Understanding colour meanings in business is crucial when you are establishing a business profile.
Colour psychology affects our lives in so many ways, yet we often don't realize the impact of our colour choices on our website colours, on our stationery and packaging, in our retail store or office, in our marketing or our business clothing.
Colour has a powerful unintentional effect on every part of our lives, without even saying a word; an understanding of colour meanings in business gives us an invaluable tool to get the best response to our marketing and promotional efforts and ultimately to create a successful business.
In applying the information about colour meanings in business to enhance your own business profile and marketing, don't use any colour entirely on its own; it is always best to use a complementary colour with your main choice as over-use of any one colour can negate its effect and in fact have the opposite effect.
There is almost always more than one option of colour combinations to assist your business, so you don't have to choose any colour that you do not like or resonate to. Or you may use the disliked colour in a very small amount to get the response you want from your customer. For example, you may use just a very small amount of red to indicate your passion or energy for your business or as a call to action button on your website.
With the information below on each colour in this ' Colour/Color Meanings In Business' section to settle on the best choices for your business.
Meaning of Red in Business
In business, the colour red will always extract a passionate response but the reply may be either positive or negative and you may have no control over this response as it will be in the hands of your potential customer.
This is a colour which encourages buyers to take action and make a purchase. For example, it could be used to attract an impulse buy at the purchase counter in your store, as footprints or arrows directing people around your store or to your cash register, or for a 'buy now' button on a website.
A touch of red can be used as one of the colours on your website to indicate your energy and passion for your business. In larger amounts it is effective in the promotion of products or services related to food and appetite, energy, passion or speed.
Often used as a warning sign, it is best used as an accent colour as too much red can overpowering.
Meaning of Orange in BusinessBe careful when using orange in business; apply it sparingly as it tends to be the most disliked colour in the western world. Use it to suggest adventure, fun, optimism. It imparts a message that it is affordable yet reasonable quality, sociable and easy-going. Orange is an invaluable colour in encouraging sales in restaurants, café's, bistros and diners as it stimulates appetite and conversation, contributing to patrons eating and talking longer and spending more money. Its stimulation to social communication and the senses makes it a beneficial colour for hotels and resorts. Travel websites should consider it as one of their colour choices for its association with journeys, adventure and exciting fun activities. Sports teams can use this vibrant colour in their team colours to suggest energy, flamboyance and adventure. Orange is an appealing colour for the youth market as children and teens tend to like its sense of fun and adventure and its suggestion of affordability. It is also a great colour to use on toys for young children, along with other bright primary and secondary colours. A softer version of orange, such as peach is favourable in beauty salons, spas and treatment centres’ and upper class restaurants.
Meaning of Yellow in Business
Yellow is a great colour for children's products, particularly combined with other bright primary or secondary colours. It is stimulating to their mind and their creativity.
For many leisure products, particularly those that promote playful and fun activities, yellow are a beneficial colour. It will enhance the promotion of any fun and entertainment businesses.
Apart from the above types of businesses, in general it is best to use yellow as a highlight colour - too much can cause agitation and anxiety, particularly with older people. Avoid its use where you are trying to impart a message of stability.
Use yellow where you want to keep people moving. Most people cannot stay for long where there is a lot of yellow. Fast food outlets use it combined with red to encourage people to eat lots quickly then move on.
It is a good to incorporate yellow in the promotion of point of sale purchases - the eyes see yellow first and with so many other distractions in retail stores, you need to capture your customer's attention quickly.
Meaning of Yellow in Business
Green is beneficial for anything to do with health and healing.
Green is an ideal colour to promote natural, safe, organic products. It is also beneficial in the promotion of environmentally friendly products.
Green suggests something 'new' and fresh. Lime green creates an anticipation of the potential of what is on offer.
Green motivates people to join social groups and satisfies their need to belong.
Dark green is a good colour for money and financial websites. Use green where you need people to see both sides of a situation as it aids in clear thinking and decision making.
Meaning of Turquoise in Business
Turquoise is suitable for use in any business involved in media communication, teaching, public speaking or computers. It aids self-expression, clarity of thought and logical thinking.
Turquoise works well with businesses promoting water, whether it is pure water filtration companies, pool cleaning businesses, or water sports.
It has an innovative quality and appeal for sports related businesses and combines well with red, orange or yellow for these types of businesses. Turquoise is suitable for both the male and female market and for all ages.
Combined with pale pink, lavender or pale lemon, turquoise has a feminine energy, ideal for the fashion or beauty market, gift or home wares stores.
Meaning of Blue in Business
Blue is best used for conservative corporate businesses where trust, dependability and honesty are important.
Communication websites which market to individual customers on a one-to-one basis would benefit with some blue in their marketing. Technical and computer technology businesses can benefit from most shades of blue combined with gray
As with turquoise, blue is recommended for any business involved in the area of cleanliness, whether it is cleaning products, water purification or mineral water. It is also beneficial to businesses, such as airlines, boating or air conditioning companies, that relate to the common associations of blue with the sky, air and water.
Websites promoting technology, medical equipment, cleanliness, male products, or both male and female products should use some blue in their colours.
Blue should not be used for food related businesses as it is a colour that does not occur naturally in food, except for blueberries, and it is associated with mould and 'off' food. The only exception is sugar, where blue or blue-pinks are used on packaging because blue and pink are associated with sweetness.
Light blue relates well to the health and wellness industry, to travel and relaxation. Dark blue is a serious colour which inspires integrity and honesty and is often used by political organizations, religious organizations and legal firms for this reason.
Meaning of Pink in Business
Pink relates to compassion, warmth, hope and understanding, so many charities choose to use it as a major component of their marketing program.
It reflects a softness, sweetness and intuitive energy that work well for many products and websites promoting women's products and services, such as beauty salons, fashion businesses and cosmeticians. It is a beneficial colour for candy stores and other businesses selling sweet products.
Brighter versions are useful to promote less expensive and trendy products to the teenage and pre-teen market.Dusty pink relates to those businesses marketing sentimental services and products, particularly to the older market.
Meaning of Purple in Business
Purple is more suitable for products and websites related to women or children, although younger men are slowly becoming more attuned to it. Academic institutions often use medium shades of purple or violet as they inspire intellectual thought and achievement.
Purple portrays wealth and extravagance when combined with the richness of gold. This is difficult on a website as gold tends to look like a dull yellow which is not particularly positive in its message. It works very well on packaging and print material.
Pre-adolescent children are attracted to purple along with the other bright primary and secondary colours and these colours should always feature on products and marketing designed for this age group.
Lighter versions of purple are suitable for products and services targeted specifically at the female market. Lavender suggests nostalgia and works well for businesses selling old lace, sentimental handmade craft items and antique goods.
Meaning of Gold in Business
Businesses marketing items of high perceived value will benefit from the use of gold in their packaging and marketing. However it doesn't translate well onto websites - it becomes a dirty yellow which generally does not give a positive message.
Using it with navy or black are good choices when selling quality products to men, whether it is used in packaging, promotional materials or on a website. Just be aware of how it transcribes onto your website.
Combined with dark red, dark blue or dark green it imparts a message of quality, wealth and prestige.
Meaning of Silver/Gray in business
The colour silver/gray reflects quality craftsmanship and artistry and would benefit businesses offering a first class quality service or product or those selling exquisite items to the prestige market.
With its modern sleek appearance, silver is appropriate for the hi-tech, innovative computer market and scientific and technological companies.
Silver also works well for any businesses promoting and featuring quality modern appliances and equipment.
Silver doesn't work well as a colour on websites because it just appears gray which can be cold and impersonal. However, combined with other colours that are appropriate for your target market, gray will take on the messages associated with the other colours and it will then work well for your website.