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The meaning & power of colors in marketing

One of my most favorite songs of all time is True Colors by Cindi Lauper.  I’m sure you’re familiar with it:

I see your true colors shining through
I see your true colors and that’s why I love you
So don’t be afraid
To let them show….

It holds tremendous meaning for me personally as I try to focus on becoming more myself and work toward greeting the world with authenticity.  So, as I sat to write this blog about the importance of color choice in marketing, the lyrics won’t leave my head…and it strikes me that the meaning is as true for a corporation as it is for an individual.

The public wants to see more about who you are as a company.  They want to know about your values, your culture and why you do what you do.  They want to see your true colors.  So if you are a new business or a business in need of an update, how do you go about revealing who you are utilizing color?

Color plays such an important part in advertising and marketing.  Studies have shown that color:

  • Increases brand recognition by up to 80%
  • Increased the frequency of reading an add by 42%
  • Increases learning up to 78%
  • Increases comprehension by up to 73%

Color packs a punch!  Color elicits emotion and emotion sells products. 

The idea is to connect the emotional response you are looking for to a color that gives off that vibe.  Then your branding effort (logo and graphic elements) needs to be reflective of that color family.  Remember…color increases brand recognition by as much as 80%!!


Color Meanings
Red is the color of energy & vitality & power.  It is universally liked, increases your pulse rate and your breathing.  Popular in the restaurant industry (think KFC, Wendy’s, TGIF’s, Ruby Tuesdays & Red Lobster) as well gas companies (think Exxon, Mobile, Shell).


Blue is the color of communication & intellect & precision & serenity.  It is America’s favorite color and is known to help you concentrate better and sleep easier.  Popular in Business to Business circles (think IBM, HP, American Express, Intel & General Electric) as well as social sites (think facebook, linkedin & twitter).


Green is the nature color, it evokes health, harmony and balance.  It is the easiest color for your eye to see and makes you feel refreshed and at peace.  Green is often used for food products (such as Tropicana, Monster energy drinks & Starbucks), gas companies (Hess & BP) and companies like Whole Foods, John Deer & Animal Planet that want you to link nature to their brand.


Orange is the color of fun!  It is all about physical comfort, passion, abundance with a boost of adrenaline.  The color orange also stimulates the brain.  Companies like Nickelodeon, Crush & Fanta Soda, Shutterfly & Amazon use the color orange to stimulate you to gravitate toward their products!

So who are you as a company?  Does your brand have a strong color statement that lines up with who you are or who you want to be?  Need some more inspiration?  Check out this graphic!  Color infographic

Written by Laura Danella



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