Is colour really that important to your brand?

Interbrand have recently released their Top 100 Best Global Brands of 2015. There’s no surprise that many of the top brands are technology and/or online related, with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Samsung & Amazon all in the top 10. What makes these brands stand out over all the rest? Apart from the sector their business is in, what affects their brand equity? You may be surprised but colour plays a major part when it comes to brand trust and influence on customer decisions.

Marketo has done some fantastic research in the area of brand colour and how it influences consumer emotions towards brands and ultimately customer purchasing decisions. This research focuses on the psychological reaction consumers have to certain colours and how that impacts their perception of a given brand. The full infographic is included below but I have summarised some of the most interesting facts and compared the research to some of the Best Global Brands of 2015.

  • Marketo found that a brand colour can influence anywhere between 60 – 80% of a consumer’s purchasing decision. Taking out all other factors that influence that decision, such as packaging, quality, price, etc., this is a huge proportion.
  • Psychologically as humans, the first thing we notice about a logo is its colour. We perceive logos with different colours to have differing personalities.
  • A certain level of integration is key to ensure a brand colour has maximum effect. The logo as well as the landing page of the website, product information should all be co-ordinated and consistent.
  • The most used colour in top brands is blue. 33% of top brands feature this colour, which is seen as trustworthy, dependable and secure.

So, psychologically speaking, how do some of the Top 100 Global Brands weigh up? Google & Microsoft seem to have covered all bases, using a variety of colours including blue, red, green and yellow. Apple’s grey brand colour gives off a sleek, pure, clean vibe while Coca Cola’s red gives off an energetic, proactive feel. The blues of General Electric, IBM & Samsung give off a very dependable, trustworthy vibe.

Maybe the most important thing when choosing brand colour is to cater to your audience. High quality/price brands, such as Samsung, Intel & HP, need to convey an idea of trust to consumers regarding their brand. Customers need to know they are purchasing trustworthy products when parting with larger sums of cash. Meanwhile, Coca Cola is playing to its audience by choosing an energetic, proactive colour such as red. Perhaps the most important factor when choosing brand colour is to match the vibe of the colour to your brand audience’s desires.

Of course, I’m not saying colour is the only reason Apple has made it to the top position of global brands for 2015. There are many more factors at play, including brand benefits, other psychological processes like aspirations and status influence, and product price and quality. However, brand colour seems to play a significant part when it comes to consumer purchasing decisions and brands need to keep this in mind.



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