How to choose the right colours for your D2C marketing campaigns


When was the last time you saw a specific shade of fluorescent green with black and immediately recognised Spotify? Black with an orangish-yellow and you know it is Amazon while a brighter and lemony-shade of yellow coupled with blue, we have Flipkart.


Colours have always evoked feelings and emotions in people and over time, colours have evolved as a way for us to associate with a brand’s identity and purpose.


As more and more brands strive to make an impactful presence in the market and compete for the same, marketing campaigns aimed at direct consumers have become indispensable and omnipresent. How then, can you strike a lasting impact on your audience?


As an entity that helps eCommerce brands in India achieve success, we have put together an article that elaborates and details on the specifics and nitty-gritties when it comes to colours and marketing campaigns. Do give this a read!


Importance of colours and aesthetics to help connect with the audience


We are familiar with the adage "Red means stop, green means go", but do you know what colours in marketing campaigns increase conversions and which ones don’t? Here's why it is important to select the right colour for your marketing campaigns.


According to a study, people make a subconscious judgement about a product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and between 62% of that assessment is based on colour alone. If you want to sell your product, you need to make sure that the colours used are appealing and attractive to the target audience while also relating with your brand and ethos.


One of the best examples is how Coca-Cola used a red background in celebration of Christmas, or how Red Bull was able to establish a strong colour association between the drink and extreme sports and other energetic activities. Zomato, a food delivery and restaurant aggregator app picked red as its representative colour and today, we recognise a certain shade of red with white and black on our social media feeds as a content piece from Zomato.


Closer home, Shoptimize brands such as Haldiram’s use bright, festive colours for backgrounds to showcase their products on social media while PAIO, a luxury, vegan footwear brand found it most ideal to pick lighter shades of lively colours such as green, orange, and pastels to drive their brand ethos.


The question then arises that if colours were to have such profound impact on the viewers or audience, how then do we determine what colours to pick and what to steer away from?


How to choose and establish your presence with colours:


When looking at what colours work best for D2C marketing, it's important to consider how these will be applied across different channels. You need to think about how your audience will interact with your brand on social media, through email marketing and through other digital channels as well as how they'll experience it in real life through packaging and logo design.


Each channel has its own considerations when it comes to choosing the right colours for your campaign. Here are some key factors to consider:


1. What is my brand’s offering in the market?


Colour psychology under the subject colour theory explores the effect hues have on human behaviours. If you have noticed, food industries often opt for oranges and greens. While the green colour offers a sense of freshness and quality, orange instigates passion and hunger (cue- Swiggy). Similarly, banking industries often prefer blues to instil feelings of trust and faith.

Looking at other players in your industry is often a good place to take inspiration from to select a palette for your campaigns.


Key takeaway- Take your industry into consideration. However, do not stray too far away from your brand’s colours and maintain the recall value.


2. What is the message I want to convey?


What is the purpose of your campaign? Are you promoting a new product or offering a sale? Is it a social message or an urge for action?

The message you want to deliver through your campaign must be evident at a glance. While the copy and design by large play a role, the colours are what catches the eye.


Key takeaway- Campaign colours must convey the purpose and message of the campaign quickly and effectively.


3. Who is my target audience?


Emotions are, at the end of the day, personal to each individual and how they react to something highly depends on where they are coming from. Geographical locations, cultures of the place, their ethnicity, beliefs, age, gender, etc., play a great role in determining the same.

While bright, flashy colours might appeal to the younger generations; subtle colours and tones of white, black, and gold appeal to the upper class clout.


Key takeaway- Always pick a colour that your target audience can relate to. The opposite might not catch their attention or, worse, repel them altogether.


4. What are the advertisement channels for this campaign?


An advertisement posted on a social media channel is greatly different from the one advertised on a billboard or a TV commercial. Infact, the social media platforms in which the creatives roll also greatly differ. The colours you would choose if the majority of your audience uses a dark theme on their devices would also be very different from those using white.

Carefully pick your colours after due consideration of the advertising mediums of your campaigns.


Key takeaway- Invest decent time in determining the channels of advertisement before selecting a colour palette.


A few colour suggestions for different industries


By this point, we have established that a lot of factors play an determining role in choosing a colour palette for D2C marketing campaigns.

We have put together a brief guide suggesting what colours are often preferred by which industries and product groups-

  • Clothing, accessories, and apparel

A men’s clothing brand would prefer shades of blues while a women specific brand might pick pinks or yellows. Similarly, a luxury fashion label might opt for blacks and purples to convey sophistication and royalty while a wedding wear collection often chooses reds with a contrast of cream or gold.

  • Food and beverages

Orange, red, yellow, and green are most ideal for the food industry while blue and brown are ideal for beverages. Energy drinks and fitness snacks might be advertised using red and yellow for passion, action, and liveliness while different shades of green are ideal for an organic food brand. It is no surprise that beverages, especially cafes, opt for browns.

  • Healthy living and spirituality

One often associates green with nature and all things healthy. While the colour green is a good choice for healthy living products, purple instils a feeling of awakening, serenity, and peace, therefore being a great choice for spiritual and astrology services such as tarot readings and kind.


Some tools that can help you


It is always advisable that you take the aid of tools that are specifically designed to suggest colour palettes.


Canva, Adobe Colours CC, HueSnap, Khroma, Coolors.co, and ColourCode are some tools that will help you not only pick colours but also offer a palette that will help maintain a visual harmony in the design.


Conclusion


One is not expected to be aware of all the nitty-grittys and minute details of any activity right from the beginning. However, experimentation, trial and error go a long way in helping you understand and reason with the process better.