Why is Facebook blue? According to The New Yorker, the reason is simple. It’s because Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colorblind. This means that blue is the color Mark can see the best. In his own words Zuck says: “Blue is the richest color for me; I can see all of blue.”
Not highly scientific right? Well, although in the case of Facebook, that isn’t the case, there are some amazing examples of how colors actually affect our purchasing decisions.
After all, the visual sense is the strongest developed one in most human beings. It’s only natural that 90% of an assessment for trying out a product is made by color alone.
So how do colors really affect us and what is the science of colors in marketing really? Let’s dig into some of the latest, most interesting research on it.
First: Can you recognize the online brands just based on color?
Before we dive into the research, here are some awesome experiments that show you how powerful color alone really is. Based on just the colors of the buttons, can you guess which company belongs to each of them:
Example 1 (easy):
Example 2 (easy):
Example 3 (medium):
Example 4 (hard):
These awesome examples from Youtube designer Marc Hemeon, I think show the real power of colors more than any study could.
How many were you able to guess? (All the answers are at the bottom of this post!)
Which colors trigger which feeling for us?
Being completely conscious about what color triggers us to think in which way isn’t always obvious. The Logo Company has come up with an amazing breakdown which colors are best for which companies and why. Here are 4 great examples:
Especially if we also take a look at what the major brands out there are using, a lot of their color choices become a lot more obvious. Clearly, everyone of these companies is seeking to trigger a very specific emtion:
On top of that, especially when we want to buy something, the colors can play a major role. Analytics company KISSmetrics created an amazing infographic on the science of how colors affect our purchases.
Especially the role of “Green” stands out to me as the most relaxing color we can use to make buying easier. We didn’t intentionally choose this as the main color for Buffer actually, it seems to have worked very well so far though.
At second look, I also realized how frequently black is used for luxury products. It’s of course always obvious in hindsight. Here is the full infographic: