If you are in the process of designing or re-designing your brand’s look and messaging, the colors you choose are extremely important. In fact, according to research, up to 85% of consumers believe color is the biggest motivator when choosing a particular product. 92% of consumers say that visual appearance is the most persuasive marketing factor overall. So, your brand colors are not something that should be taken lightly. Let’s explore how to choose the best colors for your brand.
Why Are Brand Colors Important?
We all know how important first impressions are. This is especially true for brand colors because they are likely the first thing that will catch a prospective customer’s eye. Colors elicit emotions and feelings in addition to conveying certain information and messaging, which enables customers to form a first impression without knowing anything about your product.
Emotions are powerful and drive human decision-making. This means that as a brand, you want to cultivate a strong emotional connection with your prospects and current customers.
In a nutshell, brand colors are powerful when it comes to helping customers decide whether or not they want to engage with your brand.
Think about some of the world’s largest brands. When you think of Coca-Cola, you likely think of red. Apple is white. And, of course, McDonald’s has those big, bright, golden arches.
So, how can you select the right color to ensure your brand is memorable and recognizable?
Understand What Colors Mean
Color theory is a heavily researched area. Here’s a quick summary of what each color has been proven to be associated with.
- Red: Danger, power, excitement, and energy. Red is also the color of love and passion.
- Pink: Feminine, romantic, and sentimental. Hot pink is bold and youthful.
- Orange: Fresh, full of life, creative, cost-effective.
- Yellow: Sunny, optimistic, playful, happy.
- Green: Natural, healthy, sustainable, money, and wealth.
- Blue: Trustworthy, reliable, calming. Blue is also associated with depression.
- Purple: Royal and majestic, spiritual, mysterious.
- Brown: Earthy, honest, often used for organic products.
- White: Pure, simple, innocent, minimalistic.
- Black: Sophisticated, elegant, sleek, formal, luxurious, sorrowful.
- Multicolor/rainbow: United, diverse.
“Whether it’s the calming effect of blue skies and fields of green, or the saliva-inducing red and yellow of your local fast food chain, each color has a meaning and taps into emotions.”
Identify the Essence Of Your Brand
What colors best reflect your brand? Are you bold? You need a vibrant color. Professional and sleek? Try black. Eco-friendly and organic? Green is calling your name. Think about the following when developing your brand’s color scheme:
- Target audience:Think about the gender and age of your target audience. How do you want them to feel when they see your brand?
- Brand goals: Do you want your customers to feel rich? Informed? Happy? Powerful?
- Personality traits: Is your brand inspirational? Fun? Serious?
Knowing how you want to be perceived by customers will help you hone in on an effective color scheme.
Check Out Your Competitors’ Colors
You want your brand colors to stand out or at least be instantly recognized. So, if you sell soda, you don’t want a red can with white lettering because it will be confused with Coca-Cola and you want to stand out. To avoid getting lost in the mix, create a mood board of your competitors’ colors to find out how you can stand out in the crowd.
Create a Brand Color Palette
There are endless shades of every color. So, it’s important to understand the colors in context. Types of color include:
The hue refers to variations of the primary colors: red, yellow, blue. These three colors can create all other colors depending on how they’re mixed.
When you add black to a color, the shade refers to how much black was added.
Tint is the white version of shade to add white to make a color lighter.
This is when a color’s appearance is modified by adding black and white.
There are important color codes to consider to ensure your brand colors can be replicated accurately no matter where they are appearing.
- CMYK and PMS: CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key (black). PMS stands for Pantone Matching System. These are both used for printing.
- RGB and HEX: RGB is Red, Green, and Blue. HEX stands for Hexadecimal Numeral System. These are mostly found on-screen for things, including websites and emails.
Where Your Brand’s Colors Will Appear
After you have completed your research, testing, and have found your perfect brand color, it’s time to put them into action. Across every touchpoint, you will want to make sure that your selected colors are having the desired effect. Here are some places your brand colors will appear:
- Business cards
- Social media
- In your store
- Staff uniforms
What Do I Once I Have Picked Out My Colors?
Before you commit to a color or color scheme, it’s important to test your colors out in a few formats, including on printed business cards and social media, to ensure the colors appear how you want them to, no matter where customers will be seeing them.