Targeting your ads to the right customer goes beyond selecting the right content, images and platforms. The colors chosen for the adverts play a major role in determining how people will react to them. For instance, certain colors are known to attract women, while others resonate with men.

This is known as color psychology, and is frequently used in gender marketing. In fact, it has become a major component in many marketing strategies utilized by brands within various industries.

Why is Color So Important?

Studies have been done by universities which showcase the effects colors have on the consumer’s mind. Once marketers got a hold of this data, they immediately began implementing it into their own campaigns — especially those that rely on gender marketing tactics. Research shows colors affect the human mind psychologically.

We associate colors with different meanings — for instance, baby blue and light pink are thought of as innocent and commonly associated with baby boys and girls. Growing up in the Western hemisphere, you learn that red means stop and yellow means caution.

Of course, how and where the colors are used will determine how the colors are interpreted by consumers. Selecting the right colors can make the difference between rubbing prospects the right way or turning them off.

While there are no actual guidelines for specific color use, there are some general rules that have been established to help marketers fine-tune their ads and other marketing collateral.

It’s also important to note that the color of your products can greatly impact how well they will sell. Numbers show that 2/3 of consumers won’t buy a product if it doesn’t come in the color they want.

How Colors Affect the Buying Experience

The research that’s gone into color psychology has connected colors to different groups of buyers. For instance, those who are on a budget tend to be drawn to colors like navy blue and teal, while traditional buyers are drawn to pink, rose and sky blue.

This is also why you will likely find banks and department stores using navy blue and teal colors, and clothing stores using rose, pink and sky blue in their décor and signage.

You’ll even find emotions tied to specific colors, which is why it’s important for brands to pay close attention to the hues they use. Studies show that the following colors and emotions are connected:

  • Yellow = optimism, clarity and warmth
  • Hot pink = excitement, bold and youthful
  • Purple = creative, wise and imaginative
  • Blue = trust, strength and dependable
  • Orange = friendly, confidence and cheerful
  • Green = peaceful, health and growth
  • Gray = balance, calm and neutral

This data is typically used when deciding which colors to use for logos and signs. For instance, you can find yellow being implemented by restaurants like Subway and Denny’s, as well as phone companies, such as Sprint.

The Role of Color in Attracting Men and Women

Some brands have a predominantly male or female audience, which means they have to be more thoughtful about the colors they choose for their advertisements and products. You’ll find black and blue frequently used for attracting men because it represents strength. Brands that are using a gender marketing database, such as Name Gender Pro, will be able to determine what percentage of their audience is male or female. This will enable them to make a more informed decision about choosing the right colors for the marketing and products geared towards them.

One thing many brands falsely believe is that they must use pink for girls and blue for boys. Thanks to studies surrounding the psychology of color, brands are able to better understand the various ways colors can draw in their target audience. Understanding how colors attract, evoke emotion and impact the interpretations of their brand or product is essential.

You can see how color psychology has been properly implemented by the anti-aging industry. While many of its beauty products target women, you won’t find their products boasting colors like pink or rose. Instead, you find their items using bolder and more masculine tones, such as reds, grays and dark blues. Why? Because it asserts authority and power. These products are backed by scientific proof, which is used to attract customers (not frilly colors).

Here’s a quick overview of how major brands are using colors to evoke emotion:

  • Restaurants, like McDonalds and Pizza Hut use red because it increases appetite.
  • Health firms and cafes (like Starbucks) use green because it is associated with nature, tranquility and health.
  • Snacks and beverage companies, like Cheetos and Fanta use bright orange to draw in impulsive buyers.

Choosing the Appropriate Colors for Your Marketing Campaigns

There are various things to consider when determining which colors to choose for your products and marketing. For instance, the culture of the audience you’re attracting will vary your color options greatly. It’s important to study the color norms within the culture of the individuals you’re trying to attract. For instance, red in the west can mean danger, love and energy, while in the east is represents prosperity, good fortune and weddings. In South Africa, the color red indicates mourning.

You can see how your color choices can greatly impact the success of the products you sell, depending on where and to whom you’re selling.

When it comes to gender, studies show that men tend to like colors that are bold, while women like softer hues. Normally, men are biased to colors that they like, while women will lean towards tints of colors, which are colors with white added. To the contrary, men tend to like shades of colors, which has black added.

If you’re selling to average men and women from the west, then this is important to know:

  • Men’s favorite colors: blue, black, red and green
  • Men’s least favorite colors: brown, orange, purple and yellow
  • Women’s favorite colors: blue, purple, green, red
  • Women’s least favorite colors: yellow, white, brown, orange

One thing you’ll notice is that both genders like blue, which is why it’s commonly used in products that are unisex.

If you’re aiming your products or services primarily to one sex, then it’s very important to know which colors to use to appeal to your market. It’s also helpful to know who you’re attracting the most. If you’re collecting names and emails from prospects, this can be very telling. However, some names may be neutral or foreign, making it difficult to determine whether a subscriber or customer is a male or female.

In this case, it’s essential to use a gender name checker. The #1 name gender database is Name Gender Pro, which features names collected from America, Canada, the UK and Australia. It has a large database, which can be used to cross reference the names collected within your own database.

This will enable you to determine your market or allow you to categorize both sexes into separate groups, so your marketing campaigns are personalized accordingly.

Color psychology is definitely something you want to consider when marketing to either gender. Hopefully, this quick overview has opened your eyes to the world of enhanced gender marketing!

Serial Entrepreneur. Founder of, Scholar. Expert in Data Analytics, Marketing Segmentation, Growth Hacking and Data Science.

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Alex Zbooker — Founder of datasetsDB

Alex Zbooker — Founder of datasetsDB

Serial Entrepreneur. Founder of, Scholar. Expert in Data Analytics, Marketing Segmentation, Growth Hacking and Data Science.

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