Your Brand in Colour
Understanding colour personalities and how to choose yours
When it comes to establishing your brand, choosing your colours may appear to be a seemingly insignificant and straightforward task. Surely you just 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. Put simply, 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, but 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 important consideration for your branding.
Choosing your brand colour – a step by step guide
- People are attracted to brands that emulate their personality, so first and foremost, when selecting your brand colour, it is important 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.
- 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 excitement, passion and energy, red may be ideal for you if your brand is playful, youthful, bold or loud. Far from being subtle, the colour red makes a bold statement and is said to reduce analytical thinking and promote impulsiveness, which is why it’s so popular with retail sales. It’s worth bearing in mind that the colour red can also be associated with anger, danger and defiance too, so use it wisely!
Famous Red Brands: Coca-Cola, Virgin, KFC, Netflix, Lego, Nintendo
Yellow: Joy, creativity and optimism
Typically considered positive, sunny, energetic and optimistic, yellow is largely considered 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, Ikea, Caterpillar, Hertz
Orange: Confidence, warmth and courage
Playful and invigorating, orange packs a punch and is an energetic 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 used incorrectly, 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 said to convey self-awareness, reflection and compassion, making it a popular choice for brands who promote wellbeing. Purple is also said to convey 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 also 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)