Color psychology and social media’s top brands

While browsing some blogs today there was one in particular that caught my eye: The social media icons looked nice, and were all in grayscale, but when I hovered over them, they didn’t change over to the original brand colors. That, to me, spelled unfulfilled potential, because rollover icons keep my attention, and those already-nice icons would have looked even better with color to make them pop. It also made me realize three of the icons’ brand logos are all blue, and that got me thinking about color psychology and branding.

Do you think it’s a coincidence that Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn all have blue logos? Brand recognition is huge in this day and age, when you consider that consumers come in contact with hundreds of different logos on a daily basis. Those sites are arguably three of the top social media sites on the web, and the features they provide are becoming more similar every day. Maybe they know something about the color blue that we don’t.

According to NPR, scientists have found that the color blue makes us feel more creative and receptive to ideas. One scientist remarked that blue “encourages an approach motivation” and that people think of more creative solutions to problems.

Entire professional organizations exist to research just this thing: Color. From the color czars to the Color Marketing Group, there are professionals out there who dedicate their professional lives to studying and enhancing the way color factors into consumer decisions and recognition.

Another article states that, “As much as 90% of a person’s assessment of a product is based on color alone.” So maybe great social media minds think alike, and they think in blue, the color that supposedly is associated with steadfastness, dependability, wisdom and loyalty.

I haven’t measured the neurons or seconds it takes me to identify those three brands’ logos, but it feels pretty instantaneous – the mark of a powerful brand. Logos are arguably the most significant part of brand recognition, and I don’t believe those three successful brands all utilizing different shades of blue in their logos is a coincidence.

Have you noticed a trend in the colors incorporated in the images of your favorite brands? Do you think this theory is crazy, or do you have more examples of progressive, popular brands that also use the color blue?

Also, something to munch on – This story found that red and blue evoke very different psychological responses. Do the things associated with each color correlate with the brand images of the Democratic and Republican parties?

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2 responses to “Color psychology and social media’s top brands

  1. Wow. Thanks for bringing the whole blue thing to my attention. Coming from the advertising side of the communications spectrum, I should not be surprised that anything “is an accident” these days. In the past I haven’t give color a second thought when it comes to purchases, unless if I’m putting it on my body directly (i.e. clothing), but maybe those marketing geniuses have just had me fooled all these years. Your links are pretty amazing. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thanks for the feedback Andrea, I appreciate it! Isn’t it crazy how nothing is an accident anymore? Great point. I’m happy you enjoyed what I had to say and now that we’re connected on Twitter I’m excited to hear more of what you have to say.

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