The Psychology of Colors in Marketing

A great deal of discussion has been made with regard to colors and color schemes, with regard to their strategic application as influential energies within marketing and advertising branding.

To date we’ve discussed general color meanings, as well as complementary color palettes – now, let’s place a greater focus on the how the consumer may be affected by those colors and schemes.

The Influences of Color Marketing

Today’s savvy marketers understand that color is in fact a powerful tool in the subtle manipulation of the viewing consumer. While this sounds almost sinister in nature, this subliminal form of apparent mind control, it’s certainly nothing new… and fortunately, it’s essentially harmless – other than the fact that one’s actions may be indirectly influenced by such strategies.

For instance, brighter color schemes tend to excite the viewer, while dark or neutral colors create a more relaxed mood.

Here are the effects which may be evoked by specific colors in marketing and advertising:


  • Feelings: Warmth, nature, growth, wealth
  • Effects: Relaxed state, increased decisiveness, mind/body balance


  • Feelings: Serenity, trustworthiness, efficiency, intelligence
  • Effects: Heightened sense of security and trust, increased productivity, state of tranquility, curbed appetite


  • Feelings: Royalty, luxury, prestige, elegance
  • Effects: Enhanced creativity, greater problem solving skills, more intense imagination


  • Feelings: Urgency, energy, excitement
  • Effects: Sense of urgency, increased appetite, more intense focus, raises blood pressure/heart rate


  • Feelings: Optimism, cheerfulness, hope, energy
  • Effects: Impulsive buying, elevated logic processes, (sense of anxiety in greater doses)


  • Feelings: Energy, enthusiasm, warmth, creativity
  • Effects: Impulsive buying, heightened enthusiasm, more intense attraction

While the above are generalizations which may be suited to an overall consumer audience, keep in mind that there are certain personal or cultural considerations which may negate the commonly influential effects , as the ultimate impact will be subject to the interpretation of the individual viewer.

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