How to Choose the Right Colors for Your Brand

As part of our blog series ‘how to build a brand from scratch’, we discuss how to choose the correct colors for your brand and why it’s so important. Do not take this step of the process lightly, as color association can be a key factor in future prospects’ decision making process. It can also be a vital component of your company’s long-term business strategy. So do not rush this step!

The Importance of Color for Branding

When establishing your business, messaging strategy, and overall brand, you have to consider your product/service, type of consumer, and desired niche to fill. But what about how your business makes its publics feel? It might seem arbitrary, but there’s a reason why people choose certain brands. It’s true that word-of-mouth is a large part of it, but considering large-scale demographics, the right brand and appeal is what makes the difference between success and failure. Having the appropriate logo and coloring is absolutely essential to communicating your message to potential customers, as well as the general public.

How People Perceive Color

Emotions stem from colors for the same reasons they do from sounds, smells, words, and any other sensation. Stop signs (the most important sign on the road) appear as they do because red is a color that is proven to stand out more than any other color, making it the most effective choice for a sign that is meant to save lives. It is important to note that color associations will vary based on individuals’ personal experiences. Nevertheless, colors do play a significant role in driving action, which is crucial for effective marketing efforts.

Whole Foods’ logo is green, resembling peace, and nature, as does their brand

Why Color Matters

Color and logo are only part of a larger communications strategy, but are vital in helping the main message resonate with consumers. Ensuring the whole strategy is cohesive is what will yield the best results. Remember, your strategy will only be as strong as its weakest link!

Chris Eglevsky, Design and Productions Manager at Active Web Group added “Color can be everything to a brand. If nothing else, people tend to remember colors, so it would be wise to choose the right ones.”

For a little more depth, we can look at the 5 Dimensions of Brand Personality, which consist of:

  1. Sincerity (honest, friendly, real)
  2. Excitement (energetic, passionate, bold)
  3. Competence (reliable, consistent, smart)
  4. Sophistication (elegant, superior)
  5. Ruggedness (strong, durable, long-lasting)

If someone were to describe a successful brand, it would almost certainly land in one of these categories, because these are what people relate to when they are interested in something. Many products are the same, so it’s up to the brand to distinguish it in a way that it can be seen in its own light.

For instance, Coke and Pepsi are very similar products, yet their branding suggests they would appeal to different types of consumers, considering they’re typically loyal to one or the other. This is because the two companies (like all successful businesses) advertise their brands over their products because it’s what ultimately separates their identities. Products are associated with brands and brands are associated with how these brands are promoted.

How to Choose the Correct Colors

A strong strategy all boils down to having a consistent message. Your brand’s colors should be cohesive with your brand’s personality and messaging strategy. If the colors of your brand don’t fit the intended feeling, your brand will lose strength and it will be increasingly difficult to grow your business. The familiar look, feel, and experience are what connect visuals to memories and emotions, and that’s what drives decisions.

So for a friendly reminder: Consistency is key!

Inconsistent branding is like click-bait. Sure, the content might generate some clicks, but when users realize the content was misleading and are not satisfied, they will leave and the objective will not be completed. In other words, if the claim is not consistent with reality, the best you will get is temporary attention, which is insufficient for strong, profitable business.

People like to know what they’re getting and they like to feel comfortable. Halloween colors are orange, yellow, and black, so a Halloween ad might be ineffective if the colors are red and green. A conflicting message and visuals would confuse people, which is also never good for business.

What You Need to Remember

So when it comes time for you to build a successful brand of your own don’t neglect the importance of your logo and color(s). The idea is to work off of general psychology and choose a color that will most appropriately communicate your brand’s personality and messaging strategy. So ask yourself: How do you want your brand to be perceived? When you know the answer to this question, decide your color with public perceptions in mind.