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Targeting with Colour

By The HTC Team
Colour branding

A powerful website is more than skillfully written text and well-chosen graphics. There are many design decisions that can be the difference between ok, and totally outstanding. Color is a web design element that many companies overlook. Does it really matter if the logo is black with red or green with white? Or if the background is blue as opposed to green?

Imagine landing on a website with a bright yellow background. As valuable as that site’s content may be, you would probably click out after a few seconds. Not necessarily because you hate the colour yellow, but because yellow happens to be the harshest colour on the eyes. Colour is about more than making a website visually pleasing though. Colours have meaning in our lives: green means go, red means stop, red can mean love, while white can convey purity. Many brands have built their image on a colour. What colour do you think of when you hear Coca Cola? Tiffany’s? Heineken?

Colour choices are part of your branding and characterize your company. Different colours will appeal to different visitors. Understanding your target audience and the way they react to various colours can help you connect and establish relevancy with your target demographic.

Convey Character

The colours used on your website will communicate your company’s personality. Different colours are associated with different characteristics, and can help communicate the intention of your business and product. If you’re selling toys for tots, you should use ‘fun colours’ like orange, red, or bright blue. If you’re selling expensive items like fine china, you should opt for colours that convey formality and exclusivity; like deep grays, pastel blues (like Tiffany’s) and black. Using the wrong colour can confuse your audience and even completely turn them off.

Jig for Gender

While it isn’t an exact science, studies have shown that men and women respond to different colours. This means that the colours you choose for your website can be used to target a particular gender. If you’re a company selling athletic wear, you will want to appeal to both genders. In that case, blue would be a safe option. Both men and women most frequently chose blue as their favourite colour. But opting for purple might lead to trouble: While its the second most popular colour for women, it was never chosen by men. In fact, 22% of men chose it as their least favourite colour. Colour shades also play an important role in gender targeting. Men prefer bright colours while women prefer softer shades. Men also react more favourably to grey scales than women.

Acknowledge Age

When determining a colour scheme for your brand or website, it’s crucial to consider the age of your target market, as colour preferences shift with age. If you’re a company advertising a rock climbing trip in the Andes, your best colour choices include red, green, blue and yellow, bright colours that convey speed and excitement. However if you’re promoting cruises for seniors, this flashy colour palette will turn off your target audience. In fact, yellow is known to make older people angry and anxious. A safer bet would be blues and whites, colours preferred by those 70 and above.

Colour is immediate, emotional and memorable. This is why some of the biggest global brands rely on it to convey trust, power, love, and excitement. When considering a colour scheme, be sure to make choices that convey the right message and appeal to your target audience. The right colour palette can help emphasize your unique identity, convey your company’s attitude and speak volumes to your desired audience.

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