, green and black but aren’t keen on brown, orange and purple.
This is good news because it the common denominators mean that you can appeal to the maximum possible audience, and ignoring brown and orange, or using it in small doses means that you won’t inadvertently alienate your customers.
Younger, brighter colours have a tendency to be more appealing to children, or for products aimed at that market.
For babies, toddlers and pre-adolescents, using high contrast and primary colours is likely to be more successful. Patterns are less appealing for child audiences and products or services aimed at this market. Solid blocks of colour are far more likely to attract attention for the right reasons.
Teenagers are a different matter, as you might expect. Teenage girls who are younger show a preference towards pink, purple and “feminine” colours. Older teenagers gravitate towards ethnic and multicultural tones as they start to appreciate the world around them.
Adults usually have a preference for more complex colours, or tones with unusual names. Yellow is typically one of the least favourite tones.
If your product is eco-friendly and you want to appeal to a market which embraces this, green is the colour you need.
This may sound obvious but if your site has anything to do with the outdoors, environmental awareness or products, nature or organic goods, green should feature prominently.
Although the colour green screams environmental awareness and nature, it also has a dual purpose which could be quite useful. Research has shown that it’s a good choice as a colour for a call to action; you’ll see some of the biggest brands use it as the colour for their “add to cart” buttons on their websites.
Therefore choosing green not only provides a very clear message about your services or products, it also subconsciously motivates your customers to take action.
If your brand is aimed at the luxury end of the market, it can be a tricky decision. However, don’t be afraid to use black; this colour embodies elegance, power, and sophistication, ideal values for a high end product.
Of course, using black excessively can make your brand look dull and un-inspiring so the key is using the right accents to lift the colour without detracting from the ambience.
Although a direct contrast, white is another classy choice which can provide a timeless appeal. Used as a deliberate design technique, extensive use of white on your site can make your brand appear modern, clean and fresh and appealing to those looking for luxury.
Getting the colour right is a key part of your branding but using colour psychology could give your business an added appeal without any extra effort. A business which uses colour psychology in a clever way could optimise their marketing and attract new customers with a style which is instantly appealing.