Numbers. They’re all around us. The building blocks of calculation are used in several different ways, whether in their numerical form or symbolized by a number of specific objects. Like colors, numbers have their own psychology surrounding them. We gravitate to some and shy away from others. However, knowing the meaning behind numbers can allow you to effectively apply them to your marketing for your brand, or even your stunning website.
Below we’ve selected a handful of numbers and explain how people tend to perceive them. Disclaimer: obviously, the meanings behind numbers are influenced by different factors, so it’s best to do your research on your target market.
The number 1 is often associated with the beginning. It has many associations with being the number of the divine, and aptly so; the divine being the creators of everything. The number 1 also resembles high achievement. Winners of a contest or race come in first place, and if you weren’t number one, then you were the first loser. One is also considered to be a number that represents strength and independence. It may be the loneliest, but it should be just fine.
One Medical Group is a fine example. Not only does using this number convey an “above the rest” feel to the company name, but it also reads as if they put their customers first.
While “gendering” numbers may seem like a silly concept, especially today, there are a few interesting findings surrounding the idea. It’s said that odd numbers are considered to be masculine and even numbers are more feminine. Whether it’s because, for the most part, odd numbers tend to have a sharper, “edgy” shape, and even numbers are curvier is up for debate, but a study from 2015 finds that the idea has some merit.
Examples: Three Amigos, Five Guys Burgers, Elle 18, 8th Story
Our love for the number seven is a profound one. From religious connections to being the ultimate “lucky” number, 7 is a number that we all seem to gravitate towards. Some of the numbers mentioned below are bound to cultural beliefs and superstitions, but seven safely seems to be a worldwide favorite. The number could be our favorite due to its constant presence in our world and religion. Here are just a few:
Religion: Seven days to create the earth, seven deadly sins, seven heavens.
Earth: Seven colors in the rainbow, seven continents, seven wonders of the world.
From a marketing perspective, the number 7 is a people pleaser that should be easy to implement.
Examples: Jack Daniels Old No. 7, 7-UP
The number 10 is officially the end of the journey. It’s the first number that uses a combination of preceding numbers for it to form. It offers a sense of completion or full-circle effect, but it may only be useful in specific instances. 10 is seen as a rational, ordered number. If 10 was a color, it would most likely be blue to signify its dependability and trustworthiness. It’s straightforward and to the point, which doesn’t leave much to the imagination. It’s cut and dry nature isn’t terribly inspiring, so it may not be the most engaging set of digits to use.
One of the best implementations of the number can be seen in lists. From the click-bait articles you see online: “Top 10 life hacks you HAVE to try right now!” to the never-ending top ten list videos on YouTube. The number allows you to set your expectations, as 10 is “just enough.”
If 10 is the number of completion, then 11 offsets it, almost completely. The number 11 goes “beyond” completion and beyond what we can count on our own hands, so it’s not terribly surprising to find that it is associated with mystery. Eleven isn’t just an odd number, it’s actually a rather odd number. It stands out and just isn’t practical. For some, this could be exactly what is needed. The unconventional, “out there,” and out-of-the-box type brands may find the number suitable to stand out from the crowd and exude allure.
Example: KFC’s 11 secret herbs & spices
The offsetting, extra 1 isn’t limited to the number eleven and it’s “stand out” vibe. Adding the extra digit to an otherwise clean-looking number can achieve the same effect.
Take Levi’s 501 Jeans for example. Adding the extra one helps the brand of jeans to stand out, allowing to it become more memorable instead of easily dismissible.
The superstition that the number 13 is unlucky resonates in many places, and it still rings true today. Hotels and some apartment buildings still ignore the 13th floor, skipping straight to 14. So, how could one implement this into their own marketing to produce a positive effect? Well, for starters, carefully. If you want to add an edgy element or give off an alternative feel, 13 may be the number for you. Think of a tattoo shop or bar named “Lucky 13.” The type of business has a distinct vibe unto itself, so the use of the number is suitable. If your business is a flower shop, it may not the be the best number to implement.
Of course, 13 is primarily considered to be an unlucky number in western cultures, so adjustments might need to be made in order to properly target your market if you go this route. Good luck with this one!
Example: Lucky 13
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