Think for a moment about your favorite color. Pretty easy, right?
Now tell me why it’s your favorite color. Maybe a bit harder?
But with a little more thinking you could start to come up with words and phrases that describe why you like the color. Maybe it’s how the color makes you feel. Or what it makes you think of. Maybe the color has historical or cultural meaning. Maybe it is tied to a memory or a different time. Some nostalgia, perhaps. Maybe you like it because your mom or dad liked it. Or an old boyfriend liked it. Or maybe you just like the way it looks.
None of that is particularly rational, is it?
Ultimately, though, the emotional component to color preferences can present a powerful behavioral influence.
Color preferences are deeply rooted emotional responses that seem to lack any rational basis, yet the powerful influence of color rules our choices in everything from the food we eat and the clothes we wear to the cars we buy.
Douglas Fields Ph.D., Why We Prefer Certain Colors.
Rational or not, understanding the reason why people prefer certain colors cannot be underestimated by those involved in branding strategy, whether a blogger, a solopreneur, a web-designer, a small-business owner, or a brand manager for a corporation.
And if a single color can wield untold influence, the combination of two or more colors has the potential to bring world peace or—if done incorrectly—the power to destroy humanity.
Okay, slight exaggeration. But let’s be candid. Using the right brand colors can only improve your chances of keeping your audience and customers interested and engaged. Using the wrong brand colors can turn off even the most forgiving observer.
People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62‐90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone.
Satyendra Singh, Impact of Color on Marketing.
And that, my friends, is why color is so important to your brand. Your brand colors, along with your other branding elements, will instantly set you apart. They will create brand recognition and strengthen your brand’s position among your competitors (if done right).
Of course you can’t please everyone, and the subjective nature of why people like certain colors will guarantee that you won’t please everyone with your color choices.
But you of course know that your job is not to please everyone. Your job is to captivate your target market. Your audience.
So What Brand Colors Should You Pick?
Well, your best bet is to identify colors that mean something to your business, to your customers, and to you. Being authentic and staying true to your brand’s personality and values should guide your color decisions.
Color that aptly reflects a brand’s value is central in relation to its ability to build a personal connection.
Lauren Olsen, Why Color Psychology is Key to Digital Marketing.
According to color psychology, colors have specific meanings, moods, personalities, and emotional traits, For example, red denotes action, adventure, energy, and passion. Coca-Cola is a notable example of a company that embraces this primary color.
Blue is the color of authority, confidence, power, and trust.
Think about Facebook. And IBM.
Black connotes boldness, classic, formal, and seriousness. Chanel, Nike, and Gillette are examples.
And green, of course, is the color of the environment, of freshness, of health, and of harmony. Starbucks is perhaps the most famous green logo. But think also of John Deere. And Whole Foods.
Wondering what those colors you are considering for your logo mean? To give you a little help, we’ve prepared an easy-reference Color Psychology Guide that identifies some of the meanings behind colors you may be considering to help tell your brand story.
Consistency is Key
Once you carefully choose your brand colors, there is no more important principle to remember than consistency. You want to be seen as trustworthy and reliable. You can’t do that if you are changing how you present yourself. Imagine if Coke changed from red to blue? Or if Starbucks decided orange would be a fun alternative? Yikes.
You risk customer confusion and brand dilution if you deviate—even slightly—from your brand colors. The benefit of being familiar to your audience is immeasurable.
Which is why it is so important to pick your brand colors carefully when you are beginning to design your brand story. If you intentionally and purposefully select the right colors from the very start, you will be far less tempted to want to change or tweak your colors later.
So use our Color Psychology Guide to start thinking how color can help tell your story, and ask us any questions in the comments below. We are here to help you create the best brand possible.