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5 Reasons Why Color Matters for Web Design and Branding

The importance of color for Web Design and Branding
Color Matters for Web Design and Branding

When it comes to branding and web design, color matters - not only for more visible, aesthetic reasons but also less apparent ones related to user engagement, brand success and driving revenue to name a few.

In this post, we bring you five reasons why businesses (both large and small) should pay attention to their color choices backed by research compiled by DesignAdvisor, complete with some advice on how to get started. The truth is, some companies have been using color to drive revenue and assert their brand image for ages while the rest are only now catching on, as they come to realize that these tools are valuable and available for anyone to use.


1. The Stats

The first thing we’d be smart to take a look at is straight up, reliable, hard data. Research on consumer behavior has established that color turns out to be one of the most relevant factors at the time of assessing a purchase decision.

Product assessment takes 90 seconds on average and consists of different factors like price and shape, durability, and others. According to research on the topic, 62 to 90% of that assessment is based on color alone.

Others add that color impression is responsible for 60% of the acceptance or rejection of a product. When it comes to brand recognition, color accounts for 80% of a brand’s capacity to be consistently recognized. All these factors add up and place considerable weight on making color-related decisions, as brand owners quickly become aware that a choice of color can determine the success of their product. Applied to web design, the wrong color could result in a bounce, lack of engagement, or even rejection of your product or service over lousy user experience.


2. Color Psychology: The Messages Behind Color Choices

Ever wondered why most fast food restaurants use red in their logo and color schemes? This is no coincidence, as red is one of the most emotion-inducing colors. It has been shown to increase heart rate by creating a sense of urgency - an emotional state which fast food franchises utilize to sell more food. The fact is, colors convey messages; your choice of color for a company logo or web scheme may either tank your chances of success or increase them. This is why conducting research related to color psychology and your brand message before choosing a strategy is a must.

Color psychology studies the most common associations that people have with certain colors. These findings are not absolute, as some people with different cultural backgrounds, moods, and memories may draw different associations from a particular color. When choosing a color scheme for a brand, it is best to formulate your brand message beforehand carefully. For instance, if you need to assert your brand as an eco-friendly alternative, you may want to try a shade of green, if you need to be trusted blue may be the way to go, and if trying to break into the luxury market, black is a safe bet.

3. Think in Terms of Your Target Audience

Understanding your customer base is the first step towards success in virtually any business. When it comes to color choices, this matters quite a bit. If you have an already established brand, extreme or sudden color changes may disconcert your base. In other cases, a fresh image may be more than welcome. Knowing what your customers want before you make any changes is of vital importance.

Color psychology helps us understand the differences between certain types of consumers. 

Using the shopping world as an example: in outlets, where shoppers are impulsive, green and royal blue are good colors to use. On the other hand, if your buyers are a bit more cash constrained and shopping on a budget, a more reserved navy blue, or teal, works well. Finally, if your buyers are more traditional and old school, more refined colors such as pink, rose and sky blue are the way to go. We use this example to show how due research into a customer base can lead you to entirely different color choices. The right decision, as we know, can make a world of a difference.


4. Conversions Through Color

While color is exceptionally useful as a way of establishing a brand message, it is also used very successfully to drive conversions in web design. Good web designers know that certain colors are more effective at drawing user attention than others, and use them in Call to Action (CTA) buttons to increase conversions.

Red, green and orange have been shown to be the most effective colors for website calls to action.

The primary reason being that they are highly contrasting colors, meaning that when a user is browsing through a site with, say, a predominantly blue color scheme and bumps into an orange button, their attention will be drawn to it immediately. This is why thinking about contrast is very important. For example, if you have a website where green is the prevailing color, a green CTA button will never work. So, while there may be some temptation to simply choose the prettiest colors for these elements, thinking about how they grab user attention can seriously increase your revenue, as we’ll see in the following section.


5. Success Stories, and the Importance of Testing

Many brands have successfully deployed the tactics described above and seen significant growth in conversions, revenue, and even brand engagement. In terms of branding, the case of Heinz is a spectacular one indeed: as part of a marketing test, the brand changed their traditional red logo and product color to green, to test whether that color would be a better fit for their products and company. After making the change, the company saw perhaps the most significant sales increase in their history, $23 million in sales in only seven months, to be exact. It’s safe to say that green worked better.

As discussed above, orange, red and green have proved to be great conversion drivers. In fact, the projection screen store Beamax saw an increase of more than 50% in engagement with links when they changed their color from a dull blue to a highly contrasting red. By changing their CTA button color to red, Dmix saw a 34% spike in conversions, and Performable experienced a 21% rise. When it comes to color, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Instead, learning what color is best suited your business’s particular needs requires performing testing. A popular method is A/B testing, which provides a way of empirically verifying that what is true in theory, will work in your specific case.




To Sum Up

These success stories, along with many others that can be found in this colorful infographic, show the vast array of instances in which color choices can end up affecting the way your business performs. Ranging from drawing more attention to a CTA button to increase conversions, to completely reshaping the way your brand is perceived by customers to establish a message, using color to benefit your brand is a smart thing to do.

There’s much more to color choices than meets the eye - it’s not merely about what’s pretty, but also about what works best for your unique business purposes.