Picking the Right Colours for your Brand
Whether your business is big or small, understanding the impact of different colours on customer behaviour could make or break your venture being a success.
They say that first impressions count. Indeed 92% of consumers acknowledge that visual appearance is the most persuasive overall marketing factor*. With figures as high as that it’s probably worth making sure that your brand’s visual appearance is as effective as it possibly could be! And it makes sense – your brand colour is most likely the first thing that your customers see and the feelings and emotions they evoke could be the deciding factor in whether or not they decide to engage. As a business, you’ll want to cultivate a strong emotional connection with your customers and the colour scheme you establish will play a key role in your marketing efforts.
Have you ever wondered why so many banks have a variation of blue as their logo? In fact in a survey of fifty top financial institutions almost half had blue logos and another seven had blue elements in their logos**. Coincidence? Absolutely not. Blue is seen as a calming colour and evokes feelings of reliability, trustworthiness and seriousness – the exact characteristics you’re looking for in a company that looks after your hard-earned cash.
Another example is McDonalds with their instantly recognizable red and yellow sign. Red is a stimulating colour, increasing the heart rate and – as a result – your appetite. It can also be a trigger for impulse buys. Yellow is associated with happiness. McDonalds purposefully paired these colours together in order to elicit the exact response they want from their customers while at the same time promoting their company ethos. Pretty fascinating!
So, now you know that colour can be one of the strongest communication tools in your armoury, how can you jump on the bandwagon and select the right colours to make your brand memorable and recognizable? Here are some tips to get started.
Get to Grips with Colour Theory
Colour theory is the science behind which colours or combinations of colours evoke particular feelings or motivations. This quick summary will give you a general idea of the meaning behind each colour.
Danger, excitement, energy, love, confidence
Feminine, sentimental, romantic
Fresh, creative, adventerous
Optimistic, playful, happy
Natural, sustainable, prestige, wealth
Trustworthy, reliable, calming, safe
Royal, majestic, spiritual, mysterious
Down to earth, wholesome, organic
Pure. innocent, simplistic, minimalist, fresh
Sophisticated, elegant, formal, luxurious, powerful, sorrowful
Playful, open to anything, diverse
Of course, within this spectrum there is a multitude of shades such as navy or hot pink which also contribute to the colour story. And while this should serve as a rough guide, don’t forget to include your own gut decisions. After all, the main concept of colour theory is that different colours elicit particular emotional responses so don’t neglect your own feelings when deciding on your brand colours!
Identify Your Brand’s Personality
The colours of your brand are reflective of your brand identity. Have a think …
What is your brand all about, what is the tone? Corporate? Fun? Inspiring?
What are you looking to achieve? Happy customers? Customers motivated into action?
How do you want your target audience to feel? Happy? Confident? Empathetic?
Once you fully understand your brand, its mission and values you can align it with the colours that most represent who you are and what you’re all about.
Check Out the Competition
When many similar products all look the same it’s easy to be overlooked. Therefore, your brand colours should stand out from the crowd and be recognizable from your competitors. Think outside the box in terms of what your brand does or represents.
Create a Brand Palette
Most brands have more than one colour associated with them. This is called a brand palette and it’s important that all the colours that make up your palette are in harmony with each other. Online tools such as Canva can help you identify the colours that work best while also making sure that they work together. Don’t forget about any contextual or cultural connotations when pairing different colours together.
Put It into Action
Once you have your brand palette established, make sure to use it consistently. By using the same palette across all your touchpoints you strengthen your brand’s association with those colours and by extension strengthen your brand identity as a whole. If you’re unsure about whether your particular palette works in the way you want it to, test it on one or two formats before committing entirely.
So, what are you waiting for? Get colouring!
* Source: Secretariat of the Seoul International Color Expo