a businessman at his desk with colored pencils, coffee, a plant, and a computer
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Color Psychology: Red
August 1, 2020

August 1, 2020

Color Psychology & Choosing the Right Visual Brand Colors for Your Business


Whether you’re a marketing professional or small business owner, establishing a strong brand will help your target audience instantly recognize you. Your visual brand includes your logo, web design, and any other materials that can evoke certain emotions or actions from your ideal customers.

Because humans are such visual creatures, the colors you choose influence how people feel about your brand and even what they decide to buy. The research behind this phenomenon is color psychology.

If you’re trying to choose brand colors, you don’t have to decide on them alone! In this mini-blog series, you’ll find:

  • A brief overview of color psychology
  • What emotions or feelings are often tied to nine top brand color choices
  • A few general examples of each color-personality combination
  • When to use (and avoid) each color based on your company, industry, or strategy
  • Major brands that use these colors well

What is color psychology?

marketing team gathered around a table with colorful speech bubbles

Research on Behavior & Decision-Making

Color psychology is the area of research focusing on color’s effect on human behavior and decision-making. Studying the perceptions behind colors can help you understand how they might motivate your ideal customers. 

According to a marketing theory study, the way someone reacts to a brand’s color scheme “hinges on [its] perceived appropriateness.” In other words, does the color make sense for your business, your call-to-action, and the product or service you’re promoting?

Not an Exact Science…

It’s worth noting that color psychology is one of the most controversial topics in marketing. Human emotions and decisions behind color depend on our preferences, cultural background, and more. We based this blog series on the typical emotions behind colors in the United States, but other cultures’ perceptions may vary. (For example, Americans wear black to funerals as a sign of grieving, while the color for mourning in Chinese culture is white.)

…But Still Helpful When Paired with Strategy

So yes, you should take color psychology with a grain of salt. But we promise you didn’t just read this post for nothing! The research still helps us when we make strategic decisions about colors that portray the desired personality for your brand. Taking the time to learn about your target audience will let you understand their feelings, desires, and motivations — which smart design (and color psychology) can help you speak to.

Explore specific branding colors by clicking on the ones you’re interested in: 

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Treefrog Marketing is an agency in Lafayette, Indiana focused on small business. We specialize in strategic marketing and advertising, graphic design, web design, social media, SEO, and more. For more information, please visit our website. You can also connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Leverage Kelly’s marketing experience, insights, and leadership to grow your business.

As the founder and chief marketing strategist at Treefrog Marketing, a co-host of the Priority Pursuit Podcast, a StoryBrand Certified Guide, and fractional chief marketing officer, Kelly Rice has spent more than two decades helping small businesses take their companies to the next level by providing trustworthy leadership and building effective marketing strategies and systems.

She has dedicated her career to helping small businesses succeed because she knows, firsthand, how hard they work to make their communities a better place. 

Still, many people undervalue the strength and ingenuity of small businesses, but not Kelly. She believes they deserve to have a marketing partner and strategy that works as hard as they do.

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