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What is the meaning of your brand colours?

Nathan Denny
Written by: Nathan Denny
Length: 3 min read
Date: 30 Apr 2024

There’s more to colour than first meets the eye. There’s a deep-rooted subconscious meaning behind colour, both culturally and strategically, which is why it is so important to understand the meaning of colours before setting your sights on a specific palette for your business. This is especially true if your current colour idea is based solely on your own personal preference.

You can use colour to position your brand identity, or even separate it strategically from a saturated market. This will allow your business to connect to the right customers, leverage more business and most importantly, give your brand clear differentiation from competitors.


Certain colour hues create specific emotional responses. Understanding the psychology behind these hues will enable you to best position your brand.

But unfortunately, there is not one colour that will guarantee success for your business. After all, if there was, everyone would do it, right? However, you’ll often see a strong association of a certain colour within industries, including big named brands.

For example, there is a common trend for fast food brands to use the colour red. KFC, McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Nandos, Five Guys… the list goes on (and now I’m hungry), but have you ever thought to question the reason why?

Well here comes the clever psychology behind the colour red. Although red has a wide range of meanings, the most basic is to stimulate and excite. Red wants to make you feel hungry, make the food feel desirable and, judging by the success of the fast food industry, it really works!

Here is a quick list of the psychological meanings of colours:



Red is used to stimulate and excite, it expresses emotions such as passion, strength, and anger. It’s often used to depict warning, danger, strength, desire and courage. Warm red conveys strength and reliability while the brighter hue illustrates real energy and swiftness. Bear in mind that red can be overwhelming if used too much.


Purple is associated with nobility and luxury. Bright shades suggest creativity, spring and romance. Dark purple conveys elegance and mystery. Purple is used in finance, technology, and health businesses.


Blue conveys reliability, confidence, and security; it’s associated with the calmness of seas and water. Bright shades of blue convey friendliness while dark shades suggest experience and stability. Blue is used in the energy, finance, airline, health, and agriculture sectors.


Green has a strong association with the plant world and life. It conveys a sense of serenity, rejuvenation, prosperity, health, and optimism. Light shades are used to illustrate spring, rebirth, relaxation, freshness, and sincerity. Green is used in the energy, finance, food, household goods, and technology industries.


Yellow is associated with the sun. It conveys feelings of happiness, hope, and optimism. Bright shades of yellow are often used to attract attention while darker hues call for wisdom and curiosity. Yellow is actively used in the energy, food, and household goods' sectors. 


Orange depicts light and warmth, and is used to convey energy and courage. It is lively, energetic and friendly. Orange is actively used in technology and healthcare businesses.


Brown conveys cleanliness, comfort, and coziness. It implies experience, confidence, and durability. However, brown should be used with caution, since it can also be associated with impurity.


Black is used by companies which tend to convey traditional values and style. It’s perfect for luxury goods and services since it calls for power, modernity, and sophistication.


White is pure, noble, and soft. Conveying cleanliness, simplicity and innocence, the use of white and light greys implies minimalism and neutrality.


Your goal is to connect your brand with its customers, and the right colour palette can help build this relationship.

FINALLY can help you to discover your business aspirations, identify any market saturation and reflect these ideas within your brand decisions. We’ll propose colour palettes for you to choose from based on these discoveries and the meaning of colours, and help you make the best decision for your branding. Get in touch to find out how we could help you.

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Millie Collier Marketing Manager