The best marketers in the industry understand that human beings’ buying decisions are based not only on obvious desires, but also on subconscious preferences. Seemingly simple visual factors have the power to greatly affect the way people view a product or brand.

In an age of intense competition, it’s more crucial than ever to master the most effective non-verbal attention grabber: color. The Institute of Color Research found that people tend to make a judgment about content in less than 90 seconds, and up to 90% of that judgment is influenced by the colors people see.

Color subconsciously portrays a brand’s identity and message. Besides using effective colors in a company logo, it’s important to use a consistent and compelling color scheme throughout all branding projects. When choosing a color scheme, it’s smart to keep it simple. A study by the University of Toronto showed that two out of three people preferred simple color combinations that relied on only two or three colors. There are a few different types of color schemes that tend to look the best.

Complementary colors sit opposite from one another on the color wheel. They create visual contrast, which is aesthetically pleasing. For example, when blue and orange are together, they give off a bold, opposite, and contrasting look.

Analogous colors are next to each other on the color wheel. This color scheme creates a soft and relaxed look. Instead of creating contrast, the scheme instills subtlety. Purple, blue, and green are examples of analogous colors.

A monochromatic color scheme features a single color’s various tints and shades. This color combination is even softer and subtler than analogous colors, and tends to appear mostly in luxury and designer brands.

Certain colors are known in the psychology world to evoke specific emotions in people. Yellow, for example, is the color of happiness and optimism. It’s often used in store windows to help draw people in, encourage communication, and activate memory, according to a report by Koozai on the Psychology of Color.

The color orange stimulates motivation, friendliness, and confidence. It’s frequently used on food packaging because it also stimulates hunger, according to the Koozai report.

Red is known as a bold and powerful color. It is often used in store sales because it stimulates action and energy. Red is exciting, strong, and attention grabbing.

For an uplifting and creative effect, use the color purple. This color is frequently used on beauty packaging, according to the Koozai report, because it evokes feelings of mystery, luxury, and magic.

The color blue portrays feelings of reliability, dependability, and calmness. It is often used in banks and businesses because it gives off a strong and trusting vibe. The Psychology of Color report also noted that blue is one of the most enjoyed colors in the entire world, especially among men.

Green is usually associated with the environment, and natural or wholesome products. It radiates a sense of well-being, peace, growth, and relaxation.

To portray vibrancy, youth, and fun energy, use shades of pink. Pink is most frequently used in marketing towards women and girls. It’s a romantic, soft, and compassionate color.

Using the color black will portray a sense of mystery, seriousness, and power. Most luxury brands use black in their marketing because it instills contrast and sleekness.

White is the color of purity, cleanliness, and innocence. It’s simple and fresh. White is usually found on medical products.

It’s crucial to know your audience when utilizing the psychological effects of color in marketing. For example, impulsive shoppers are most likely to engage with the color red, orange, and yellow. Traditional buyers prefer pink, green, purple, and blue, according to the Koozai report. A brand should consider the feelings they want their audience to experience when deciding on a color scheme.

Color is the most effective subconscious marketing technique, and when used correctly, can greatly increase brand interaction and engagement.