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Your Brand in Colour

Understanding colour personalities and how to choose yours

Your Brand in Colour
Up to 90% of snap judgments about a product are made based on colour alone

Understand the personalities of colour and how to choose yours.

When it comes to establishing your brand, choosing your colours may appear to be a seemingly trivial and straightforward task. Surely you go right ahead and go with your personal favourite, right? Think again.

Research suggests that up to 90% of snap judgments about a product are made based on colour alone. Let that sink in for a moment…90%. That means that no matter how sublime your product or service, up to nine out of ten of your potential customers are likely to be influenced by the colour you choose for your brand. So getting it right can be crucial.

While such judgments may be subconscious. That doesn’t change the fact that your brand colours can have a direct effect on your customers purchasing intent. But, they have a significant impact on how your brand is perceived and when it comes to branding, perception is everything.

Colour can, of course, trigger different responses in different people. Still, no matter how subjective these responses may be. There is a general principle that we advise: If it incites an emotional response, whether consciously or subconsciously, it is an essential consideration for your branding.

Choosing your brand colour – a step by step guide

  1. People are attracted to brands that emulate their personality, so first and foremost, when selecting your brand colour, it is essential to understand your customers and their preferences. If you’re not entirely sure, then do your research and don’t forget, gender, industry, culture, context and personal experiences can all have an impact.
  2. You’ll also need to have a solid grasp of your business too of course. Try asking yourself the following:
  • What is the nature of your brand; for example, is it more feminine or masculine?
  • Figure out the level of formality: are you serious or playful?
  • Understand the feelings associated with your product; luxury and prestige or comfort and affordability?
  • Decide how your brand is classified: are you contemporary or classical, modern or traditional?
  • What sort of energy do you want your brand to promote? Are you bold and loud or reserved?
  • You’re ready to start selecting your colours, and we’ve put together the following guide to help.

Red: Power, strength and fearlessness

The universal colour of enthusiasm, passion and energy, red might be perfect for you if your brand is playful, youthful, bold or noisy. Far from being subtle, the colour red is brave enough to reduce analytical thinking and promote impulsiveness, which is why it is so popular with retail sales. It is worth keeping in mind that the colour red can also be associated with rage, anger and defiance, so use it wisely!

Famous Red Brands:

Coca-Cola
Virgin
KFC
Netflix
Nintendo

Yellow: Joy, creativity and optimism

Typically considered positive, sunny, energetic and optimistic, yellow is primarily regarded as cheerful and can lift self-esteem when used effectively. Stimulating and attention-grabbing, yellow is proven to catch the eye more quickly than any other colour too. It’s not all sunshine and daisy’s though, too much yellow can also trigger frustration, fear and anxiety, so if yellow is your colour, use it sparingly!

Famous Yellow Brands:

McDonald’s
JCB
Caterpillar
Hertz
EE

Orange: Confidence, warmth and courage

Playful and refreshing, orange packs a punch and is a vibrant colour that combines the warmth of red with the joy of yellow. Orange is said to draw attention and have a playful, childlike appeal – inspiring feelings of courage, innovation and friendliness. Of course, these traits can also mean that orange can be viewed as being immature and frivolous if used in the wrong context, so be sure it aligns with your brand ethos before making it your colour.

Famous Orange Brands:

EasyJet
Nickelodeon
TNT
Amazon

Green: Nature, prosperity and hope

The colour green requires no adjustment when it hits the human retina, which means it is officially the most ‘easy on the eye’ of all colours. As a result, green is considered calming, restful and reassuring and represents hope, growth, freshness and above all, balance. In brighter ‘zingy’ tones such as lime, green can also represent innovation, youth and vibrancy. As with all colours though, if misused, green can have some negative connotations including envy, sickness and jealousy, so use it with care.

Famous Green Brands:

Starbucks
Harrods
Spotify
Android
BP

Blue: Calm, loyalty and reliability

Serene and calming, blue is the colour of the mind. It conveys clarity and communication – which is perhaps why it proves so popular with social media platforms. The most universally favoured colour, blue is versatile in that its various shades can mean a variety of things. For example, while dark blue is associated with intelligence, stability and dependability, lighter tones are linked to creativity, serenity and optimism. But beware, as a cool colour, blue can also appear icy, distant or cold.

Famous Blue Brands:

Facebook
Twitter
Samsung
Ford
VW

Purple: Wisdom, creativity and luxury

The colour of spirituality, imagination and nobility, purple is lavish and passionate colour that is often considered regal, wise and imaginative. As well as intuition, quality and creativity, purple is to convey self-awareness, reflection and compassion, making it a popular choice for brands who promote wellbeing. Purple is also said to represent the artistic talent, making it an ideal choice for creative and inventive brands. As with all colours, however, used in the wrong context, purple can also convey snobbery, sadness and frustration.

Famous Purple Brands:

Cadburys
Yahoo
Hallmark

Pink: Playfulness, romance and youthfulness

Traditionally associated with femininity, romance and sentimentality, pink has found a new lease of life and is currently bang on-trend. The rise of ‘rose gold’ millennial pink (a colour that has been labelled genderless) has seen products flying off the retail shelves while ‘Hot Pinks’ are said to fuel creativity and convey youthfulness, energy and fun. The tone is everything when choosing pink for your brand. While subdued and muted hues are considered calming, romantic and delicate, brighter tones are passionate, vibrant and confident.

Famous Pink Brands:

Barbie
Benefit
T-Mobile
Victoria’s Secret

Black: Power, luxury and strength

There can be no argument that when it comes to branding, black can make quite a statement. Bold and striking, black can be extremely versatile, and while it can be used to convey power and confidence, it is also popular due to its classic, elegant appeal. Of course, when talking about black, we must consider shades of grey too. Mid tones are the epitome of modern branding, and as well as having universal appeal, they convey simplicity, intelligence and modern/sleek design. It’s no coincidence that Apple’s brand colour is grey.

Famous Black Brands:

Chanel
Adidas
Nike
YSL
Apple* (*Grey)

Summary

Research suggests that up to 90% of snap judgments about a product are made based on colour alone. People are attracted to brands that emulate their personality. It is essential to understand your customers and their preferences when choosing your brand colour. Find out the level of formality: are you serious or playful? Understand the feelings associated with your product; luxury and prestige or comfort and affordability. Decide how your brand is classified: Are you contemporary or classical, modern or traditional? What sort of energy do you want your brand to promote?

Take a look at our other blog post about Small business Branding:

Small Business Branding

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