Using Color To Attract Male Clients

The psychology of color is one of the more fascinating topics in branding. The way that color affects our brains is enough to make you go running for your wallet to shell out whatever the going rate is for the latest Pantone swatch book. The right color choice can make a difference between a sale or an exit and there are emotional ties to almost every color in the rainbow. That being said, there are certain colors that speak more to men than women and if you are looking to attract more male clients into your salon (or are considering trying your hand at full-on barbering), it could be worth your while to do a little research and employ some color tactics. Here, we examine the best color palettes to employ for male-centric branding.

The Psychology of Color

Do you know why Tiffany’s has a particular shade of turquoise or McDonald’s uses yellow and red in all of their branding materials? It’s because different colors affect our feelings and actions in different ways. Many restaurants, for example, will use red in their menu design as it stimulates hunger. Green, on the other hand, imparts a feeling of freshness and nature, so an establishment that bills itself on being farm-to-table, organic or healthy may want to use a lively green as their accent color, for associative purposes.

There is a lot to learn about color, and whole years of study are devoted to this subject alone in design school. For our purposes, let’s look at a quick cheat sheet of the most common colors used in branding and the emotional associations that they have been shown to have:

Green: Freshness, balance, eco-friendly, growth.

Blue: Tranquility, dependability, loyalty.

Purple: Creativity, spirituality, luxury.

Yellow: Energy, positivity, warmth.

Orange: Vibrancy, friendliness, playfulness.

Red: Dynamism, power, passionate, dramatic.

Pink: Feminine, soft, sweet, playful.

Gray: Modern, conservative, sleek, calm.

Black: Sophisticated, dramatic, elegant, powerful, bold.

Blue is for Boys

Stereotypes are a hot button in today’s media and technically this one is not even true. As a matter of fact, 85% of the world’s population identifies blue as their favorite color, so the idea that pink is for girls and blue is for boys is almost certainly false. With that being said, we have seen generations of subliminal branding that has drilled this idea into our brains since birth, so the association definitely exists. This is why most color palettes geared towards the male consumer use various shades of blue in their packaging and branding. Navy, gray and orange, for example, is a popular “sporty guy” color palette, while a lighter, sky blue with black and white is more “modern, urban professional.”

While blue may serve as a great basis for a male-centric color palette, there are other options out there that can still communicate masculinity, without being quite so…obvious.

Copy of In-Article Quotes_Artboard 8The Golden Demographic

It’s a fact that the most desired and hardest demographic to reach in marketing is men ages 18-34. Despite what the stereotypes may say, this demo tends to be a little more fickle and discerning with their purchases. This may have something to do with their particular emotional needs, which we covered in this article, but suffice to say there is a reason they are so highly coveted and it’s just two words long: disposable income. Most men in this age range are being targeted because they haven’t shouldered the yoke of responsibility just yet (meaning married and/or had children) so all of that extra padding in their paychecks is just that—extra.

The great thing about this group is that they are a little more experimental and open-minded—as a general rule—so you can play a little more with your color palette and still attract the clientele that you are hoping to. Think about your niche (which we explained a bit more, here) and what type of man would be most likely to fit with your desired brand. Once you have identified your ideal man, ask yourself this very important question:

What else is he into?

Depending on how you answered, you may want to lean more towards a different color palette. Here are a few different generic man-types to get you started:

The Hipster

Preferred Hairstyles: Undercut, Pompadour, Ironic Faux Hawk

Wears: Skinny jeans/French-rolled khakis, button-down shirts, suede lace-up shoes OR vintage style trainers (no socks).

Into: Craft beer, trendy restaurants, little-known alt-rock bands, documentary films, artisanal anything, weird food pairings and tiny homes.

Suggested Color Palettes:


The Sports Guy

Preferred Hairstyles: Crewcut, High & Tight Fade, Classic Sweepback

Wears: Jerseys & jeans.

Into: Classic beers, playing sports, grilling, watching sports, reading about sports, listening to sports podcasts, talking about sports.

Suggested Color Palettes:


Nature Boy

Preferred Hairstyles: Crewcut, Chin/Shoulder Length, Facial Hair

Wears: Flannels, polar fleece, lightweight waterproof cargo pants, hiking boots, Tevas.

Into: Hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, canoeing, camping, spelunking, foraging, nature photography, woodworking.

Suggested Color Palettes:


Nerd & Geeks

Preferred Hairstyles: Non-Ironic Faux Hawk, Chin/Shoulder Length Au Naturel, Bowl Cut

Wears: Vintage t-shirts under button downs, colored jeans, hi-tops, anything with a pun on it.

Into: Board games, 1980’s Saturday Morning Cartoons, obscure literary references, anything Star Wars/Lord of the Rings related, comic books, technology, video games.

Suggested Color Palettes:


The Silver Fox

Preferred Hairstyles: Hight & Tight Fade, Classic Sweepback

Wears: Suits, khakis, oxfords, blazers.

Into: Golf, sailing, fine wines, global travel, bourbon, cigars, classic films.

Suggested Color Palettes:


Whether you are looking to attract one of the five types of male clients to your existing clientele, or venture out completely into the world of men and open your own tonsorial parlour, these color palettes should get you started.

*Color palettes courtesy of Design Seeds

Want to know what to do with those men once you’ve attracted them? Sign up below to get our free e-book: The Men’s Guide to Style

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