Psychology of Brand Colors

If you are getting ready to start a new business venture, or getting ready to give your brand a face lift. One of the most important things to consider, is how you want your brand colors to make your perfect client feel. The psychology behind your brand colors says a lot about who you want to attract. 

Given that I went to school for psychology and worked in mental health, it's an understatement to say that I geek out about this stuff. So rather than making choices blindly, let's add some rhyme and reason to your decision.

The choices of colors in your company logo, website design, and marketing materials can have an impact on the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. With my background in psychology, we structure everything around this.

Here is the psychology behind how colors affect people’s perception of your brand below:

Pink: When you think of pink? What do you think of? For me, I think of breast cancer awareness, Victoria's Secret, Air B&B, Lyft, Barbie, Pepto-Bismol, Vineyard Vines, and LG. Below are a few words that describe how these brands want you to feel when you are interacting with their brand. 

  • Gratitude
  • Softness
  • Respect
  • Intuition
  • Femininity
  • Calm
  • Creativity

To sum it up, it makes me think of waking up in the morning in an Air B&B watching my LG TV (not really because I never watch TV), drinking my Pepto-Bismol because I ate shit food last night. I hop out of bed, slip on my very sexy yet uncomfortable bra from Victoria's Secret (I'm kidding because I only live in sports bras), throw on my pink polo from Vineyard Vines and schedule a Lyft to drive me to a breast cancer awareness event. In tow with me is my niece who is scrolling on my iPad through Instagram looking at people's profiles looking like plastic Barbie dolls. Can you gather that I don't really interact with these brands?!!!

Red: When you think of red, what do you think of? For me, I think of brands likeVirgin, Pinterest, Target, Canon, Coca-Cola, Chick-Fil-A, Netflix, Oracle, Macy's, TJ Maxx Home Goods, CNN, TIME, H&M, TLC, Disney, and Youtube. Below are a few words that describe how these brands want you to feel when you are interacting with their brand. 

  • Love
  • Strength
  • Energy
  • Passion
  • Adventure
  • Excitement
  • Action

To sum it up, these are mostly brands that I most definitely interact with. And I'm not saying they're all healthy for you. Waking up at the Virgin hotel in Nashville (a staycation since it recently opened), with CNN on the background with my niece flipping back and forth with TLC and Disney (again I don't watch TV, so not my reality). However, Youtube is a different story and I won't even go to the different things that I've learned from Youtube. I hop on to the Chick-Fil-A app because it's Saturday not Sunday and I'm so tired from scrolling on Pinterest (designing the GSD house ya'll) the night before I need some Coca-Cola for the caffeine. It's Saturday so making a run to Target to ONLY get the things on my list, which is a joke and I also get side tracked and go to TJ Maxx because it's next door and on the same road we swing by Macy's because why not?? They're having a huge sale and my mother gave me coupons for the kids' back-to-school clothes. They didn't like anything and begged to go to H&M instead, which is completely out of the way. Their clothes fall apart after wearing them once so it wasn't worth the drive. Meanwhile, I'm super annoyed at all of the traffic because Oracle just opened up in Nashville and brought 8,000+ people to the city. But hey! It's a $1.2 billion investment for Nashville which is great for business. So in real life, this is why I use Amazon and get everything delivered to avoid the squirrel moments. Meanwhile, the kids are watching Netflix on the iPad binge watching Outer Banks which I don't understand because that shit is fake. Now I do with many of these brands but I try to keep it on a productive level.

Orange: When you think of orange, what do you think of? So for me, I think of Amazon (the #1 brand I can't live without), the Tennessee VOLS (which is where I went to college, we were damn good and always won because Peyton Manning was the quarterback), Hooters (a place that a lot of my friends wanted me to work at because I have a big chest but my dad said no), Avon (skin so soft, because it's the only thing that will keep the bugs from biting me and trust me I've tried everything). Below are a few words that describe how these brands want you to feel when you are interacting with their brand. 

  • Original
  • Optimism
  • Emotion
  • Pleasure
  • Freedom
  • Enthusiasm
  • Youth

To sum it all up, which this is all 100% facts. Pre-gaming at Hooters eating some chicken wings outside with a bunch of Alumni's and reminiscing the good ol' days and not wanting to accept the fact that the VOLS really suck and have been for the past decades. I'm not worried about being outside because it's fall and the temperature is quite pleasant, but I lathered up with my Avon skin so soft because the bugs always find me not matter where I am in the world and no matter what the temperature is. Halfway through the game I lose interest because we were losing so bad. So I pull out my phone, even though I'm trying to live in the moment and be present, I start to shop on Amazon for a new Canon lens. I'm just keeping it real with the orange.

Purple: When you think of purple, what do you think of? For me, it's really hard to think of brands in this color and I actually had to Google it. Below are a few words that describe how these brands want you to feel when you are interacting with their brand. 

  • Justice
  • Art
  • Fantasy
  • Royalty
  • Mystery
  • Imagination
  • Spirituality

The only one that really pops out on Google images is FedEx, because they deliver packages to my doorstep almost daily. And until I was able to meet the driver and clarify what I do, he thought I was a shopping addict. Then to come find out, on the weekends he is a server of the catering company that we often use. And he said: “Oh my gosh I thought you looked familiar. I watch all your videos and my favorite one were about your mother saving the cardboard from another country”. I guess the video was funny to outsiders watching it because I was pissed that her bags were overweight traveling from another country with all these freakin' cardboards. He started to collect them and bring them to me for her, which is the sweetest thing ever. Now if you're wondering what the cardboard is for, I will let your mind wonder, I have one word for you, gerbil. JK, it was for the kids' school project.

Yellow: When you think of yellow, what do you think of? For me, I think of McDonalds, UPS, IMDb, Subway, Denny's, Bumble, Snapchat, and Cheetos. Below are a few words that describe how these brands want you to feel when you are interacting with their brand. 

  • Positivity
  • Warmth
  • Joy
  • Fun
  • Curiosity
  • Happiness
  • Clarity

Much like FedEx, UPS also spends a lot a time at my doorstep but this brand is much closer to me because my brother-in-law has worked there for almost 2 decades. I really love watching the UPS drivers on Tiktok, you can just smell the odor through the screen on a hot summer day. Back in college, I worked in bar and we would always go to Denny's to eat at 4am as a “family”. That is until, one Sunday morning I woke up to my mother telling me that one of the servers at the local Denny's had some major virus and I needed to rush to the health clinic to get some type of vaccine, I don't even remember what it was but it was a really big deal back in 2000. That was the last time I ever ate at Denny's. After the Denny's incident we turn to McDonalds (there's something special about their coke, I don't know what they do to their syrup but there are no other fountain coke like theirs), and I didn't feel guilty eating at McDonalds because on the weekends I eat Subway, and I was following the Jared diet (this was before he was talking young girls, like creepy). When I'm on the go and in a hurry, when I really want to treat myself I would eat Cheetos and I would like every finger bone dry. And sometimes when I'm traveling I get the urge to eat an entire bag (the small bag), but if I'm with my friend Carol we eat an entire large bag together. To wrap this up, this is the fun part. A lot of our clients apparently are pretty famous but I wouldn't know because I grew up in a bomb shelter with no TV. So oftentimes, if I Google their names IMDb often comes up which is my source for news, translation, and NDA is coming my way and it's as though nothing ever happens. I never gotten to Snapchat, but the fact the kids think it's “private” that it disappears, is comical. They have a lot to learn. And then there's Bumble, in which we have many clients who have met on Bumble, that's great! Dating apps? It's just not my jam. However, what's supper awkward is when someone else, AKA a fake person, uses your pictures under a fake name. So let's just say that shit got shut down real quick. P.S. my brother owns a PI company.

Blue: When you think of blue, what do you think of? Well, American Express, WordPress, Vimeo, Twitter, Facebook, Skype, Chase, Dropbox, Paypal, BMW, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Pfizer. Below are a few words that describe how these brands want you to feel when you are interacting with their brand. 

  • Success
  • Trust
  • Purpose
  • Power
  • Security
  • Loyalty
  • Confidence

To sum it up, I could really go on and on and on with the blue brands because these brands want to instill trust and strength. They are brands that are dependable and you can count on them. I probably had a business American Express and a Southwest Chase cards for 2 decades. And if I add up WordPress, Vimeo, Skype, Facebook, Dropbox, and BMW I've spent a lot of freakin' money (I did not buy a car with a credit card just so to be clear but I thought about it for the points. I prefer Porsche over BMW anyway). But seriously, the point system of AmEx and Chase is incredible if you know how to use it right. Also, speaking of money, Paypal is a great resource to send money back and forth securely and their founder's story is incredible, that's why I like to support Paypal (yes, stories sell). If I think back to my healthcare days, we had so much fun with all of the sponsored events by Pfizer. And then some rule got put in place, that only $300 could be spent for each physician and I quickly retired at a healthcare because if I'm not having fun I'm not doing it. Life is too short. Blue Cross Blue Shield is our primary healthcare provider where I live, and I'm not going there because it's too political and I don't get into that. Just like I don't get into Twitter, for that reason.

Green: When you think of green, what do you think of? For me, John Deere, Starbucks, Whole Foods, Spotify, Sprite, Fiverr, BP, and WhatsApp. Below are a few words that describe how these brands want you to feel when you are interacting with their brand. 

  • Health
  • Loyalty
  • Nature
  • Prosperity
  • Harmony
  • Luck
  • Safety

I first think of John Deere which was a major brand where I grew up in the country, and if you had a John Deere tractor you have made it!!! Now BP was a big deal when I was growing up too, because all the kids got a BP gas card. I don't know if that's the way for my parents to be generous or they just want to keep track of us. I'll never forget the day I put premium gas in my car by accident and I never heard the end of it!! Growing up we did not have all of the other brands, but I heavily on them today as a business owner. Starbucks helped me start my business by meeting clients there before I got a real office. And although I don't drink coffee, everyone seems to love it. Whole Foods has introduced a whole new way of healthy eating habits. Spotify streams our podcast: Business Unveiled. I've met a lot of amazing people around the world using Fiverr to help service our clients, and WhatsApp is a game changer for communication worldwide. Now Sprite was around when I was growing up but my mother never bought soda unless we were really sick, which came along with Campbell soup with Saltine crackers and a thermometer. So how do you think today as an adult I identify with Sprite? You guessed it, when I feel like shit! And for some reason, McDonalds has the best Sprite too. 

In summary, this is officially the longest blog I've ever done. So I hope you know how passionate I am when it comes to colors, branding, and psychology. It matters a lot. Now if you're wondering where is Apple and Google, in the color brand spectrum?

Although Apple started with a colorful logo using rainbow colors, they then shifted to black and white. This usual shift attests to the company’s vision to dare to be different, and that’s what it represents in the industry. Now predominantly black, Apple considers this the absence of colors it symbolizes the feeling of elegance, substance, and power. So do you feel that way when you pick up an Apple device?

Google's story is really interesting because their colors were inspired by Lego bricks. If you take it a step further and think of Legos, you can always expand and add more. And the one thing I will leave you with, Google intentionally used a secondary color on the “L” to show that Google does not always follow the rules. So when you are linking your apps and your Google accounts together, you may wanna think twice.

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