How to use colours in marketing and advertising

Have you ever wondered why you feel slightly alarmed when staring at a red stop sign and why the world has chosen red, green and yellow for traffic lights?  Those are just two of the many effects colour has on the human psyche. It’s all part of a study referred to as the psychology of colour.

Our brain uses the colours to recognise characters and properties about business, brands and products. Our brain understands that the colour palette that would feel suitable for an Italian restaurant is not appropriate for a real estate agency. This is colour psychology in marketing and advertising.

If you look at the commonly used colours in advertising for any industry, you can find many of the same colours repeated and used, again and again. It does not happen accidentally, and not just because the business owner likes this colour! These are the colours that connected the audience with their needs and expectations from brands in the industry.

The colour psychology in marketing and branding is what I am going to explore today to help you communicate your messages most effectively with your audience, so keep reading.

Why do colours matter in marketing and advertising?

Colours speak a language that is more efficient than words. Colours can communicate with us on an emotional level, so they can be more effective and persuasive.

With choosing the right colour you can convince your customers that your product is fresher than the same product with a different colour.

It is unbelievable, but colours can even make medication or placebos feel more effective. Medicine companies use the colour associations to make sleeping pills blue and motivation yellow and red because consumers associate the colours with their respective effects.

It seems like magic but I have found some data to support it. For 85% of customers colour is the primary reason for choosing which product to buy. Also up to 90% of impulse decisions about a product are based on the products’ colour.

Colour psychology researchers found 42% customers form their opinions of websites based on the web designs with colour contributing more to their opinions than other factors. And 52% of the time, bad colour choice sends users off a website and they never return.

How colours communicate with customers

Now you know that colours are important in marketing and advertising, but the real challenge is to use colour psychology to speak to your clients. Probably you know the basics of what some colours mean, like red indicates passion and white shows cleanliness, but that is just scratching the surface of colour psychology. The colours can influence how a customer thinks and feels about a brand and business.

According to researchers, there are links between specific colours and behaviours, like royal blue, red, black and orange which easily connect with impulse customers.

For example, the colour brown is not a good choice for fresh-food product packaging because it reminds us of rotting fruits and veggies. Otherwise red is a popular colour for fresh-food brands because it reminds us of the red fruits which are ripe and ready to eat, as well as fresh meat is always red.

We can look at nature and see what the colours mean, and in any design the best way is choosing colour according to nature’s rules.

Our feelings about a colour can depend on our culture and personal background, so we need to generalise the colours based on the colour psychology and combine science with target audience research and find what our consumers prefer.

What’s the effect of colours in advertising and marketing?

Each colour has its own effect on people that you can take advantage of in your advertising and branding materials.

Although the meaning and feeling of each colour depends on the colour saturation, opacity and the shade of that colour but here, I am going to explain the meaning of some basic colours to give you an idea of the best opportunities to use specific colours in your advertising and marketing.

Blue

Blue is a calming colour that is typically regarded as a masculine colour, but there is more to this colour.

Blue is for intelligence and responsibility. Also, it is cool and relaxing. Light blue is peaceful and evokes trust, honesty and loyalty, while dark blue can show depth and power.

According to this meaning, blue is a popular colour for banks, yoga studios and hospitals because with using the blue you can easily remind the audience subconsciously that they can trust the brand to protect them.

Green

Green is a good colour for professional, calm and mature brands, and the popular colour for health and environment business.

Green represents growth, spring and rebirth as well.  Another meaning is “getting the green light” to go ahead, giving it an association with taking action.

Green reminds people of recycling through association, so is perfect for any brands that advertise as organic and eco friendly. Also, the colour green is a good choice for spa branding because it represents the soothing and renewing experience.

Purple

Purple is not a colour we see often in nature. Purple is royal, mystical, luxurious, wise, sensual and represents military honour. A light purple is associated with feminine energy.

Purple is often used for high quality brands. It is seen in examples such as Cadbury’s chocolate advertising or some women's cosmetics.

Red

Red is the warm and physical colour that is associated with high energy, fire, anger, passion, love, danger and confidence. 

Red is a best choice for dating apps and businesses that have sexy services. Red also can catch the attention and increase appetite, so it is ideal for restaurant branding.

Globally, all the danger signs are red. If you use the red in a wrong application, it may show and create aggressiveness and anger.

Orange

Orange, just like red, is warm and high energy. Also friendly and cheerful. By using this colour you can show affordability, humour, vitality, youth and seasonal changes.

Orange is a great colour to use for kids products like trampoline to attract kids and teens for a bouncy, energetic good time.

Yellow

Yellow represents energy, happiness, warmth, playfulness and youth as well. With using yellow colour in your brand you have the advantage of being both light and bold at the same time.

Just be aware that one of these associations is not like the others. For example, the dangerous meaning of yellow represents much like fire but the danger of red is negative. So considering what a brand needs, you have to choose the best colour.

Pink

Pink is more used for girls brands and products. Pink can be fun, sweet, romantic, girly, delicate and peaceful. Pink can be a good colour for candy and lolly shops because it represents sweet. It is also the colour for businesses that are feminine and proud of it. You can use hot pink graphics in your advertising if you want to teach women how to be bold and protect themselves.

How colour meanings vary by culture

Always acknowledge your target market audience’s cultural background before choosing a colour palette. Many colours have specific meanings in some cultures that are different in others.

For example, in Japan yellow represents courage whereas in parts of South America it can be a signal for cowardice. In some Latin American cultures, yellow shows death and mourning. In Germany they use yellow for envy.

The first step to design any marketing and advertising materials for your brand is researching your target audiences. Using a colour palette that doesn't fit with your target expectations can doom your brand before it reaches the market.

How to test your colour marketing strategy

Knowing colour psychology is necessary for designers to make informed design decisions in advertising and marketing. Your designer with their experience and knowledge can choose the best colour palette for your brand.

Designers test lots of colour palettes to find the most effective ones. They use the bracket tournament, which is to test one colour against another to see which garners a stronger positive response from the target audience. Then they put winners against each other again to determine the final colour palette that is more effective with the customers.

When they are correctly tested, you can confidently use the colour choices for each design, logo, website, packaging, flyers, etc.

Colours amplify your marketing message

Now you know that using colour strategically is more than choosing a beautiful colour that looks good to you. 

After all, maybe today you are walking around and think olive green and lemonade pink are a match made in heaven. For some businesses maybe they are (not really)!

Do you want to choose your colour palette confidently? Easy peasy! Give us a Buzz for a FREE Biz Boost Strategy Session! 60 minutes of FREE Marketing advice.

Ways to Know If You Have The Right Logo Design

Do you know what makes a brand succeed and others fail? 

As you know, the quality of the products and services are very important factors in any brand's success. Imagine your products and services are equal, so then what is it that sets your business apart from the competition?

A creative and effective logo and brand design can make a world of difference between your brand and the competition. Just need to consider some of the most famous brands around you. They employ logos that are not only specific and eye-catching, but also meaningful and memorable as well.

A logo is a brand visual identifier such as a mark or a signature. A logo is rarely a description of your business. Your logo derives meaning from the quality of the idea it symbolises, not the other way around.

So, back to your business logo. Think about the design and meaning. Maybe right now you don’t have one, or just quietly you don’t like your logo, or you do but not sure whether you should stick with it forever.

Forever is a long time, especially if you’re building a business with longevity in mind. Before you approve or disapprove of any logo created, you need to work out which logo design is the right one for your business?

Don't worry. I’m here to help you. There are quite a few elements you need to pay attention to, so just take a moment and read through my list to get you started.

Does my logo tell the story of my brand?

Think about your target market or audience. An effective logo design doesn’t have to portray a company’s product or services. Ask yourself what meaning or message it should communicate.

It is important to know a logo is more than just an image. It’s the public face of your brand and its unique visual identifier. It’s important to consider what your brand offers and who the target market is. Should it be represented by a particular emotion or specific utility?

Remember an effective logo design doesn’t have to portray what the business does or sells. Nowhere in McDonald’s famous logo is there a hamburger. Apple doesn’t sell apples, and Nike doesn’t sell ‘sneakers’, but each logo represents these brands through a combination of shape, colour and symbolism.

Is my logo simple?

Don’t try to create a too complex design. Simple logos are more recognisable and memorable.

When it comes to effectively conveying a brand’s key message, simplicity in logos is by far more recognisable and memorable. A lot of the time logo designers try to create a design too complex for audiences to understand or memorise.

Think of a large notice board also known as a billboard. The audience might drive past by at high speeds, so the design should be seen, recognised and communicated quickly.
A complicated design (logo, billboard, magazine, website, etc.) will be nothing but an incomprehensible image. Some of the most famous logos are made of simplistic shapes and colours.

Just think of the Nike or Apple logo. The basic shapes are immediately associated with the brands they represent. The designers or founders of these companies had a vision, they’re thinking differently, they’re thinking out of the box and it worked.

Is my logo unique?

Brands can be distinguished from their competitors by their logos. A glass of Pepsi looks pretty much the same as a glass of Coca Cola. Some people can’t tell them apart by their taste (I know I can, I prefer Coke but that’s just me!). So, what makes Coke different from Pepsi at first sight? YES! The logo and advertising.

When you want to choose your logo with the aim of standing out from the competition, it’s important to think outside the box. Neither Coke or Pepsi feature the actual beverage in their logos. Just imagine If every travel agency used an aeroplane or train in their logo designs, would anyone recognise one from the next?

Does my logo speak to your audience?

The first step for your graphic designer is market research, because they might not be familiar with your brand. You, by providing all the information and brief, can help the designer to understand who are the target customers and what ways the brand should choose to communicate to them.

When the designer creates an identity for your brand, it’s more important to consider what message will speak to the target audience, rather than your personal tastes as a business owner. If you are a conservative person may prefer the grey colour and black letters, but if the brand targets a young, urban audience, bright colours and creative fonts will be more helpful. So, give all the information to your designer and  leave it to them to do the best for your business.

Is my logo timeless?

You don’t want your brand to be a passing trend, do you?! So don't use current trend designs.

You need to ask yourself some questions: will my logo convey the same message to its target market in 20 years or 30 years or even 60 years’ time? Will it still stand apart from the competition? If you find yourself creating heavily from the latest design trends, the answer is more than likely, no.

Is my logo versatile?

Professional logos should be scalable so they can easily be transformed between sizes and formats. So, always ask your designer for the vector format.

Probably you will use your logo in a variety of media, so your logo needs to be designed in full colour as well as black and white, with different sizes and formats.

The designer you hired should think big. Just because the design represents a small-scale brand right now it doesn’t mean that your company will not grow in a few months or years, so they need to provide all varieties of the logo versions.

Does my logo have an appropriate and effective typeface? 

Your logo should use no more than two fonts which helps make it versatile, distinctive and easy to read.

Helvetica is one of the most commonly-used fonts in logo design, as seen in popular brands such as Microsoft, Nestle, Target, Jeep, Toyota and Panasonic.

Some logos are completely typography-based, known as word marks, such as Coca-Cola. This kind of design is popular for big companies because of its simplicity and ease of reproduction.

If your company has a unique name, you could get away with a logotype. But if you have a generic name, then you need something to identify the brand by, which can be achieved by using a logo mark.

Does my logo utilise empty space? 

Sometimes the most effective element in a design is nothing at all!

Using negative space is necessary to communicate aspects of the brand, such as FedEx.

The logo is made by the company’s name but positioned in a way that the empty space between E and X creates a hidden arrow. This is the negative space between the “E” and ->”X” as you can see in the image below.

Even if the empty space in a logo isn’t sending a message, it’s still an important element of the design. Without any empty spaces, your logo could blend into whatever background in which it appears.

Does my logo use a consistent colour scheme?

Effective logos should be versatile enough to convey a message in full colour, black and white, but should not rely on colour alone.

So if your logo design conveys its message through the use of colours, ask your designer to alter the contrast of various elements or use the lines around the shapes to retain the same meaning as presented.

Should my logo feature a recognisable symbolism?

Many of the professional logo designs use visual double entendre, in which images take on more than one meaning to transfer a more powerful message.

Let’s have a look into the Amazon logo. They use a simple logo that consists of the company’s name. Pretty straightforward, right? But when looking closer, the name is underlined with an arrow from “a” to “z,” expressing that the retailer offers anything a buyer could want, from A to Z. It’s so creative, isn't it?!

Does your logo Design utilise shape psychology?

By using round shapes, such as circles, ovals and curved lines, you can show positive emotion, femininity and endurance. On the other hand angular shapes for example, squares and triangles convey power, stability and masculinity.

So, by using different shapes you can transfer different emotions.

Is my logo effective or instantly recognisable?

If you want your logo to be fully effective, it must be recognisable. Studies show that even small children can recognise many brands by their iconic logos.

It is important to realise that many famous logos stand out because their designers thought outside the box and broke the rules in design.

Just consider, the more audiences see a consistent logo, the more they recognise the brand. If it’s changed, the brand recognition can disappear with the original design, so if you have a small business it is important to create a fantastic logo not just for today. Think about the future when your company turns into a worldwide business.

To sum it up, be memorable 

Think of the Apple logo or Mcdonald’s again. Just as an effective logo must be recognisable, it must be memorable, too. What makes Apple or Mcdonald’s stand out, so that audiences will remember the design and associate it with the brand?

Often, a single unique element can make a logo timeless by remaining in a viewer's mind making it instantly recognisable. Let’s have a look at the Apple logo in the image below. There’s nothing memorable about the silhouette of a fruit. But by removing a bite from the shape, the brand created a logo that is associated with it, and with it alone. Apple is a good example of one of the world's most iconic and memorable logo designs.

So, it’s time you have a look again at your business logo and check these elements the effective logo has to have. Something missing? We are also always happy to help you. Let’s have a coffee on us and chat about your marketing and your brand.

Hope to see you soon. 🙂

Why Graphic Design is Important for Your Business

As a person in the modern world, your face, style and your voice/intonation are the first impressions that can fascinate other people. Your business has a face as well, so you need to make it memorable and strong. 

Graphic design helps you to create a professional face for your brand, and also helps your brand to have efficient communication with your target audience.

While a picture may be worth the same as a thousand words, the added value of graphic design can be worth thousands of dollars and can increase the overall value of your business as such.

Just think about brands that have conquered their graphic design such as Apple, MacDonald’s, and Coca-Cola, to truly understand the power of design.

Every company today needs the services of a graphic designer, not only to create impressive marketing materials like brochures, stationery, websites, and social media designs but also to effectively and consistently communicate their messages to the target audience.

Let’s check out why graphic design is important for any business (including yours!) to expand brand reach and turn more profit.

First Impressions Matter

Graphic design helps any businesses to make a positive, lasting impression and stand out from the competition.

Having a professional brand identity is like dressing up to look presentable to consumers. Since graphic design solves problems through proper visual communication, the appropriate use of it will leave a great impression on consumers and convert them to your own devoted customers.

Remember, the first time a visitor interacts with your brand will set the tone for the rest of your business relationship.

Usually the first interaction comes in the form of visual marketing materials. It could be a flyer, your logo, a new landing page on your website, a poster, a social media post, or even your product packaging.

For example, when a customer hears about your brand for the first time, they are most likely going to do some research on your website before making a purchase. 

It is important to notice what your website says about your brand. Are there a number of bright, cheery colours with unreadable fonts? Or did you use professional design elements with your brand colour palette and fonts?

Maybe it is time to take a tour of your visual advertising and your website, and check the professional execution.

Visual Communication design is key

By using visual communication you can develop a creative process that combines the visual arts and technology to communicate ideas that transcends mere words and pictures. Getting your message across in a clear, concise way can be difficult with words alone.

Graphic elements can help to evoke emotions in your audience and provide stronger examples for your message.

According to the classic study by Microsoft, the average human has an 8-second attention span. 

The good news is, you can transfer your content and your ideas in a clear way to your audience with visual graphic elements, and still fit into that scary 8 seconds.

Types of visual communication include animated GIFs, print advertising, videos, pie charts, infographics, and slide deck presentations. 

Graphic design stuff should be relevant and high quality, so you need to have a professional graphic designer that can solve your business’ visual problems and efficiently communicate with your customers by images, fonts and elements.

Strengthens your brand

Can you think of a strong company or brand that doesn’t have a highly recognisable logo, colour palette or typeface? Not likely.

Branding is what other people think about your business, product, or your services and visual identity graphic design is a very important part of the branding process.

Graphic design can create a quickly identifiable face for your business that helps differentiate and promote your company, unless you don't have any competition in the city. Again, not likely.

Your company logo, colours, typeface, website and marketing materials establish an immediate impression of what your company is like. Is your company traditional or trendy, serious or fun, powerful or laid back, etc.?

The job of a professional graphic designer is to work with you to pull these visual elements together in a way that will positively highlight your brand and convey your desired business image.

Now that you know more about the benefits of graphic design, what are you waiting for? Let's catch up for a coffee with our creative crew and talk more about your business.

Graphics, visuals and digital design, are you all over it?

Are you a small business owner wanting to cut costs as much as possible? One of the first ways businesses attempt to reduce cost is by minimising the cost of graphic design. So, they search on google and find a stock logo amongst thousands of websites and then success, they have a logo design for less than $20!

But, there's a big difference between buying a $20 logo online and developing a brand identity. Brand identity and unique design is what sets you apart from other brands and represents what your business stands for. If your business doesn’t have a brand identity it means you’re building your business to be invisible, because people won’t recognise your brand amongst the thousands of other businesses. 

Still not convinced you need a graphic designer on your team? Let me give you five reasons why you do:

Creates professionality

In order to have professional designs, you need to work with a graphic designer.

First impressions count and at first glance it only takes a few seconds for a customer to make a decision about your brand. With unprofessional branding, you run the risk of potential customers passing you by. Put simply, if you don't look good enough they won’t choose you.

A brand is not only about the logo or graphics, but it’s also about the whole company. Their strategies, missions, visions, and visual messages it portrays. A graphic designer creates a creative and professional brand to help communicate these things to your target audience through visual communication, which builds trust with your customer. 

You stand out from competitors

Having a stock logo or using online design websites isn’t going to help your brand stand out from competitors. It's important to note, when you use template designs you’re not the only one who’s doing so, with thousands of other businesses using those templates as well. So, from your customer's perspective you’re not special as they can’t distinguish you from other companies. Do the best you can to help your business stand out from the crowd and help your customers distinguish your brand by establishing a unique design.

Improves your brand image

Have you noticed how biting an apple would remind you of your iPhone and Apple brand? This is because Apple has a strong brand image.

By using professional branding your customers will remember you anytime, anywhere. A simple shape or a minimal design by an experienced graphic designer can build your brand and improve your brand image.

I can’t reveal the secret, this is the graphic designer’s mystery!!

Saves time and money

You get what you pay for, so it’s always better to have the work done once with a reasonable price than being worried about poor designs which you would have to ask to be changed repeatedly.

Graphic designers use the right tools for each job to improve efficiency, they also find the best way to design your materials while keeping your printing cost to a minimum. They know how to do their best in a quarter of the time and keep costs down. Simple things like choosing the best paper, size, and colour for printing can make all the difference and with their expertise you can trust they know how to make the right decisions. If you are looking for the best results, I’m afraid you won’t get that from  Microsoft office or online design websites. You just waste your money and time.

Experienced Web Designers always have better ideas and approaches on how to build and create websites and online platforms for businesses based on the requirements and needs case by case and category oriented.

You might be able to build your own online store through a web platform with a very low cost, but it’s not the best way to sell your products. A good website is not only about the look, it also consists of having a good frontend, backend, optimised and flawless database design and efficient SEO.

David Ogilvy, the father of advertising once said: “Pay people peanuts and you get monkeys.”

Offers you a fresh, professional, perspective

You can look at a design for a week and never think of it again. You can also look at the design for a second and think of it all your life.

It’s important to think, what would make a customer choose you amongst thousands of others when you have no uniqueness and innovations in your branding?

You are more likely to attract new customers when you have fresh ideas in terms of visually communicating with them to sell your products and services.

As a business owner no-one knows your business better than you, but it’s not easy to explain this in a visual format. Your brand and designs bridge you visually to your customers.

Brainstorming with a designer illustrates your visions to you and helps you to make an efficient decision about your brand.

Your brand is your baby. You need to look after it for it to grow. Good treatment and care makes your baby stronger and healthier.

Graphic designers play a big role in achieving these objectives and walk you through this way gradually. So, why not take a load off and let the professionals do it for you? 

SUNSHINE COAST GOLF CENTRE

The opportunity

The Sunshine Coast Golf Centre is a specialised, indoor golf facility designed for the everyday golfer to improve their game using the same technology as the best players in the world. Atomu Watanabe the Owner/Director of SCGC has contacted YBC to commission a strategic marketing plan to provide future direction for SCGC in expanding their market share and solidify the company as a prestige brand.

The result

YBC has delivered a marketing plan with a focus on the development of visual identity, and consistent key messages and communication on all channels. The creative process saw through the redesign of the logo and development of the new brand guidelines along with a consistent tone of voice. Additionally, the crew delivered an Ambassador Program to increase the number of referrals to contribute to membership increase for the facility.

F45 BIRTINYA

The opportunity

F45 Birtinya is a premium workout facility offering functional HIIT training in a group environment as part of the global F45 franchise. The brand is well-known globally which presented a unique case of developing a personalised and highly likable local business with its own identity that is also adhering to the franchise. F45 Birtinya engaged YBC to expand their market share as a first-class training facility by increasing brand awareness and the number of F45 members.

The result

YBC has delivered a strategic plan that focussed on membership growth through a range of tactics such as the development of a consistent social media framework, EDM campaigns, social and promotional events, referral programs, competitions, corporate offers, client acquisition to engage, convert and retain, and so on. The Crew is dedicated to deploy these tactics working closely with the enthusiastic team of F45.

DESOPA

The opportunity

DESOPA (Dance Edge School of Performing Arts) is a Canberra-based company. They contacted us with the request to rebrand from a ‘mum and kids’ local dance studio to a sophisticated and mature company that leads the Canberra dance education and performance scene. 

The result

Within three months, our team developed a strong Tone of Voice, restructured their communication style and channels, developed their logo, and visual collateral such as typefaces, colour palette, and photography style. We achieved this through regular online communication (Zoom, email and phone calls). The new brand was revealed at their performance event Unity Dance Challenge in front of the industry with resounding success.

AMANDA HORDERN

The opportunity

Dr Amanda Hordern is a Victoria-based expert on cancer research in palliative care. She had a well-established brand, Bayside Healthy Living where the focus was on the use of Hypnotherapy and Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) to assist with patients changing their mindset during and after cancer to live a happier and healthier life. Due to the extensive work and excellent reputation Dr Hordern has developed, she was ready to pivot the brand, redirecting the focus towards a stronger personal branding within the business. 

The result

Dr Hordern has engaged two agencies before arriving at YBC. While her knowledge and expertise is unquestionable in her field, Dr Hordern was lost in the creative process of developing her unique brand voice and style. Our team has made the biggest impact through the lengthy nurturing process with Dr Hordern, providing opportunities to change, merge and adapt the range of design, resulting in a sophisticated brand style, and a highly functional website. The biggest win of this case study is the trust gained and strong relationship built with Dr Hordern.

SAGE DENTISTRY

The opportunity

Melika Firouzeei and Hassan Rajabian engaged us at YBC to develop their dentistry branding. They are both dentists with a new clinic that is focussing on aesthetic/cosmetic dentistry. Melika and Hassan have had all tangible elements to start the new business, location/facility, equipment, staff and relevant qualifications/documentation. However, the key item - a strong brand - was missing. 

The result

The first step was to brainstorm a brand name - Sage Dentistry - that encapsulated the needs/wants and desired attributes of the business. Once the name was born, our team extensively engaged with Melika to develop the style guidelines, typefaces, colour palette, and logo. This was achieved in less than a month. The team is currently working on the Tone of Voice, communication styles and channels (website creation). In this process, the highlight is the seamless teamwork that made Melika and Hassan entirely comfortable and excited with every step, which resulted in a trusting and unlimited creative development.

CARDIO TECH

The opportunity

CardioTech, a pioneer company in the fitness industry that imports and manufactures quality exercise equipment and products commissioned a photoshoot and advertisement for launching their new product the CV-12 Vibration Machine on the market. The goal was to target health-conscious individuals of any age who would like to lose weight and/or maintain their physical fitness from the comfort of their own home.

The result

A series of high-quality images were created to showcase the hero product. By selecting real, relatable women, casted specifically to engage with the target audience, we were able to create a story that built an emotional connection and offered an achievable reality to potential customers.