How to Use Colour

We try and provide interesting reading ourselves at Brian Juicer Blog, but every so often we find a post by someone else we just have to link. For instance, “Color Psychology In Marketing: The Complete Guide” by content marketing firm Coschedule – a gobsmackingly detailed guide to how to use colour and what each colour ‘means’. Even if you’re sceptical of some of the psychological insight, you’ll pick up some design basics which might make your next presentation a lot brighter.

And some of the material is fascinating – like this survey on the associations of colours and words.

colours and wordsNo wonder so many companies use blue, the colour of trust, reliability, and security.

From our perspective, the most crucial use of colour is as an asset a brand can ‘own’ – a mental association that builds Fluency for a particular brand and makes it more recognisable and thus more likely to be picked in a fast System 1 decision. Take Santander, for instance. Underpinning the bank’s rapid market share growth in the UK was its saturation use of a particular shade of red. Bright and dynamic, it helped the bank stand out in a market both highly competitive and slow to change. When we surveyed the distinctive assets of banks last year, Santander’s ownership of red was unchallenged – no mean feat, since several other banks use it. Colours matter, but they matter most when you can make them yours.


In the Northern Hemisphere at least, the Summer holidays are upon us. So for a lot of us it’s time to pack our bags and get somewhere we can relax, put our feet up, and catch up on some reading.

Ordinarily we’d do a post listing the best psychology and behavioural science books to have come out in 2014, but this year we’ve got something a bit more exciting to talk about. Our academic advisor Alain Samson, a psychologist and consultant who works with the LSE, has put together The Behavioral Economics Guide 2014. It’s a free up-to-date introduction to behavioural economics, with contributions from a bunch of companies who are putting the science to use for commercial impact.

OK, we admit it. It’s not really beach reading. More like a gentle workout for the mind once you get back from that well-deserved holiday and need some inspiration and ideas. The short book is in four parts. Continue reading

7-1: Eight Behaviour Change Points From THAT World Cup Semi-Final

Have you been enjoying the World Cup? We have. And last night’s remarkable Brazil v Germany semi-final got us thinking. What do psychology and behavioural science tell us about the result, the pundits, the fans and the players after a shock event like that? So here are seven behavioural points about the Germany-Brazil game… and one “consolation goal” as a bonus! Continue reading

Going For Goal

We’ve talked a lot at BrainJuicer about the elephant and the rider as a metaphor for human decision making. Imagine an elephant and its rider: we like to believe the rider is in charge, but really the rider has much less agency than we think. So what does control the elephant?

The elephant is led by a bunch of things: its training, its mood, what it can see any other elephants doing, and what the environment is leading it to do. And it carries the rider along with it. The human mind is very similar. Conscious, considered decisions are led by feeling, by copying, by environmental framing, and by habit – not the other way around.

That’s why, when we talk about behaviour change, we talk a lot about moving the elephant, and building paths for it. You don’t change behaviour by appealing to the rider – you change it by making things easier for the elephant. Continue reading