The Colorful Secrets Behind the World’s Greatest Branding [Infographic]

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If you’ve ever heard me speak at a conference or read my marketing articles, you know I’m all about the unicorns.

I’m usually talking about unicorns in terms of paid search strategy – my theory is that with just a minimal amount of additional effort, you can blow your competition away in just about any field.

Everyone’s always striving to keep up, to be average – but you don’t want to be average. You want to be a unicorn.

In every field, there are success outliers – those who absolutely slay the competition, not by a percentage point or two, but exponentially. Airbnb, for example, has achieved unicorn status in the travel booking space.  And think about taxi companies – how much do you think even the biggest yellow cab company in your city was worth five or 10 years ago? Uber, the inarguable unicorn in the personal transportation space, is worth billions.

How do they do it?

This infographic developed by explores the colors used by these incredibly successful brands, and how the psychology behind those choices drives consumer emotion.

A lot of people know why restaurants use red in their branding, for example – the color red evokes strong emotions, and also stimulates the appetite. It’s a color used by many top brands – 16% of unicorn brands, including Lyft, Pinterest and Airbnb, use red or pink hues.

But did you know that in addition to being cheerful and warm, the color yellow is the most likely to cause eye fatigue? Yellow is also known to trigger anxiety in babies and actually makes them cry. That’s not a concern for Snapchat, which has seen great success with its yellow branding.

Surprisingly, the most popular color may be no color at all. Researchers found that 38% of unicorn brands – including WeWork, Uber, and Vice – use black, grey, or white.

See the other fascinating psychological secrets they dug up in their analysis of the top colors used by the most successful brands on the planet:

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