Colour crucial for marketing

Nonto Masuku

LAST week I had the privilege of attending the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) 2014 Marketing Campaign launch. When I walked into the foyer I was struck by the colour orange (ZITF’s main corporate colour) which was incorporated in the event decÓr and promotional material. It seemed to brighten the room and my mood too.

Did you know that colour has a powerful subconscious effect on every part of our lives?

In business, colour can be used to get the best response to our marketing and promotional efforts resulting in the creation of a successful business.

It is important to know the psychological meaning of different colours in business, their traits and the effect they have on people.

Secondly, different colours will appeal to different markets.

Consequently, it is important to establish who your target market is before choosing your business colours.

You can subsequently match the colours to that market to get the best response.

In this article, I would like to highlight some of the commonly used colours in business and the psychological effect they have.

Blue is the most universally used colour. It relates to trust, honesty and dependability, therefore helping to build customer loyalty.

Physiologically, blue is calming, reducing tension and fear. It slows the pulse rate and reduces appetite. Consequently, if you are in the catering business for instance, try and avoid using blue as your main corporate colour.

It works well for the corporate world and is often used for more conservative types of businesses such as accounting firms, insurance companies, banks and other financial institutions where trust and reliability are important.

Red is a warm and positive colour which draws attention to itself. In colour psychology, red means energy, passion, action, strength and excitement.

It stimulates the physical senses such as lust, sexual passion and the appetite, hence often used in restaurants for the latter purpose.

The colour orange radiates warmth and happiness. The psychology of orange colour is optimistic and uplifting, rejuvenating our spirit.

I can attest to this, as the orange at the ZITF launch had a positive effect on my spirits. Orange is also said to stimulate appetite.

Black means power and control. It is often seen as a colour of sophistication. Black, however, can also be depressing and associated with death in many cultures.

All colours have positive and negative traits. It is wise to have an understanding of their psychological effect and meaning before choosing the corporate colours for a business.

If you are doing business with other countries and societies, take into consideration the cultural meaning of colours too. Choosing the wrong colour for your business might cost you.

– Nonto Masuku
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