Color Theory and Psychological Connections in Marketing to College Students

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Color Theory and Psychological Connections in Marketing to College Students

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There are over 30 million people in the United States that fall into the college-age population demographic (18-24 years old). This accounts for 10% of the total U.S. population (“Status and trends” 2019). Marketing to college students proves to be a challenge at times. Students are not as easily persuaded by advertisements as other demographics are. (Coray, 2020). Marketers face the problem of finding ways to persuade these consumers to purchase their products or services. One of the main ways that consumers are influenced by marketing is through the colors in logos and packaging. Most people, whether they know it or not, have preconceived ideas in their minds of what the different colors represent to them. Although each person has different color associations unique to them, they tend to be consistent between people overall. Marketers must figure out how to use these color associations to form a brand identity for the product or service they are trying to sell. In doing so, they have the ability to persuade consumer decision making. This study was designed to determine how college students perceive each color, and how their color perceptions affect their decision making. The results will be used to determine how to use color to market products or services to college aged Americans.


University Honors Capstone research project, University of Minnesota Duluth, 2020. Departments of Marketing and Art & Design. Faculty Advisor: Steve Bardolph.

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Pratt, Chloe. (2020). Color Theory and Psychological Connections in Marketing to College Students. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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