How Color Psychology Works
Updated: Jan 2
I'm sure you've looked at quite a few Instagram profiles at this point and admired those beautiful grids that just look...beautiful. Sometimes the beauty isn't in the images, but just in the coordinated look of the colors used.
Perhaps you've gone to Target and felt energized as soon as you walk through the door. Well, there's a lot of reasons why that happens, but part of the reason is the same. We're talking color psychology today and its importance in branding and marketing in general.
Color psychology, in a nutshell, is the study of how particular colors make you feel and act. Marketers (and personal brand photographers) understand this well and use color psychology very carefully in the best interests of their clients.
Let's examine a couple examples and really get a feel for what this means.
This is the Target logo and all you can see in their store is red.
Red usually signifies daring, energy, excitement, love, and stimulation.
Sound like your trips to Target? They sure sound like mine. Perhaps they also feel different from your trips to Wal-Mart.
Walmart certainly has a different feel to their logo, so let's break it down and see if it reflects how you feel on your shopping trips.
Blue usually signifies comfort, competence, duty, intelligence, and security. Yellow signifies cheerful, confidence, happiness, sincerity, and spirited.
Can you purchase toilet paper at both brand locations? Yes! Does it feel the same though?
These are prime examples of color psychology in works. Target wants you to feel excited and stimulated so you purchase more. I think they do a pretty successful job, since most folks I know say they find things they never knew they needed at Target.
Walmart, on the other hand, is going for stability, comfort, friendliness, and trust. They want you to think of them as your old trusty toilet paper provider. You're always going to find what you need and that's their main goal.
When you sit down and analyze colors, hopefully you can name some feelings you naturally have related to each color on the spectrum. They probably reflect pretty closely with established color psychology theory.
When we break down those Instagram profiles, those grids are usually following similar rules. I ask my brands to choose 2 or 3 colors that reflect their mission, style, and tone. Golden Wolf, for example, uses teal and gold to convey balance and trust (teal) and sophistication, achievement, and luxury (gold).
They then use their brand colors in every photo, whether it's wearing that color, using it in an accessory, or even using a tinted photo filter on all their images.
Not only do you look coordinated, but you also subconsciously communicate to your customers some value on who you are as a brand. The coordination increases your reputability and with that, your customers increase their trust in you because you're consistent in who you say you are.
And trust leads to...purchases!
It all loops back in a beautiful marketing circle. I'll be back soon- I'm headed to Target.
Want to know more about color psychology? Check out my FREEBIE!
Check out my Definitive Guide to Personal Branding, the Marketing Mind Map, and my Consultation Key for Personal Brand Photographers!