Did you know that the brand colors of your business, tell your audience a lot about you? Colors have the ability to evoke emotions in people. Studies have shown that your brand colors can have a significant impact on consumers purchasing decisions. When your colors are in alignment with your brand personality, you will send the right message to the right audience. Additionally, the colors you choose should help you to stand out from your competitors. Choosing the right brand colors for your business will help strengthen your brand and establish trust and familiarity with your target market.
The crucial step before picking your brand colors
Before you start looking at a brand color palette, you first need to have a good understanding of your product, your audience, and your brand personality. If you are unclear on any of these areas, please use my brand clarity workbook to help develop a clear vision for your brand. This step is vital to choose the colors that will work best for your small business branding.
The Psychology of Colors
When you have a good understanding of your brand personality, it’s time to take a look at the psychology of colors. Colors tend to evoke certain emotional responses and associations in people. How we react to colors is not something that we can control, rather it is a function of our brains. Colors trigger various regions of the brain including the ones that are in control of love, anger, fear, and even memories. The areas involved in the production of our mood-influencing neurotransmitters are even involved. So you can see how we experience color varies according to our personal experiences and brain chemistry.
There are, however, some patterns that do emerge in studies regarding how we generally perceive colors. Here are some key associations with various colors.
Red: Energetic, bold, passionate. It’s a color that increases your heart rate and makes you breathe faster. It has also been said to stimulate appetite. Some well-known red logos include CNN, Coca-Cola, Target, Netflix.
Orange: This creative and cheerful color evokes feelings of friendliness, adventure, and affordability. Orange can also stimulate appetite. Brands using orange include Nickelodeon, Amazon, The Home Depot, Penguin Random House.
Yellow: Frequently associated with the sun, yellow conveys positivity, hope, and optimism. Its brightness stands out and is frequently used to catch attention. The human eye processes yellow immediately which is why it is so effective. Famous yellow brands include Ikea, Best Buy, National Geographic, and McDonald’s.
Green: Green conveys freshness, calm, and health. It is said to be the most calming shade to the human eye. A few famous green logos include TD bank, BP, Whole Foods, and Starbucks.
Blue: This is the most popular choice among top brands. Light blue tends to convey peace and serenity while dark blue shows authority, conservativeness, and tradition. Blue is frequently associated with the sky and the ocean. Brands that use blue in their logos include Skype, Samsung, Visa, and Intel.
Purple: Sophisticated and mysterious, this color is frequently associated with royalty and elegance. Famous purple logos include Taco Bell, Yahoo, Hallmark, and New York University.
Black: Maybe you don’t think of black as a color, but it can be used quite effectively to convey prestige, power, and sophistication. It is often used with luxury brands such as Lexus, Gucci, Prada, and Chanel.
White: People tend to associate white with purity, cleanliness, and simplicity. It is often used in conjunction with black for contrast. BMW, Intuit, and Puma all incorporate white in their logos.
Other factors that affect color perception
Being familiar with the different emotions associated with the various colors provides a great base to start from; however, keep in mind there are other factors to consider. Colors may be interpreted differently in different cultures. For example white, in Western cultures, tends to symbolize purity and innocence, while in some Eastern cultures it is associated with death. If your product is sold in other parts of the world, it is important to research the local markets first.
Men and women also perceive colors differently. Women tend to prefer blue, purple, and green. They also like softer tones and pastels. While men prefer blue, green, and black and bold colors such as the primary colors. One important commonality between men and women is that blue is the favorite color of both sexes, making blue a “universal color”. Another important consideration is that women list purple among their favorite colors, while no men list purple as a favorite color. This is crucial to know if, for example you happen to sell power tools. It would be difficult to reach your primarily male audience with a purple logo.
Why put so much effort into choosing the brand colors?
Your company colors are an important tool in small business branding. Studies have shown that a product’s color influences 60-80% of a customer’s purchasing decision. It is a decision that is well worth the time and effort that you put into the research.
One of the factors to keep in mind when selecting your brand color palette is that it must accurately reflect the personality of your brand. Maybe the best way to show how critical this is to try to picture the logo for the children’s toy maker, Lego, in black and silver instead of its usual red color. Likewise, try to imagine the Lexus logo in bright, primary colors. The mismatch with the brand personalities becomes obvious and they would have great difficulty reaching their target market if this were the case.
Once you have settled on your color scheme, make sure that it is incorporated in all or your marketing materials (logo, website, brochures, social media, etc) as well as in your brand style guide for future reference.
Color plays a crucial role in your small business branding, but its importance is frequently underestimated. If you put the time in to figure out how you want people to feel when they see or think of your brand, then you will have a good idea of the colors that you can use to reflect those desired qualities. For example, do you want to be viewed as genuine, daring, reliable, sophisticated, or rugged? There is a different color for each of those qualities. If you find all of this a little overwhelming, a good designer can help guide you through the process. Designers have extensive experience with brand color palettes and can help you pick the perfect brand colors for your business.
Do you need help choosing the right colors to fit your company’s personality? We can help. Contact us and let’s create the perfect brand color palette for your business.
Color wheel graphic by http://www.freevector.com