Colors evoke strong emotions in your audience. This happens in the deepest part of our brain. We cannot shut off their effects, and most of them happen without our conscious consent. In other words:
The effects of color on your audience are largely automatic.
In Drunk Tank Pink, author Adam Alter describes how the police paint their holding cells a certain hue of pink in order to calm delinquents down.
He also mentions a football team dying the opponent’s dressing room in the same pink, attempting to pacify their competitive instincts before a game.
Colors directly influence behavior.
Hot-colored pills (red, orange) work better as stimulants whilst cool-colored pills (blue, green) work better as depressants. This dramatic effect is seen in all human activity.
Branding is no exception.
So what colors should you use? Well, It all depends on your brand promise. Do you want your brand to be seen as expensive or affordable? Rough or sophisticated? Exciting or reliable?
If your brand fulfills a need or solves a problem, you might go for blue or green. But if you want to signal social status or some cool attitude, you might use black or orange.
Colors should evoke the brand promise.
That’s why McDonald’s changed from red to green. And why the riot police drops the blue for black when the sh*t hits the fan.
Your hamburger tastes less toxic when the logo is green. And you feel more intimidated by black-clad enforcers.
If the brand colors do not match the brand promise, you’re in trouble.
No one would buy brown lingerie, for brown means rugged. Likewise, pink outdoors gear would only be sold to genderqueer hunters. (A very small market, or so I’m told.)
Every color shades into others.
This means that if you choose a color between blue and green, you will carry associations from both, albeit muddled.