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Little-Known Ways Colors Affect Website Visitors' Brand Perceptions

Little-Known Ways Colors Affect Website Visitors' Brand Perceptions

Have you ever wondered why so many fast food brands have warm colors in their logos and restaurants? Or why numerous banks around the world have taken up the color blue as their dominant branding color?

While you might have thought it’s just a weird coincidence… it’s much, much more than that.

Not only do colors wield immense influence over people’s attitudes and emotions, having the right brand colors can affect how consumers feel about your brand, when or if they decide to buy from you, whether or not they trust your business, and even how long a website visitor stays on site.

Crazy, right?

On the other hand… it makes complete sense. Think about it, visual stimuli is one of the main drivers of everything we do.

From picking out an outfit to eating a particular food to trusting a certain brand because we recognize it -- visual stimuli, such as color, affects our everyday life decisions.

Which is why it’s extremely important to strategically pick out the right brand colors for your website and overall branding strategy. Because you never want to second guess years down the line whether or not your brand success might have been different if you’d have chosen different colors at the beginning of your business journey!

With that said, let’s go over various ways colors affect website visitors’ brand perceptions, so you can make the appropriate color choices to amplify your growth.

Little-Known Ways Colors Affect Website Visitors’ Brand Perceptions

Hit Them With the Right Emotions.

Depending on who your target audience is, choosing a certain color or color scheme can evoke varying emotions from your website visitors, everything from a wave of optimism to a grave seriousness.

And, although it might sound a bit odd, you can use these emotions to your advantage.

For example, let’s say your brand’s mission is to teach others how to meditate and improve their lives. You’d typically want to use bright, light colors to bring out feelings of optimism and joy, such as pale yellows or pops of orange here and there.

On the other hand, let’s say your brand is a law firm who specializes in helping families with the unfortunate death of a loved one. Going with a bright color wouldn’t really make much sense, right? Instead, you’d want to use a monotone color, such as grey, to evoke a sense of seriousness.

Too Much Color?

Similar to having too many attention-drawing aspects on a website, like too many buttons or distracting images, displaying too many colors can put-off your website visitors.

While you don’t have to limit your website to just one color, strategically picking out the right color scheme can make your brand much more recognizable.

For example, you’ll likely agree that website with fewer number of colors are easier to remember, such as Best Buy, which is mainly blue, or Verizon, which is mainly black with a touch of red.

Not only does having a limited number of colors on a website make your brand more recognizable, it makes your website more tolerable. Have you ever landed on a website that had too much going on? If so, you likely clicked away to another. Not good for website conversions, wouldn’t you agree?

Do You Know Your Website Visitors?

Let me ask you something, do you know who your target market is?

I only ask because different target markets respond differently to various colors. For instance, women respond more positively to primary colors with tints. In fact, in a survey on color and gender, 35% of women said blue was their favorite color, followed by purple (23%) and green (14%).

Men, on the other hand, prefer deeper, richer colors like blue, green, and black. But it makes sense, as these colors are traditionally associated with maleness.

With that said, it’s crucial to first determine who your target audience is before you decide on branding and website colors. If you choose inapt colors, you could be portraying the wrong brand perception to the right audience.

Trustworthiness Sometimes Comes at a Color and Not Always at a Price.

As mentioned earlier, numerous banks around the world use blue as their primary brand color. Why? Because blue is the top color for evoking a sense of trust from a customer.

In fact, it’s one of the most used colors -- and for good reason. Not only does blue evoke calmness, serenity, and relaxation, it also brings about feelings of peace, order, and loyalty. A winning combination for trust, wouldn’t you say?

Keeping that in mind, if you’re brand is in a business where trust is absolutely crucial to success -- as more are -- using blue throughout is a sure-fire way to start building an easy to follow path towards trust.

Warning, This is Not a Drill.

In the business of making feel safe, calm, and collected? Beware of the color yellow.

While a soft, pale yellow can bring about the feelings of happiness and uplifting, it’s no coincidence that traffic signals, warning signs, and wet floor indicators are bright, harsh yellow tones.

In fact, according to this color expert, “yellow activates the anxiety center of the brain.” And I think we can both agree, having your website visitors experience higher levels of anxiety when coming to your site is probably not good for brand perception!

As you can see, there’s a fine line that’s easy to stumble over when using the color yellow. If it’s an essential tone for your brand colors, try to use it sparingly, such as an accent color, or consider undergoing some rebranding.

Stick to Your Guns (or Should We Say, Colors).

One mistake multiple brands make, even seasoned brands, is they don’t have consistent brand colors throughout their marketing materials.

A key aspect of building a strong brand recognition is being consistent and easy to distinguish throughout all consumer touchpoints. This means sticking to your brand colors in emails, direct marketing (like direct mail), website design, advertisements, and more.

Particularly, sticking to your brand colors throughout your website design makes it easy for consumers to know it’s actually you, especially if they’ve already come across your brand in another area, such as seeing your product in a physical store.

Not too long ago, the well-known shipping brand UPS had this entirely backwards. An easily recognizable brand, it mainly focuses on the color brown; its vans, logo, and stores are all brown.

But just a while back, if you stumbled across their website it was… teal? As a consumer, your first impression and perception would likely be very confused! Not the best combination for creating a winning brand recognition plan.

All things said, having the right website colors and design is just as important as creating the right brand name or marketing plan. Depending on how you want your name to come across to potential consumers or clients, strategically chosen colors can evoke various emotions, help with brand recognition, decrease bounce rate, and target the right audience.

Have you ever taken the time to do research on color schemes? Comment down below as I'm very curious!

Interested in starting a project with my team and I? Click here to drop us a line.

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Michael Strauch (MPS)
Michael Strauch (MPS)
Feb 25, 2019

Hey Lex,

Excellent feedback wnd observation!

What are your favorite color schemes? What color appeals most to you?


Feb 25, 2019

Blue is also a conservative colour which is considered "safe" and "dull". If you are a financial institution, that's a good thing. If you are an outdoor adventure or hiking to kayaking, it is a turn-off for that market. Yes, I have worked in an ad agency (creative director). Your blog is okay, as far as it goes, but it isn't very deep. You don't talk about one of the colours that the human eye is most sensitive to: red. Our eyes see colour though cones. The cones that perceive red also pick up yellow and blue light which is why red pops so strongly in our perception. Red is a stimulating colour denoting passion and excitement. While an all-red…

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