Choosing Your Brand Colors
Published: February 11, 2019
Did you know that the colors you choose for your brand actually play a role in someone’s first impression of your company? Now, we’re not saying that the colors you choose will determine if someone is going to purchase your products or services or not, but on a high-level, a person’s perception of color is based on culture, personal experience and upbringing can play on our subconscious brain.
According to “Impact of Color on Marketing”, Satyendra Singh discovered that “people make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with people or products. About 62-90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone”.
When we talk about “Strategic Marketing”, we pay a great deal of attention the first 90 seconds of someone’s interaction to your brand and your products/services, because that first interaction is your first and maybe only opportunity to influence how someone acts, reacts and interacts with you and your company. We think of it much like a job interview, if you go to the job interview wearing beach shorts, flip-flops and a tank top you may not make a positive first impression unless the job interview is for a beach life-guard position or a job at a local surf shop.
This is the same for brand colors, the colors you choose may not be bad colors, however they may just not match the brand you want to others to perceive you as.
So, what kind of first impression do your brand colors have? Let’s find out!
What words come to mind when you think of RED. Maybe a “STOP” sign or maybe “HOT” comes to mind, or a fire. Red is generally used to exude excitement or danger. Notable brands that use the color red are: Coca Cola, CNN, Target, Virgin and YouTube. All of these brands market themselves as either exciting, and important.
Have you ever wondered why “Breaking News” is always in a bright red color, or news channels always used red throughout their broadcast? This is a sign of authority and importance, if the color was green instead, we might not pay attention as much as we do.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is GREEN. Green is a peaceful color used by nature and health focused companies. Notable companies that use green are John Deere, Animal Planet, Tropicana, BP, Starbucks, Whole Foods and Range Rover. All of these brands market themselves as healthy, environmentally friendly and one-with-the-planet.
What color do you think of when you hear the word “Organic”? Most likely you think of the color green! This is marketing at its best, by using the color green on advertisements your first impression is “healthy”, thus making you think they are a healthy company, even if they are not!
ORANGE often represents cheerful and confidence. Orange is practically the color of the month of October and is used by brands such as Harley Davidson, Hooters, Amazon, Payless and Fanta. These companies market themselves with confidence and are often try to be the center of attention.
Orange is also a color that influences youth. Nickelodeon, Fanta and Crush use orange to get the attention of the younger crowd. Ever wonder why those Hot Wheels cars roll on bright orange racing tracks, this is another stroke of marketing genius.
YELLOW is the most optimistic and happiest of all the colors; that’s probably why is it is one of the most widely used colors amongst brands. Notable brands such as Sprint, Denny’s, Best Buy and McDonalds use yellow as their main brand color. These companies market themselves with happy and friendly advertisements.
As you may already know, the big M that signifies McDonalds lights up yellow at night to catch the attention of passing cars on the road. This is another key marketing success!
BLUE is the most trustworthy of all of the colors. Banks, insurance companies and other financially focused companies use blue as their main brand color to signify dependability and strength. Notable brands that use the color blue are HP, Ford, Facebook, IBM, Walmart and AT&T. These companies market themselves are the dependable choice for consumers. Ford goes as far as saying “dependable” in just about every Ford F-150 commercial!
Have you ever wondered why NASA uses the colors blue and red in their logo? Well based on what we have just learned, blue is the larger section of the logo that can be related to dependability and strength, while red (the small section) stands for excitement and boldness.
PURPLE stands for imaginative and wise. We use purple for our branding colors for this very reason. When we brand ourselves with the purple color, we want our consumers and clients to think of use as the best choice for creativity and knowledge when it comes to marketing. Notable brands that use the purple color are Big Brother Big Sister, T-Mobile, Barbie, Yahoo, Cadbury’s and Hallmark.
These brands are inherently approachable, they make you feel comfortable and less anxious. When marketed correctly purple can be a very wise brand color!
Grey, White & Black
GREY, WHITE and BLACK and are colors that actually lack traditional color. These colors stand for neutral, calm and balance. Brands that use these colors want to be known as unbiased or individualized. Notable brands that use grey, white or black are The New York Times, Apple, CBS, Wikipedia and Nike.
Apple is known as one of the most individualized companies worldwide. Do you remember the last time you saw an Apple commercial? Most likely the commercial consisted of an individual or a set of individuals. This type of marketing is the cornerstone of Apple’s branding, thus why they use a greyish branding color.