Does Colour Have an Impact on Buyer Behaviour?

Put simply, the answer to this question is a resounding YES. Colours have the power to incite powerful emotions; the animal kingdom has exploited this quirk of nature for millions of years. Animals have evolved colours that either say “look at me, I’m beautiful” or “stay away I’m poisonous” (even when they’re not).

We’re not going to ponder too much on WHY colours can evoke such powerful emotional responses, we’ll leave that to the scientists and psychologists. For the purposes of this blog, we are just going accept the fact that colour does trigger emotional responses.

There are 11 key colour related emotions:

RedPhysical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, ‘fight or flight’, stimulation, masculinity, excitement.Defiance, aggression, visual impact, strain.
BlueIntelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm.Coldness, aloofness, lack of emotion, unfriendliness.
YellowOptimism, confidence, self-esteem, extroversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity.Irrationality, fear, emotional fragility, depression, anxiety, suicide.
GreenHarmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium, peace.Boredom, stagnation, blandness, enervation.
VioletSpiritual awareness, containment, vision, luxury, authenticity, truth, quality.Introversion, decadence, suppression, inferiority.
OrangePhysical comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance, fun.Deprivation, frustration, frivolity, immaturity.
PinkPhysical tranquillity, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality, survival of the species.Inhibition, emotional claustrophobia, emasculation, physical weakness.
GreyPsychological neutrality.Lack of confidence, dampness, depression, hibernation, lack of energy.
BlackSophistication, glamour, security, emotional safety, efficiency, substance.Oppression, coldness, menace, heaviness.
WhiteHygiene, sterility, clarity, purity, cleanness, simplicity, sophistication, efficiencySterility, coldness, barriers, unfriendliness, elitism.
BrownSeriousness, warmth, Nature, earthiness, reliability, support.Lack of confidence, dampness, depression, hibernation, lack of energy.


Colour is crucial. The colour of your brand really can make all the difference to your success. It is important to use colour right, get it wrong and you may suffer sales losses, all because of some deep primeval reaction! Each and every colour you use within your branding (or for an individual product) can have positive and negative effects on your audience. The trick is finding the perfect balance, something that reflects your brand values.
According to the psychology department at Cobalt and UCL, colour is more memorable than both shapes and names. Another study by the University of Loyola suggests that colour increases brand recognition by up to 80%!

Just consider that for a moment, colour increases brand recognition by up to 80%. This means it really is important to own your colour; it’s important that your colour is different from that of your competitors. Let’s use a popular brand as an example. Vodafone, the mobile phone network is known for being red. Who are some of Vodafone’s competitors? You’re probably thinking of other mobile phone networks (notice all the major UK phone networks use different colours to differentiate themselves). Well you’re not wrong, but you may be surprised to know that Vodafone is also in competition with another well known brand, not operating in the same industry. This brand is Coca Cola.

Coca Cola was one of the first brands to use red and they now find themselves in competition with a mobile phone network. This is because at least 30% of the UK now associates red with Vodafone, before Vodafone came along Coca Cola had what you could describe as a ‘monopoly’ on the colour red.

When it comes to the colour of products, research shows that 73% of purchasing decisions are made in-store. Furthermore, studies conducted by the Henley Centre have shown that colours can be used to create a positive influence on the consumer’s purchase process for the 3 main categories of shoppers:

  • Impulse buyers – who are most affected by red, orange and royal blues.
  • Shoppers who intend to stick to a budget are mostly influenced by pink, teal, light blue and navy.
  • Traditionalist shoppers best respond to pastel pinks, rose and sky blue.

To further complicate matters, colour association also varies by location. The current consensus is that this is due to the importance of different colours in culture and religion.

At Hype Marketing, we understand the importance of colour in branding. This is why we always consider the values of our client’s businesses when creating a brand for our clients.

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