Sing with me: This is a song about colors, colors! You see them all around. There is red on the stop sign, Green on a tree, Blue in the sky and sea….

Okay, okay maybe you are not familiar with the Hap Palmer 1970’s classic “The Color Song”  but my point is colors have been an essential part of each of our lives since we were toddlers learning red car, blue bird, yellow sun etc…

So, what do colors have to do with marketing,? EVERYTHING!

Color turns on or off our feelings, senses or perceptions. It is truly a psychological element that is a crucial lever to customer perception and even decision making. In short, all great marketers see color’s impact.


This morning, after singing the color song and doing the pledge of allegiance, just kidding, I began to work on some of our DMA Education’s courses. While going through some materials to promote one of the courses that deals with color and psychology,I came across a thought that made me stop and consider the power and personas of colors– “Citrine is a superficial and fickle color. It encourages the serial relationship hopper, the teaser, with unstable emotions.”  I thought, I know that girl – Citrine, and she is totally not the marketer I want working a loyalty program.


In all seriousness, we know from consumer research that perception is intrinsically linked to brand valuation. In marketing, the power of perception cannot be overstated, in fact it is the currency of marketing. Marketing adds value to products by changing consumer perception. A change in “perceived” value influences what we consider “real” value. Failure to leverage the perceived value of your brand can have devastating consequences on the bottom line. Thoughts, feelings, and perceptions influence how your customers buy, and colors often elicit these emotions. Think about how M&M’s have leveraged their candy colors personas.


There is a lot to read on this subject and I am by no means an expert of any type, I leave that to Jeannette McMurtry, DMA instructor and expert on the Psychology of Marketing, but I have gathered a few interesting resources that might be of use.

Fast Company did a nifty little article on the science behind colors in marketing. The article includes a fun test to see if you can recognize brands simply by their brand color combinations.  The article also is illustrated with a Color Emotion Guide.  Maria Cortes, artist, does a really neat job of laying out the personas of colors in her web videos  – intelligent purple, patient green, creative yellow, technical blue, helpful orange and dynamic red. This is a real fun site to play with colors in. Check her out!


Our Education marketing manager actually printed out this chart and put it up in his cube as a little reminder of the power of colors!

Well, that is all for me for now – time to go eat a RED lollipop, how exciting.

Do you have golden nuggets of information you’d like to share –I’d love to see what inspires your marketing?

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