This is a guest post written by Max Chekalov, Co-founder and contributor at  DesignAdvisor

Color is such a huge part of how we perceive our world. We may not notice it, but we are highly affected by the presence or lack of color in everyday life. From the cheerful colors of spring evoking joy to the dreary gray darkness of stormy days, we are very much susceptible to its effects.

Brands and marketers have been aware of the power of color psychology for some time now. In fact, DesignAdvisor points out that for nearly 85% of consumers, purchases are color-driven. We’ll explore how big-name companies have put colors to use to help you craft your brand’s signature shades.


Color Case Studies




Facebook Blue

According to Buffer, Facebook went with blue because its CEO has a type of red-green color blindness. KISSmetrics explains that it’s because this type of color perception deficiency is so common that hyperlinks are blue. In Facebook’s case, this was a stroke of luck since blue is widely regarded as the color of trust. It’s the color of choice for brands like PayPal, IBM, Visa, and Ford.





Coca-Cola Red

Who doesn’t recognize Coke’s iconic red and white logo? Many people’s early childhood memories involve colorful Christmas advertisements, depicting a jolly Santa and fluffy polar bears. The colors evoke a certain nostalgia and positive emotions. And it appears that I’m not the only one who feels this way. The phenomenon that is the Pepsi Paradox found that even though consumers preferred Pepsi over Coke during a blind taste test, they reversed their opinions as soon as they found out which was which. How’s that for brand loyalty?


Heinz… Green?

There was a moment in history when Heinz decided to color their ketchup green. While the color is associated with nature and health, this was not the reason why people flocked to stores to buy the green stuff, generating a $23 million revenue for the company. Curiosity about the green condiment was probably the main driver here. Since Heinz is a trusted brand, it was easy to buy a bottle and just try it out. The entire thing probably took off from there purely because no one wanted to miss out on the unique experience.


Additional Tips

90% of how consumers evaluate products depends on color. While color does have this powerful, proven effect, bear in mind that choosing color palettes requires an understanding of your audience. The perception of color is tied to so many things: emotional cues can mean that green invokes relaxation and nature for someone, but also a “go” signal of action for others.

Culture, too, plays a vital role. Red typically denotes love in the West. In Africa, that honor goes to blue while in Japan, instead of love, red is associated with wrath. Instead of love, blue symbolizes wisdom in Eastern Europe. However, if we move a bit more westward that same blue conveys reliability.

Age and gender are also factors in people’s color preferences. As it turns out, our preferred wavelengths change as we get older. Numerous studies have also discussed how men prefer bold colors like blue, green, and black, while women gravitate towards soft tones and the color purple.

Now, onto the final point: solid research is crucial. Tools like Google Analytics and Facebook Insights help you hone in on your audience and figure out color cues. Twitter, too, has an analytics panel that breaks down follower demographics by age, language, gender, and interests. Determining your brand’s color persona is an exciting process of discovery so on that note, happy creating!



Max Chekalov, Co-founder and contributor at  DesignAdvisor
Social media and Max is a match made in heaven. Prolific digital marketer with considerable skill in graphic design and writing, his endless thirst for knowledge and communication can be sated only by the dynamically changing world of social media. Always on top of the latest trends and development in social media marketing, Max’s curiosity and vision bring invaluable insight and value to any project.