How Color Defines Your Brand
December 7, 2016 | By Jill Marber
Color matters in marketing. It is a fact that people feel certain ways when they look at a certain hue. According to a study called the Impact of Color in Marketing, researchers found that up to 90% of judgments made about brands are based on color alone (www.emeraldinsight.com). Think about how you feel relaxed when you see blue, or powerful when you wear red. Marketers and designers have been working with the psychological effects of shades for years. How do you know if your brand has the right colors? Of course, the most important color choice is for your logo, but there are other considerations to be made for your website tints, taglines, and other accent colors.
According to Pantone (www.pantone.com), known worldwide as the standard language for color communication across various industries, red, yellow, and orange are in general considered high-arousal colors. Red in believed to create a sense of urgency, raise the heart rate, and exude excitement. Yellow and orange are felt to be happy colors that catch the eye and sometimes contain a small sense of caution. Blue, green, and violet are associated with coolness and calmness. Blue is known to be preferred by men and radiates confidence. Green is associated with nature, health, and harmony. Violet represents wisdom, opulence, and beauty. Black, gray, and white have their own unique perceptions. Black conveys stability, intelligence, and strength. Gray displays practicality, and if used too much, depression. White emanates purity, safety, and cleanliness.
Most brands vary in vibrancy and usually display more than one color. While the brighter the color may project energy, too much luster may make your website or media difficult to read. The pairing of shades you choose can also make a big difference in the perception of your business. For example, McDonald’s uses red and yellow in their branding. This creates excitement and happiness. Starbucks has green and white in their logo, making customers feel relaxed and balanced. Apple, who once had a rainbow of colors inside their signature logo, now is viewed as white, sometimes gray, and in rare cases a reverse of black. This is to express simplicity and creativity, as white is known as a “blank canvas”. Apple has branded the color white so well in fact, that when you see a white laptop or a white phone, you automatically know it is an Apple product.
So, what colors are right for your brand? Determining your shades is as important as creating your company name, logo, and tagline. The process is somewhat similar. You have to look what your business does, what it wants to say, and who your target market is. Does your brand create a sense of urgency? Then red hues may be a correct choice. If not, but you still want to suggest power, then use it as an accent or secondary color. Do you want your customers to trust you? Maybe add in a blue. If you are a more traditional business, then black would be a good choice, but if you are more creative, white works well. If your target audience is younger, using bolder and brighter colors could appeal to them. Men, as stated above, are drawn to blue. Women are also attracted to blue, but studies show they prefer some green mixed in.
Whether you use a single color to evoke a feeling of minimalism, or multiple pigments to create a bigger impact, the color of your brand matters. Choosing the right combination is one of the most important first steps when defining your brand.
Inward Solutions is an Alpharetta web design firm based in Georgia.