What's the first thing you notice about a brand’s logo? If you’re like most people, you probably notice the colors. And if you pay close attention, you may even notice the way the logo – and its color – makes you feel.
There are no happy little accidents when it comes to brand colors (sorry, Bob Ross). The biggest brands in the world use color psychology to their advantage to elicit emotions. You can do the same when creating your ecommerce branding.
Choose Colors that Align with Your Brand’s Message
Colors have meanings. Even if we’re not consciously aware of those meanings, we tend to associate different colors with different emotions. In ecommerce branding, we can leverage these emotion-inducing hues to build trust, establish authority and compel consumers to act.
When choosing your brand and website colors, it’s important to consider these emotional effects.
Here are the most popular colors used in ecommerce and their effects:
- Brown: Strong, dependable and confident.
- Pink: Love, compassion, kindness and soothing.
- Red: Excitement, attention, comfort and life.
- Blue: Reliable, trustworthy, competent and loyal.
- Green: Health, eco-friendliness, peace and balance.
- Orange: Ambition, energy, passion and originality.
- Yellow: Happiness, adventure, enthusiasm and sophistication.
- White: Clarity, purity, order and neutrality.
- Purple: Imaginative, wise and creative.
- Gray: Balance, calm and neutral.
- Black: Power, strength and dominance.
Consider these color meanings and the message you want to send. If you’re having trouble narrowing down your choices, consider your industry and the products you sell.
- Eco-conscious: Green, blue and yellow
- Beauty: Pink, blue and green
- Technology: Blue, red, green and black
- Apparel: Black, red and orange
Consider Your Target Demographic
In addition to your message and color meanings, you have to consider your target demographic. Here’s where things can get tricky. People have different color preferences. If you have a broad demographic, it may be difficult to settle on a color scheme for your brand.
Several factors have an impact on color preference, including:
In many cultures, yellow symbolizes happiness and warmth, but in other cultures, this color can have dark meanings. In France, yellow symbolizes betrayal. In Germany, it symbolizes jealousy.
Some colors have certain meanings for older age groups or certain genders. If your demographic is an even split of males and females, you risk alienating half of your target audience if you use an overly feminine or overly masculine color scheme.
Study your demographic carefully to choose appropriate and pleasing colors.
Don’t Go Overboard
As a general rule of thumb, you don’t want to go overboard with the number of colors you choose and your color usage.
A study of the world’s top brands found that 95% only use one or two colors.
Avoid using a rainbow of colors, but also be strategic about where you place your brand’s colors on your website. Color overuse can have the opposite effect. Instead of standing out and catching your visitor’s attention, the color just blends into the background.
Instead of using your colors in every element on your web page, try using it only for areas where you want to draw attention, such as:
- Call to action buttons
By using your colors in these key areas, you catch the visitor’s attention and (hopefully) elicit your intended emotions.
One last note: Don’t forget the user’s experience. Incorporate your colors in a way that doesn’t make your website difficult to navigate or read. The goal is to create a pleasant experience while conveying your brand’s message.