The Role of Color in Marketing [Infographics]

Use the right colors to increase brand recognition and drive purchasing.

The role of color in social media marketingIt’s more important than ever for brands to project their value. Marketers in general understand the need for consistency in color and design. But it’s also vital to move beyond the standard logo and tagline and take a holistic approach to evoking emotions among potential customers across all of your marketing channels — including social media sites. You can use color to your advantage.

Color is a form of non-verbal communication and an important part of our daily lives. The underlying emotions that colors evoke have been cultivated since birth and vary depending on age, geographic location, and gender (e.g. blue for boys, pink for girls). Color affects our moods and feelings, and research suggests that it has a physical effect as well, influencing the hormones that control our emotions. Applying color theory is one of the most powerful methods of creating customer appeal.

Why do you feel like clicking and browsing on some websites and not others? What makes you feel like purchasing from one online merchant vs. another? Could it be because of your emotional responses to their color palettes? Choosing the right color scheme is crucial to how your brand is viewed.

Studies have shown that color:

  • Increases brand recognition by up to 80%
  • Improves readership as much as 40%
  • Increases comprehension by 73%
  • Can be up to 85% of the reason people decide to buy

Some brands become so closely associated with their color schemes that we recognize them even when their company names aren’t visible. Use the two infographics below as guides to creating your online identity.

What kind of emotion do you want your brand to convey?

This infographic from Logo Company looks at the color choices used by major brands. Do you want your customers to feel that you’re trustworthy and dependable like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn? Blue might be a good choice. What about giving visitors a sense of youth, excitement, or boldness like Coca-Cola, Virgin, or Nintendo? Red may be for you.

Guide to the emotions that colors invoke

How do colors affect purchases?

Web analytics firm Kissmetrics created this infographic to describe how color psychology influences purchasing. Visual cues help drive buying behavior, and color is the most persuasive element: 85% of shoppers say color is a primary reason why they buy a particular product.

How colors affect purchases

Which colors do you use for branding and marketing? How did you select them? Do you think they impact the way visitors perceive you and your brand?

  • Yves Hudon

    Thanks Pam for this interesting paper.

    However, I am quite surprise there was no mention about color contrast in the perspective of Web accessibility for people with disabilities. According the standard WCAG 2.0 from W3C, the color contrast need to respect at a mimimum the ratio 4,5:1.

    For instance, from the examples shown in the section Color and consumer:

    – white text with a yellow backgroung gives the ratio of 1,1: 1, which means a failure according WCAG 2.0, level AA

    IMHO, Web accessibility should also be taken into account while choosing colors.



  • Nice and attractive colors are appealing which influences users to click that particular infographics, which helps to increase traffic to your site.

  • Yes, I do agree with this. Colors can influence a customer’s buying behavior. It would seems inappropriate if a restaurant would use purple or blue for a burger product, red are most likely to attract customers. Thanks for the infographics that you have included. Very detailed. :)

    • Hi Belinda,

      Glad the info is helpful! Color theory plays a huge role in our lives and definitely influences purchase decisions.


  • Toby Wallis

    First time I’ve ever seen the Barbie brand described as “Creative, imaginative, wise” !!!