Color is, arguably, one of the most important decisions a company makes in terms of the visual impact of its brand and marketing campaigns. Color’s psychological impact on a company’s logo is well documented. It can have long lasting positive and negative (sometimes fatal) effects on brand recognition and appeal, persuasive influence, and bottom-line sales.
Once a company’s colors are chosen, other color choices come into play as well. One study, for example, found that choosing a red call to action (CTA) button outperformed a green one by 21%. Do human beings really respond to colors this strongly? Aren’t we more sophisticated than this?
It would seem to make sense that if we did our due diligence, liked the product we researched and found it fit our wants and needs, then we would just go ahead and click the CTA button regardless of color- green, blue, purple or red.
But the science of advertising has proven that we are, in fact, very influenced by color and that buyers might not click through at all, merely because thatCTA button is not visually or psychologically attractive. Marketers pay close attention to color as it impacts every marketing effort. This knowledge is nothing new and dates back at least as early the “Mad Men” days of advertising.
As the northern hemisphere continues to experience the hottest temperatures of the year, the marketing world is already looking ahead to the fall season. Why do companies change their advertising and banner colors from season to season? Is it just because that’s what we always do? Or is there something about each time of year that demands we recognize these seasonal changes? The short answer is yes. The seasons evoke emotions and memories in everyone, and solid marketing should leverage this knowledge.
In general, basic Spring & Summer palettes reflect brighter and warmer colors and hues. This reflects what is happening environmentally during these seasons. The sun is beginning to shine more often in the spring and then it is basking us (baking us?) in its glow throughout the long, hot summer months. The colors and hues of Autumn & Winter become deeper and richer, reflecting the cooling temperatures of these seasons and the sun’s abandoning us to fend for ourselves until Spring.
Good marketing anticipates and participates in these collective societal transitions and is rewarded for provoking these warm, feel-forward emotions. If you don’t acknowledge seasonal changes in marketing, your brand can be seen as an outsider, not part of the cultural norm.
The specific transition from summer to fall in our world involves colors changing from bright and vibrant to more muted, and dark. By honoring the color schemes of these seasons in marketing, companies demonstrate that they share what the public is feeling. While no two companies will follow any exact formula (and they don’t have to since the range of color choice options is seemingly endless when you factor in not only primary and secondary colors but also tertiary, quaternary and quinary color options).
It is also important to understand that neuroscience has determined that there are direct physical and psychological connections between color, light and mood. Blue can calm, but it can also depress. Red can excite, but it can also trigger anxiety. Yellow encourages optimism, but yellow makes babies cry for some reason, so proceed with caution in using this color. How to incorporate color schemes into your seasonal marketing is, admittedly, a lot to digest but the main point here is that we should all consider our color choices before we launch any marketing initiative. As with all promotion, make sure that your seasonal marketing is planned as far in advance as possible, has a target audience and a goal in mind, and, most importantly, remains consistent to your brand message.
Are you ready for the color changes that are coming?
Hope you had a great summer. See you in the Fall! Is anyone else craving a Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte? Let us know how we can help you transition from summer to fall, or fall to winter, or winter to spring, or spring back into summer.
Contact UrbanLink Group for a free marketing consultation.