Small business owner checking her tablet, surrounded by flowers in a bright shop
Color Psychology & Choosing the Right Visual Brand Colors for Your Business
August 1, 2020
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Color Psychology: Green
August 1, 2020

August 1, 2020

Color Psychology: Red


Red can evoke excitement and help you create a sense of urgency for your customers. But it can also express danger, which may not be the goal for your brand. 

In this post, you’ll learn about typical personalities we associate with the color red. You can also explore when red is effective in branding — and when it can go wrong. Finally, we’ve included links to brands that use the color in their logos and designs.

Personality & Emotions

Red is a high-energy color that physically stimulates our bodies by raising our blood pressure and heart rate. These responses often come with strong emotions like passion, a sense of danger, and even anger. Stoplights, stop signs, and fire trucks are red because it’s a highly visible color. And in these cases, it signals that danger may occur if the red objects are ignored.

When to Use Red

If you want to create a sense of urgency around your business, such as right before a clearance sale, red is a great color to use. The hue often signifies action, so making your website’s call-to-action (CTA) buttons red may drive customers to act. Red is also great for restaurants; the color is proven to stimulate appetites, encouraging customers to buy your treats! Bold, energetic brands like art studios and clothing boutiques will want to use reds in branding, too. This will evoke passion and confidence in your customers.

When to Avoid Red

Don’t use red for branding a hospital, spa, health center, or anywhere else you wish to promote a calm environment. The color can imply danger, aggression, or even pain — the opposite of what you want for visitors in the healthcare and cosmetic industries. If your business has many steps to the onboarding or buying process, you may want to limit your use of red as well. The color may express too much urgency and overwhelm someone who’s not ready to buy.

Strategic Brand Examples

color palette

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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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