How to choose the right brand colours for your business
Selecting the right brand colours for your business can be a delicate matter as they can tell your customers more about you than you might think. Your brand colours underline your mission and help you visually convey your message and intentions to your target audience. Read on to learn what your brand colours say about your business and how you can make sure to choose the right ones.
The power of colour
The purpose of colour in branding is not only to make your collateral look more appealing, but to evoke emotion and create associations in your customers that eventually tip purchasing decisions in your favour. Thus, choosing colours that resonate with your audience and using them consistently across all customer touchpoints becomes imperative to your branding process.
How to choose the right hue
According to colour psychology, people can perceive colours very differently to one another. That's why you should always apply additional context to your colour choosing process. There are a number of factors that can influence an individual's colour perception, such as their cultural background, gender identity, social environment, and personal experiences. Associations can also vary depending on the product or service your business is offering. However, psychologists have still seen broader patterns emerge that can point you in the right direction when reviewing your visual brand identity.
For example, warmer shades like orange, yellow, and red are generally perceived as lively and energetic, whereas cooler hues portray a sense of calmness and security. While a large portion of the process is about the overall 'feel' you're getting from your brand colours, it can also help to run focus groups to gain an insight into your target group's psyche and trial your selection before settling on a hue.
According to Marketo, the most popular brand colour is blue. It's used by 33% of the Top 100 companies globally. A reason for this could be that blue is often associated with the calming properties of water and the sea. Therefore, it can evoke feelings of trust, reliability, security, and confidence.
Red came in second with 29% of the global Top 100 using it in their branding. Inarguably the fieriest of colours, red calls for action and stands for passion and excitement. That's because looking at the colour can increase your heart rate and raise your blood pressure. Furthermore, red also stands for luck in some Asian cultures.
In most Western countries, green is perceived as the colour of luck. However, depending on the exact shade, it can also stimulate feelings of peace, serenity, or even prestige. It can also stand for wealth, generosity, or nature.
Yellow also made it among the top five colours for branding. Due to its association with sunlight, yellow is full of optimism and warmth, so it's no surprise many global brands, like Nikon and McDonalds, have made it their signature hue.
As a blend of red and yellow, orange combines the best of both worlds. It's playful and energetic, and its brightness conveys optimism and positivity.
Much like orange, purple is a colour hybrid made up of blue and red. Depending on the shade, it can either appear cool or warm. Therefore, it can be perceived as uplifting, calming or inspiring and everything in between. It's also frequently associated with royalty, high-value items, sacredness, and bravery.
Hues of brown can represent stability, strength, and resilience. It can also evoke feelings of security and safety. In the wrong context, however, people may associate the colour with dirt or negative properties, such as loneliness and isolation.
As the third most popular shades for branding, black and greyscale colours tend to be perceived as timeless, sophisticated, and powerful. They are often used for high-end products in the world of fashion and technology for instance just think of Louis Vuitton, Cartier or Sony.
In branding, you often see white logos framed by another colour to help them stand out from light background colours. White is mostly associated with trust, simplicity, purity, and cleanliness.
Regardless of what colours you choose, ensure that your associations match those of your target group. Otherwise, your branding might not have the desired effect.