A well-chosen colour scheme could help brands elicit the desired response in their target audience, an expert has argued.

According to June Mcleod, author of Colour Psychology Today, colour is “one of the greatest assets” for marketers, as it offers one of the “easiest ways to sway decision or attract an emotive response.”

Cadbury’s was highlighted as an example of a brand that has used colour particularly well to engage with its audience, as it is closely associated with its distinctive purple hue.

Similarly, Shell’s yellow colour scheme and the National Trust’s use of green were all said to “work and work wonderfully well.”

Laurie Pressman, Vice-President of Pantone Color Institute at Pantone, added that while colour is just one aspect of branding, it is a very important one nonetheless.

This, she said, is because a brand’s chosen hues can broadcast its message and meaning in an instant.

“When I look at colour today, it has become symbiotic with design and you have to get every element right,” she commented.

“And, when it is right it works; it just clicks.”

However, Ms Pressman stressed that the reverse is also true, as if one piece of a colour scheme is off, a brand runs the risk of being completely ignored.

She went on stress that brands only have a single opportunity to make a first impression and that colour plays “a big role in that.”

Ms Pressman said marketers are increasingly coming to understand this and recognising that they have a limited time in which to grab the attention of their target audience.

“I used to say you have three seconds to get someone’s attention,” she observed. “Now I think it is two. You don’t want someone to pass you by.”

How brands are using colour to influence purchase decisions and change perceptions, Marketing Week