How to Pick the Right Brand Colors for Maximum Impact?
Whether you’ve just started your online retail business or you’re looking for ways to rebrand, your marketing methods should be chosen carefully.
Posted 3 years ago by Aleksandra Cugalj
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Creating a name and logo that will help your target market easily recognize you as a business will make your brand distinguishable from your competitors. It will also help your customers form impressions about you. So make it count!
There are many elements that come together to create the truly unique and impactful sensory identity that is your brand. And this includes choosing the right color palette.
Why Branding Colors Matter?
Picking a brand color may seem insignificant, but it’s more important than you might think.
Colors have a way of grabbing our attention. But their value reach is based on more than just aesthetics and design. Colors are integral in shaping our perceptions of the world around us. That is why marketers and brands put a heavy emphasis on the psychology of color during their campaigns.
Ever wonder why Skype, LinkedIn, Facebook, PayPal, Visa, and IBM use the color blue on their branding and logo? Or why Apple and Ralph Lauren settle for white? These color choices are anything but accidental. They were implemented in order to impact human thought and behavior.
Each color represents a symbol or emotion that resonates with their target market. Blue signifies productivity, tranquility, and trust. It’s not surprising to find that it is most popular among banks and tech businesses, as this color can communicate security to clients. White, on the other hand, is associated with serenity and calmness.
Your brand colors speak your language, communicating your message to your consumers and shaping their perception of you as a company. By applying color psychology in your branding, you not only appeal to your customers’ attention and emotion, but you also trigger their purchase behavior.
After all, the color impression is responsible for 60% of acceptance or rejection of a product as well as 80% of brand recognition.
So, how do you pick the right color for your brand? Here’s your step by step guide.
Determine Your Brand Personality
What does your brand stand for? How do you want to be perceived by your target market? Your brand personality will guide your color choices.
You can start this process by picking out adjectives that best describe your brand. You might also want to identify your standout qualities; qualities that set you apart from your competitors.
Maybe you want to appear confident and enthusiastic. You have what it takes to convince your potential customers to take a look at your offerings and compel them to take action. Or maybe your personality is something with elegance. You aim to provide clothing that exudes luxury.
Gather these words and write them down. It would be ideal to think of at least five adjectives that describe your brand. For example, you may choose the following: cool, calm, elegant, clean, royal.
Get to Know Each Color
Now that you have the adjectives that best describe your brand, it’s time to pick the colors that will reflect them. There must be a core color that embodies all these characteristics. But before you choose it, you need to get to know each color and their corresponding meanings.
Colors are associated with certain symbols and meanings but they are not always the same for everyone. They are highly dependent on context as well as personal experience and even culture. However, they do have universal meanings that speak across all spectrums.
In color psychology, each color evokes different emotions, moods, and thoughts. Here are some of the most common colors you will encounter.
Perhaps the most popular choice among brands, red has a powerful impact at first glance. It is said to arouse excitement and boldness. It is also known to increase the heart rate and create a sense of urgency, making it the number one choice during clearance sales.
Big brands that make use of red include McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Lay’s, KFC, Red Bull, and Colgate, among many others. It’s clearly a popular color for the food industry.
Signifying growth, nature, and harmony, green is used by many store owners to help visiting customers relax. Green is easy on the eyes, creating a sense of balance. Eco-friendly companies can do well by choosing this color. It is most common in energy, finance, home-decor, and technology industries.
Brands that have used green in their branding include The Body Shop, Spotify, Whole Foods, and Animal Planet.
Pretty popular among websites and branding, blue is favored by 57% of men and 35% of women. It is the color for many social media platforms, including Twitter and Facebook. It is also used by Ford and VISA.
Blue evokes feelings of calmness, control, and security. It also signifies freedom and intelligence. Companies that want to establish trust-based relations often pick blue for their branding efforts.
A symbol of purity and innocence, white brings to mind a picture of cleanliness and coolness. White is often considered in the healthcare, clothing and charity industries.
Popular brands like Honda, Asos, and Apple use white.
A color that absorbs light, black ushers an appearance of prestige and sophistication. That is why it is a popular choice in many luxury brands, including Jaguar, Mont Blanc, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Blackberry.
Purple is a symbol of wealth, power, and royalty. It is most commonly found in beauty and technology products. Brands that use purple want to communicate an image of creativity, extravagance, and mystery.
Yahoo and Cadbury use purple in their branding.
The color representing ambition, enthusiasm, and confidence, orange is known as a mood enhancer. It exudes fun and energy with a dash of creativity and sensuality. Orange has the power of persuasion, making it effective when you are trying to provoke an impulse purchase or compel a direct call to action.
Brands like Nickelodeon, Hooters, and Fanta use orange for their logos.
Often associated with food, yellow evokes cheerful feelings. It also means joy, intellect, and energy. Using yellow in your logo can grab attention, but too much of this color can also cause fatigue.
Yellow is used by National Geographic, Pennzoil, DHL, Shell, and Hertz in their logos and branding.
Build Your Brand Color Scheme
Some prefer a single color for their brand but others include a variety of colors. Choosing a multiple-color scheme can be tricky, especially if you want them to combine well. Although there is no rigid formula, there are some guidelines that can help you make the process a lot easier.
First, you need to pick three colors to serve as your base, accent, and neutral. For your base color, you need to choose one that best reflects your brand’s personality. This will be the dominant color, the one that will try to appeal to your audience’s emotions.
The next step is to pick your accent color, which comes after the base color. The trick here is to find one that complements your brand personality and enhances your base color’s aesthetics.
The last one is the neutral color which is often used as a backdrop. It is usually something that will garner less attention than the base and accent colors. Its role is to make the other two stand out. Most brands choose hues of gray, whites, off-whites, and even beige.
It is also worth noting that your color scheme can be:
- monochromatic (one color in different shades)
- analogous (a few colors that look similar to each other like red and orange)
- complementary (colors directly across from each other on the color wheel)
- triad (colors that form a triangle on the wheel).
Keep the Colors Minimal
Since your brand colors will help shape your company’s identity, it’s important to choose ones that best describe your brand. As a caution, you should keep your brand colors to no more than four. Going overboard and picking whatever strikes your fancy will be counterproductive. It will be hard for your audience to distinguish your brand from the rest, leading to poor memory retention.
Aim for Consistency
Consistency is the key to fluid branding. You won’t want different shades of blue to define your brand when used in different channels. That is why it is advisable to create a style guide that involves hex values. This way, your logo, design, and other brand materials will look the same all throughout and it will be easily recognizable everywhere.
Branding involves a whole lot more than just choosing colors, but knowing the psychology behind each shade can give you a good start. Remember, the colors you choose will affect the way you are perceived by your potential customers. Luckily, there are plenty to choose from, and an abundance of resources out there to get you started.
This is a guest contribution from Max Chekalov. Social media and Max are a match made in heaven. Prolific digital marketer with considerable skill in graphic design and writing, his endless thirst for knowledge and communication can be sated only by the dynamically changing world of social media. Always on top of the latest trends and development in social media marketing, Max’s curiosity and vision bring invaluable insight and value to any project.