The Psychology Behind Colors in Marketing & Branding for your Dealership

The Psychology Behind Colors in Marketing & Branding for your Dealership

One of the most important aspects of branding for your dealership is the visuals. Your logo and official colors are – or should be – instantly recognizable, bringing to mind everything positive about your dealership. You’re trustworthy. You sell and rent quality, reliable construction equipment (maybe heavy-duty trucks, too). Your service is unsurpassed.

your_dealerships_brand-300x300Does your visual branding for your dealership say all that about you? If not, perhaps you need to use different colors.

The emotional power of color has long been known, though the “science” behind it is somewhat subjective. That’s because people themselves are subjective – we inherently filter what we see through our cultural background, experiences and personal preferences. Nonetheless, there are some basic truths about the psychology of color you can use to evoke the response you want in prospects and long-time customers.

Who are you, as a dealership?

Different colors tend to evoke different emotions in us, which is why the psychology of color is so important for marketing and branding your dealership. In fact, one research study showed 90% of first impressions of many products are based on color. An off-putting color simply won’t attract interest, let alone sell.

attract leads smallA lot of that has to do with the fact that colors exist in some context. Colors that would be appealing for a toy store or dress shop simply don’t “jibe” with an equipment or truck dealership. But the colors you choose to represent your brand have to reflect your personality as well.

Who are your customers?

Perhaps not surprisingly, certain colors appeal more to men or to women. Men prefer bold colors, whereas women prefer softer colors. Men prefer darker shades of color – any color with a bit of black added. Women prefer lighter tints – colors with a bit of white added. Interestingly, men and women both like blue, but men virtually never choose purple as a preference. On the other hand, purple is very popular with women.

This matters because you’re trying to appeal to a specific gender make-up. Your dealership likely has more male customers, but the construction industry isn’t the all-male bastion it once was. It pays to know who is actually making purchasing decisions for your various departments. The better you know your prospects and customers, the smarter the color choices you can make for your marketing.

Color is about contrast.

There are two aspects of contrast at play here:

  1. Color should differentiate you, if it’s going to provide successful branding for your dealership. The last thing you want is a color scheme that mimics – or even vaguely resembles – those of your competitors. You need colors that are distinctly, memorably
  2. When creating marketing content, contrasting colors can visually lead your audience toward conversion. The text or graphic that tells people what to do – “download our free e-book” or “get your free demo” – has to stand out in vivid contrast to your background, base and accent colors, so people don’t miss it.

contact-us-generic-formWhich colors should you use on landing pages and submission forms? The only way to know for sure what works best for your dealership’s marketing is to use A/B testing. That’s critical because it’s not your reaction that matters, it’s how your website visitors respond. So try a red button and record results, then try another color you think will “speak” to your audience and compare those results.

You can also use A/B testing to find the best-performing wording, headline colors, text placement, etc. Just remember to change only one thing at a time, or your results will be muddled.

Are your current colors creating the branding for your dealership that you want? If it seems performance could be better, maybe it’s time for a new look.

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