Colors in marketing and their importance in sales

Have you ever asked yourself why some photographs of food look so irresistible? Why some images unconsciously transmit feelings of happiness, sadness or euphoria? Or why when a club has colorful lights it creates a perfect ambiance and when they turn on all of the white lights no one wants to dance anymore and the ambiance changes so much? All of this can be explained with the use of colors in marketing and their importance in sales.

Table of contents

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1 – Colors in marketing and their importance in sales – Psychology of  color

It’s no secret to anyone that sales generate feelings and reactions in people, and experts have been able to take note of how their primordial use in the science of marketing, from their use in logo design to their presence on packaging and publicity materials.

It has been demonstrated that each color has a different association. For that reason, it isn’t recommendable to use colors randomly in the creation of a brand identity. First, one must identify the concept and type of audience in order to focus on the principle objective and thereby achieve it through correct use.

Each color alone generates different feelings, changes in moods and the most curious of all is that this happens indirectly, without clients even noticing it.

Since everything truly enters through the eyes, color is a primordial factor when it comes time to make a purchase decision, and increases brand recognition by 80%. This can be seen even from early childhood, since it is scientifically proven that colors have power over the children’s behavior as well as their learning. For example, white is the color that stimulates creativity in children, which is why the majority of baby furniture is that color.

Not only do colors have power over the mood of children, but also adults. Science has proven that colors can improve concentration, increase or decrease aggression, help with sleep or stimulate memory.

It’s no accident that large brands are recognized by their characteristic colors. Or did you think that it was just by accident that Coca Cola uses the color red, Starbucks green and Facebook blue? Behind this, there are huge market strategies devised to capture the attention of clients. There is a whole psychology that one should know in order to select which colors to use and in what way.

Here we show you the effect of the most common colors and all of sensations that they bring:

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2- Psychology of the color red in marketing


It evokes strong emotions and increases passion. In restaurants, it is used to stimulate appetite, which creates a sense of urgency and immediacy. It is especially used to generate impulse purchases or for promotional advertisements. 

The psychological meaning of the color red is one of the most wide and extensive. Its connotations vary by culture. For some it has a mental and spiritual effect, and for others it is most deeply rooted in emotions. Red can mean:

  • Passion: Because it is such an attention-calling color, it has effects over our cardiac rhythm and can activate neurons. For that reason, the color red tends to be related with feelings of passion and energy, as much positive as negative (rage).
  • Danger:  Red also has a connection to danger, since we associate it with the color of blood.
  • Warmth: This color is also related with the color of fire, which can make it a comforting color for some people.

In some cultures red means happiness. In China, red brings fortune and success in business. In the Orient, it is a color that brings luck and joy and connection to nature since it has a connection with the earth chakra.

Red in publicity

This color is used to transmit warmth. At the same time it can stimulate a purchase as it creates an alarming or urgent effect in people. You can surely think of some important brands in the world that use this color.

On the physical level, red increases the cardiac rhythm, increases appetite and evokes strong emotions, which means that in the marketing world this color is used to attract compulsive buyers. This is why many fast food chains use red in their logo, to encourage the purchase of their food, and generate a feeling of hunger and anxiety.

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3- Psychology of the color Blue in marketing


The color blue is associated with water, peace and tranquility. At the same time it represents calm and serenity. It diminishes appetite but increases productivity. In marketing, it is undoubtedly the color most used by businesses to induce productivity and be less invasive. It also offers a sensation of security and brand confidence.

Blue is also associated with melancholy. It is believed that that this is due to the cold tones that it emanates. It is a good color to use in rooms or spaces where you want to spend moments of rest and peace. It transmits freshness and a sense of comfort.

Blue invokes the sky and the ocean and is associated with stability and depth. It is also the color that represents freedom, confidence, loyalty and honor.

Blue in publicity

The color blue can be used for communication for cleaning services, and products related to air and water. It is also tied with high precision products, technology or science.

Usually it is a color which is used at the corporate level since it generates responsibility and confidence.

It is used for many brands associated with the masculine gender. 

However, we recommend that it be avoided for food products or in kitchen recipes since it is an appetite suppressor and generates the opposite of the desired effect.

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4- Psychology of the color Yellow in marketing


This is a very energetic color, and represents positive outlook and wealth. It is warm and transmits joy.

In marketing: it is used to call attention in windows, facilitate communication, and it represents optimism and youth.

Yellow is often considered a color that emanates energy. It is associated with happiness and the sun. It also can be associated with cheating and cowardice, depending on the perspective.

In some countries it is a color that means mourning, as in Egypt. In Japan it represents courage and in India it is a color that denotes commerce.

This color tends to be positive and stimulates mental activity, which instigates action. It is perfect for calling the attention of the public, however, in marketing one must be cautious as this can provoke irritability. 

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5- Psychology of the color Green in marketing


This is a color that represents nature, and transmits freshness and balance. It is related with the environment, health and tranquility.

In marketing: it represents new growth, and is used to create a relaxing environment and is associated with wealth.

Green can also represent new beginnings or growth, associated with plants. It also signifies renovation and abundance. It is a color that has attributes similar to the color blue, since it can transmit calm and serenity, but it contains the color yellow and that is the energy that it emanates.

This color represents harmony and freshness. On an emotional level it is related to security (a green light means GO). This is the most relaxing color for the human eye and since it transmits tranquility it is used in many hospitals and pharmacies. For some, green is the color of hope, which makes it perfect for health services.

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6- Psychology of the color Orange in marketing


This is a color that inspires confidence, enthusiasm and is seen as a friendly color. It is warm and is perceived as a symbol of precaution. It is also vibrant and energetic. It can be associated with autumn, and due to that association with changing seasons, can represent changes or movement in general.

In marketing: It creates a call to action (purchase, call, subscribe) and provokes impulsive buyers. It transmits brand confidence and joy.

At the same time, this color communicates adventure, optimism, confidence and sociability, which makes it perfect for reaching young people. It is very visible, which is good for calling attention. In publicity the color orange makes a product or service more accessible.

It is also associated with the fruit of the same name, which results its bringing a sense of health and vitality. It is nice and cozy, and although it is on the red spectrum, it is a color which is easy on the human eye and less aggressive. There are many juice and smoothie brands that use this color in their logo in order to transmit vitality.

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7- Psychology of the color Purple in marketing


This color is related with spirituality and wisdom. It inspires creativity and success. In marketing: it is directed at the feminine audience, and is used in beauty and personal care products. It represents an imaginative and intelligent brand.

The color purple comes from the combination of red and blue, which creates an interesting mixture which generates properties of both colors. It is said that it is a magical color and that it emits relaxing and calm feelings if it is presented in a soft tone, or hunger for power and materialism if shown in a vibrant tone.

Violet is also used in Christian symbology and is associated with the concept of humility that counteracts the matrix of power. It carries a connotation of spirituality and sensibility.

It is a color that should be used if you would like to transmit:

  • Ambition
  • Reflection
  • Spirituality
  • Mystery
  • Sensuality
  • Meditation

It is used a great deal in marketing for beauty and anti-aging products.

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8- Psychology of the color Black in marketing


This color represents power and elegance, is very minimalistic and sophisticated.

More than a color it is the absence of light.

The important thing to have in mind is that black is a color that has two connotations. It has a positive side which is associated with power, formality and elegance, but also has a negative side that is associated with bad, death and mystery. Since black is the color associated with mourning in western countries, it can be contradictory to use it for certain services and products. It has also at times been associated with rebellion in some cultures, Halloween and the occult.

In cosmopolitan designs it can be a conservative and modern color, traditional and unconventional, depending on the font that is used if we are talking about logos. It is easy to combine with other colors since, being a neutral color, it goes with the whole range of colors, which makes it versatile when used in publicity. Also, it is a color that adds sophistication and mystery to a design.

In marketing it is very often used by high end brands, like Gucci, Dolce and Gabbana among others. In comparison to other colors, black is the color which carries the widest range of meanings, so it’s important to be very careful with what we want to transmit to our audience.

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9- How colors affect sales


Selling is the art of persuading and it is important to understand which factors influence decision-making when it comes to consumer purchases. In the first place, one must keep in mind that clients first take notice of the visual appearance of a product. This includes color and the physical characteristics that it has, along with its functionality.

Kissmetrics ( collected some data about how colors affect consumer decision-making and it’s important to keep this in mind to see how it affects sales:

When presented with making a purchase, 93% of consumers are guided by the appearance of a product, followed by 6% whose priority is to look for texture and 1% smell. At the same time, 85% of buyers affirm that the color is the main attribute that they notice when acquiring a product. It is also important to remember that many times, the color es what helps us recognize the brand, if it has a good positioning and a good recall value. In fact, having good recall value increases confidence when it comes time to make a purchase for 80% of consumers.

It’s important to keep in mind that colors and their meanings vary based on the country where the product or service will be sold. Thus, one should be very careful and well informed before using any color. At the same time, colors are not only important based on what they mean but also which type of audience one is trying to attract and this goes hand in hand with the function of the product or service. Who is your target audience and how can you capture their immediate attention through color? What reaction do you want to generate in your client? For example, red, black and blue are colors that attract compulsive buyers, meaning that if you want to attract a passive buyer, these aren’t colors that help your objective. Marine blue or blue-green attract buyers with a controlled budget and work well for banks and large warehouses.  Pink is a color that works very well for clothing stores and traditional clients. Using these strategies you will manage to capture the attention of your target audience and increase your sales.

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Keep in mind….


In addition to the influence that color can have on your sales, it’s important that you look at other factors that can help increase them:

  • Design: 42% of consumers affirm that their purchase decision is influenced as much by web page design as the product itself, and 52% won’t repeat purchase on a web page that doesn’t have an adequate aesthetic. It’s important to contact experts to help you consolidate your ideas on a web page that captures the attention of your target public.
  • Time: The faster and easier that a purchase is, the more effective that it will be. If your web page and customer service is slow, you can be sure that users will prefer your competitors and you will lose sales. 64% of consumers will discontinue a purchase on a page that is very slow.
  • The right words: People in charge of customer service should know how to use the correct words to close a sale. It is easy to offend a client if you don’t have tact or make the consumer feel that they are not special, but rather that you simply want to sell the product and be done. Connection is very important and a repeat purchase depends on it. For example, 60% of consumers will buy a product if you use the words “GUARANTEED” since they feel confidence and safety when when purchasing. 

We invite you to check out our blog about What is a LOVEMARK? Call us at 240-521-8700 and receive personalized information. We are available to help you with all kinds of digital projects. 

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