Psychology of Color & Your Business | PURPLE FOCUS

If you follow us on Instagram, we run a Pop Quiz series on Wednesdays in our stories that breaks down the details on different terms in the branding world. Last week, our pop quiz focused on Brand Harmonization. That’s another way of saying branding consistency in the efforts of helping your audience become more aware with your brand, or brand awareness

Colors play a role in this process. Your color palette’s presence in different areas of your brand (social media, product packaging, and more) can help audiences’ awareness of your brand as easily identifiable. 

But at the core of it all, colors can influence the way your audience perceives your brand depending on how they’re utilized. How are you coloring your business?

Colors can bring out positive or negative perceptions from people depending on how they’re presented. So far we’ve covered the colors red, green, yellow, and blue. Moving to the next in our The Psychology of Color & Your Business blog series? We tackle the color PURPLE!

PURPLE

For centuries, we’ve seen the color purple heavily present in associations with royalty, wealth, and power. Why was this? An incredibly easy explanation actually! Back in the day, purple fabric was coveted and expensive to the point that the only people who could access this color fabric were those who had heavy amounts of change in their pocket: the regal and the royal. 

Producing the dye required a lot of work. In a LiveScience.com article, they state that “more than 9,000 mollusks were needed to create just one gram of Tyrian purple. Since only wealthy rules could afford to buy and wear the color, it became associated with the imperial classes of Rome, Egypt, and Persia”. 

Because of the class involvement, the color purple was quick to become associated with spirituality and the air of holiness. This is due to archaic ways of thinking that those in positions of power were close to gods or were seen as descendents of gods. 

Over time, it became more accessible and other methods were found to replicate the purple color using synthetic materials. Even though the color purple maintained regal symbolism for a consistent amount of time, there is an opposing meaning to the color. 

So…what does the color say about your brand or business?

Let’s start with the basic questions:

  • What first comes to mind when you think of the color purple?
  • What’s the significance of purple in conjunction with your brand?
  • Referring back to the first question, will the color purple evoke the same reaction from your audience?

 

These questions can apply to any color. With that in mind, consider the following.

  • Are you going with purple because it is a rich, regal-like color?
  • Are you going with purple because it imitates the coloration of grapes and wines? 
  • Or are you going with purple because you simply love it and it’s an absolute must to the soul of your brand?

 

Again, colors have heaps of meanings with some being positive and others being negative. 

Let’s use a branding client from LOVET AGENCY as an example.


For personal stylist Keisha Lorraine, purple acts as an accent color to an otherwise simplistic, clean black and white color palette. This choice was made because a heavier presence of the color purple could meddle in the the brand’s purpose of providing a customized service that appeals to potential clients with specific aesthetics in mind. That isn’t to say there isn’t a way to present purple that’s not overly rich, but this was what worked best for this brand while presenting an air of professionalism and passion for styling.

On the flip side, the color purple can harbor a negative connotation. For example, think back to various Disney villains. There’s usually some sort of purple variation to their wardrobe design like with Governor Ratcliffe from Pocahontas, Ursula in The Little Mermaid, Yzma in The Emperor’s New Groove and more. The color purple in its association with royalty and history evolved into one that means evil and deception in Disney films.

There are a slew of meanings that are represented often by the color purple. Let’s break down the positives and negatives.

MEANINGS OF THE COLOR PURPLE

POSITIVE

NEGATIVE

PassionConceit
Wealth/OpulenceCruelty
LuxuryArrogance
Unconscious & SubconsciousEntitlement
ImaginationPomposity
AwarenessIndulgence
SensitivityImmaturity

 

More to come from The Psychology of Color & Your Business! What color psych walkthrough would you like to go through next? Are there any single colors or paired colors you’d like to get a breakdown for? Leave a comment below and stay tuned!

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