For most people, color is an essential ingredient for how they navigate and experience the world. Take traffic lights, for instance. The colors red, yellow, and green play an integral role in keeping us safe and helping us to successfully move from point A to point B.
And while the significance of colors in a general sense may seem fairly obvious, are colors really that important for conversion rate optimization, especially given the level of subjectivity involved with color preferences?
According to color psychology, the answer is yes.
How Color Psychology Relates To Persuasion And Marketing
Assessing color as it relates to persuasion and conversion rates is a fascinating, albeit controversial, topic, as most of the discussions involve speculation and anecdotal evidence. And this isn’t surprising, given the way “elements such as personal preference, experiences, upbringing, cultural differences, context, etc., often muddy the effect individual colors have on us,” notes Entrepreneur.com.
However, research-backed intel about color psychology provides keen insights into the ways that color can shape and influence your customers’ shopping experience. And that’s what you should be focusing on. (Check out this infographic from Hubspot to learn more about color psychology in marketing.)
How Color Factors Into Branding
According to the study, the Interactive Effects of Colors, “The relationship between brands and color hinges on the perceived appropriateness of the color being used for the particular brand (in other words, does the color ‘fit’ what is being sold).”
It’s all about the context of your brand’s desired personality and figuring out how to match that with a corresponding color or color scheme to convey the most appropriate feeling or mood for your brand. Take, for example, Apple’s use of the color white to demonstrate its affinity for simple, clean design.
(To learn more about how to choose the right colors for your particular brand, click here.)
Color Preferences Vary By Gender
The ways in which color preferences vary by gender are, of course, also influenced by environmental factors and cultural perceptions. But check out the chart below, which corroborates the data collected by Joe Hallock in his study Colour Assignments.
As you can see, blue is a top color preference for both men and women. According to Tyler Ellison, “Using the color blue frequently is a subtle psychological way of building trust and rapport.” Heck, the world’s largest social network is predominantly blue.
Additional research indicates that differences also exist among men and women in terms of color shades, tints, and hues. “Men seem to prefer bold colors while women prefer softer colors,” Gregory Ciotti reports.
What Matters Most About Color
To a certain degree, it may seem logical to base your color choice on the emotional response that a particular color is most often associated with. For example, a graphic design company decides to make its logo purple because the color purple is associated with creativity and imagination.
The reality, though, is that color preferences are too closely tied to personal experiences to make universal links to specific emotions. Furthermore, you should never hang your hat on any one color converting better than any other color without split-testing first.
What matters the most is the visual hierarchy and making sure that the most important information on your website stands out. Don’t get bogged down with “green versus red” type dilemmas. Instead, focus on conveying an appropriate brand personality, appealing to your target audience, and creating contrast to make the important points pop.
What color scheme did you use on your website and company logo? How did you select those colors? Are they communicating the right message to your customers?