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How colour can boost your business

Did you know that colour plays a huge role in how readers perceive your business, how long they’ll stay on your website, and whether they’ll come back? Here’s a guide to how to using colour can boost your business… and your bank account.

Colour affects people in profound ways. Used right it can turn a ho-hum brand into an instantly recognisable and memorable image. Consider the iconic red of a Coca-Cola can, the unmistakable blue of a Twitter bird or the welcoming yellow glow of the ‘golden arches’.

But the power of colour doesn’t stop there. Use the right Pantone shades on your website, print communications or business cards and not only can you change people’s perceptions, you can actually influence how they think, feel and act.

It’s powerful stuff. Research shows that colour can increase brand recognition by up to 80%, hold a reader’s attention two seconds longer than black and white and in a study by Xerox, 90% of respondents agreed that colour could assist in attracting new customers.

It’s safe to say that when it comes to considering the important design components of your branding and communications strategy and colour should be pretty near the top of your list.

Still not convinced?

When Heinz introduced a limited edition green ketchup they sold over 10 million bottles in the first seven months, bagging the company an estimated £13 million in sales.

Or perhaps consider the transformation of design industry favourite, Apple. After suffering $1.8 billion of losses in two years it introduced a range of colourful iMacs to an industry swamped with beige and almost instantly revived its reputation and fortunes. Today the brand has reached an almost iconic status with thousands of people swearing lifelong allegiance to the altar of Apple design.

And then there’s that research by the folks at Pantone who revealed that: “Scientists found that actual physiological changes take place in human beings when they are exposed to certain colours. Colours can stimulate, excite, depress, tranquillize, increase appetite and create a feeling of warmth or coolness.”

Wondering what your ideal shade of success is? Here’s our guide to the meanings of popular colours:

Red: Passionate, strong, determined
Because red light waves are the longest in the colour spectrum they require the eye to make the largest physical adjustment to see them. ‘Seeing red’ is quite literally a stimulating activity!

Blue: Fresh, reliable, trustworthy
Endlessly flexible blue is used by a myriad of businesses. Blue is a receding colour – it appears to be further away than it actually is – which makes it a great choice for background colour. It can ‘big up’ a small space and make it feel larger.

Green: Calming, positive, natural
Green is the easier colour for the eye to process making it a restful, calming colour. Its associations with the natural world make it a great choice for companies who are (or wish to be seen) as environmentally friendly.

Yellow: Energetic, cheerful, exciting
Bright yellows are thought by colour therapists to evoke happy emotions and increase brain activity. Because sunny shades stimulate quick-thinking and innovative ideas they are a great choice for a creative, fast-paced company.

White: Pure, clean, professional
White is a colour at its most pure and stands for equality, fairness, neutrality and independence. White is also reflective, encouraging openness, growth and creativity. Whilst there are very few negative connotations to the colour white, too much can feel cold and empty.

Orange: Vivacious, bold, warm
Exotic orange shades can transport our minds to faraway places, lifting our mood and our spirits. In its more earthy tone’s orange exudes warmth and softness. Colour therapists believe that orange can stimulate the appetite.

Purple: Creative, dramatic, grand
The ancient Greeks believed that the colour purple possessed healing qualities and could stimulate the imagination. It is said if you surround yourself with purple you will have peace of mind.

Pink: Dynamic, fun, feminine
Pink exudes the power and motivation of red and the purity and professionalism offered by white. The deeper the pink, the more passion and energy it communicates. Guess they don’t call it ‘hot’ pink for nothing!

Grey: Smart, stylish, reliable
Once the drab choice of corporate monoliths, the recent introduction of ‘heritage’ colours has given grey a popularity boost. Once thought of as uncommunicative and cold, it’s warmer variations can now be very welcoming.