Choosing the Right Colors for Your Brand
I think it’s important for me to initially explain that I am in no way suggesting that any of the information I am presenting to you has been substantiated by psychologists or any other certified psychological source. All information is based off of my own research and experience in working with a broad array of businesses owners and entrepreneurs. These are “most often” cases, in which these guidelines can be implemented in most circumstances for a successful outcome. With that being said, let’s dig in!
The Importance of Colors I think a lot of business owners and entrepreneurs miss the importance of color selection when conceptualizing their brand image. Colors are extremely important. In fact, they are just as important as the logo design itself! It is often standard procedure for large corporations to hire focus groups to gage the effectiveness of color schemes and other visual elements. You do not need to hire a fancy focus group in order to get, what I call, the “focus group effect”. Simply solicit the opinion of your friends, family or qualified individuals. I could provide you with extensive detail on how to select qualified individuals for your informal focus group, but that’s a whole other training! Just know that the more qualified your group, the better your outcome and trust me, the colors you choose are important enough to take the time to get the feedback you NEED!
So why go through all of this work just to pick out a few colors? Well, every color means something. Every color makes you feel something. Colors can incite feelings of excitement, joy, distrust, strength or even anxiety! Picking the right colors is essential if you are going to build a successful brand. When thinking about your color selection, you must consider how you want your potential customer to feel when they see your logo, website, business card and other marketing materials. Color Breakdown by Industry
Often times, there are certain colors that specific industries gravitate towards. Do me a favor and pull up your Google search engine. Search the phrase “fast food logos”. What is the color that most stands out to you? That’s right… RED! Studies have shown that many fast food chains include the color red in their logo because it “revs up” your appetite. Tech Insider puts it this way, “The going popular theory is that brands like McDonald's and Burger King use the color red in their logos and around their stores because it revs up people's appetites, making them hungry, which therefore makes them more likely to enter the store and then buy more food while they're in there.” If you could create a brand image that would not only draw people in, but also make them spend more money with you after they’ve been reeled in, wouldn’t you want to? Heck, wouldn’t we all want to?
So what industries are privy to what colors? Here is a short list of the most popular industries and the colors associated:
Technology – Blue, Silver
Energy Companies – Green
Fast Food – Red, Yellow
Entertainment – Orange, Black
We now know a little bit about what colors suit which industries when creating a successful brand image, but why exactly are these colors so effective? Remember when I explained that certain colors evoke certain emotions? Well the truth is, as a business owner or entrepreneur, it is your job to tap into how certain colors make people feel and exploit it. Don’t think of this as a bad thing, because it can make you a lot of money! Knowing your target market is only half the battle. After you identify who you are selling to, you need to figure out what they are attracted to and what makes them feel good. More specifically, what will make them feel good about your product or service? Do you want them to feel that you are reliable or trustworthy; or do you want to incite aggressive hunger? I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying, “first impressions are everything.” Well, in the world of marketing and branding it rings inherently true! Knowing what your target market wants to see and how they want to feel gives you the upper hand because all you have to do now is give them what they want!
Here is a breakdown of three of the most popular colors and a few keywords that represent the image each color represents and/or the feelings they evoke:
Blue – communication, dependability, globalism, reliability, trustworthy, fiscally responsible, security
Red – optimism, energy, health, impulse, provocative, attention grabbing, aggressive, anger, danger
Green – hope, endurance, safety, freshness, serenity, wealth, prestige, calmness
I hope that you’ve gotten a good idea of how important color selection is when establishing your brand image. If you don’t have the time, will, or know how to consider all of these factors when in the stages of brand creation, I highly encourage you to seek the help of a professional! Please feel free to connect with me on Facebook and Linked in to get updates.