Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 711–727 | Cite as

Exciting red and competent blue: the importance of color in marketing

  • Lauren I. LabrecqueEmail author
  • George R. Milne
Original Empirical Research


From beverages to consumer electronics, marketers are using color in innovative ways. Despite this, little academic research has investigated the role that color plays in marketing. This paper examines how color affects consumer perceptions through a series of four studies. The authors provide a framework and empirical evidence that draws on research in aesthetics, color psychology, and associative learning to map hues onto brand personality dimensions (Study 1), as well as examine the roles of saturation and value for amplifying brand personality traits (Study 2). The authors also demonstrate how marketers can strategically use color to alter brand personality and purchase intent (Study 3), and how color influences the likability and familiarity of a brand (Study 4). The results underscore the importance of recognizing the impact of color in forming consumer brand perceptions.


Color Brand personality Aesthetics Logo design Package design Purchase intent 



The authors thank the editor and three anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments. This research is based on the first author’s dissertation and she thanks Ron Michaud, Brian P. Brown, and William D. Diamond for their comments on previous versions of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of BusinessNorthern Illinois UniversityDeKalbUSA
  2. 2.Isenberg School of ManagementUniversity of Massachusetts AmherstAmherstUSA

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