Image Source: smallbiztrends.com
Humans are highly visual. More often than not, our decisions are influenced by our visual perception of something or someone.
When it comes to marketing and branding, color offers the visual character for a company or product. Therefore, to succeed in your branding and marketing efforts, you need to subscribe to the psychology of color.
First things first, what’s the psychology of color? Psychology deals with the study of human behavior and mind.
The psychology of color therefore refers to the study of how color affects our behavior and way of thinking. It looks into how various colors affect our decision-making when used in different contexts.
This is why it should be an important aspect of any branding or marketing campaign. Your choice of colors can make all the difference in how consumers think about your business or product.
It can help enhance your brand identity while creating a distinction between you and your competitors. This can especially be useful when you’re introducing a new product into an already saturated market.
Every color choice that you make on your product packaging can affect sales. And, this does not only affect physical products.
Besides your services and products, you also have to use colors to create a company image. What colors will you be using on your social media channels or website?
A short online search can show you numerous perceptions about the effect of color on people. Not only online, but in society too.
Blue has long been associated with boys, while pink is claimed to be a girl’s favorite. But, adhering to these long-established stereotypes may not be the best way to approach color for branding purposes.
To get it right, you need to put all factors into consideration. These include your company’s character and the type of products you’re selling.
And, while doing so, you should also remember to choose something distinctive and memorable.
Chances are if you think of a certain color out of the blue, there’s a certain brand that also comes to mind. Or, when you think of a particular brand, its primary color also registers in your mind.
It’s almost impossible to think of coca-cola without picturing its famous red-colored trademark. When you think of Google, the colors of its logo appear in the mind subconsciously.
These are brands that identified the right colors and managed to create a lasting impression based on them.
Image Source: colorpsychology.org
The effects that a certain color has on people varies on an individual level. This is because of the various factors that affect how people perceive color.
Some of the factors that can influence this perception include:
• Personal preferences.
• Cultural differences.
• Personal experiences.
This makes choosing a theme color tricky, especially when you’re targeting a wide audience. How do you bridge the individual differences?
Such a conflict is why you should not just base your brand colors on limiting factors. This is when you should begin thinking about your company’s character and values. Next, consider the type of products that you’re offering.
Go further and bring your competitors’ choice colors into the equation – how can you compare?
When you have such factors in mind, you’ll have better luck when choosing colors based on traditional perceptions. For instance, red may cause a sense of urgency in consumers. But you need to ask yourself whether the context calls for this feeling.
While it might be the best color for certain applications, it can be the worst choice for others.
It’s clear that there are several things to consider when choosing your brand’s color. This is an important step in branding that’ll also affect marketing.
Therefore, you need to put a lot of effort into it. It’s best to take as much time as possible identifying the right colors instead of rushing the process.
Here are some of the basic factors to keep in mind when choosing your brand colors:
● Your Brand Identity
How would you like your customers to perceive your brand? Fun, formal, family-oriented, or innovative? These are just some of the adjectives that you can use to define your brand.
Some colors are better at expressing certain characters than others. For instance, neutral colors such as white and black can seem formal, while orange may appear more fun-oriented
While deciding your company’s character, you should also look into how it makes you distinct from your competitors. What do you think will make consumers choose your products over others?
By answering these questions, you’ll be able to get a step closer to finding the ideal brand color.
● Your Ideal Customers
What kind of consumers do you want to attract with your services or products? What colors do they prefer for the type of products that you’re offering?
Putting this into consideration can help you build a reputation quickly among consumers. Go for something that they’re bound to remember and distinguish from other brands.
It’s just like every other aspect of marketing – the customer should be the central subject. Do research on what colors they like, and it’ll be much easier to make a decision.
● Color Meanings
Each color has meaning when used in various ways. Take this as an example:
If you see a red sign on an appliance, you can already guess that it contains a warning even without reading the inscription. A green sign on an appliance usually refers to the eco-friendliness of the device.
This shows that some colors already have deeply ingrained meanings that you can take advantage of. In order to choose the right one, you should ask yourself what kind of message you’re communicating.
Is yours a luxury brand? Perhaps gold, blue, or purple colors can be great choices. Are you dealing with health products? Green could be suitable.
Here’s a list of colors and the possible meanings they can communicate to consumers:
White is an ideal color when you’re trying to go for a simple or minimalist theme. A classic color that you can never go wrong with, as long as it communicates your brand’s sophistication.
This color can also be used to represent purity and cleanliness. The next step will be to choose a complementary color that also represents your brand well.
Like white, black can also be used to communicate sophistication and simplicity. Black can also be used as a sign of power.
Red has a very varied range of meanings. According to its context, it can represent passion, danger, love, or power.
This is a color that demands attention, and it can create an instant impression on consumers. One study showed that red call-to-action buttons lead to more conversions than green buttons.
Therefore, this can be a great color to use in your marketing campaigns. Since it creates a sense of urgency, it might influence consumers to take action.
To many people, green is synonymous with nature. That’s why it’s used to represent health, growth, and prosperity.
It can also mean hope. Green can be a great color to use for a health brand since it’ll resonate well with consumers.
Orange ignites feelings of warmth and friendliness. It suits non-corporate brands well since it’s a color that many associates with fun.
Yellow is another color that inspires positive feelings. Most brands use it alongside a darker color to create a recognizable and memorable contrast. This color can represent intellect, optimism, and happiness.
Purple has long been associated with royalty. Therefore, if you want to pass a message or wealth, power, or luxury, it can be ideal.
This is another color that can also show sophistication. Other common meanings for the color purple are spirituality and wisdom.
Blue has been shown to be a favorite among both men and women. This can be attributed to the fact that it gives a calming effect.
Using blue as part of your branding and marketing efforts can help build trust and loyalty from consumers. Blue gives feelings of strength, logic, security, and wisdom.
Ensure that your brand identity, customer preferences, and color meaning rhyme. This way, you’ll have a better chance of creating a successful branding and marketing image.
You now know what you should be looking out for when choosing your brand colors. Next, let’s look at some steps you can take to ensure that you choose the right one.
Besides knowing what to look for, knowing how to look for the perfect color is also crucial. This’ll ensure that you look at all possible options and settle for the most suitable.
Here are a few tips on how to do this:
● Look for Inspiration
Look online for color palette ideas that you can use. This is also when you look at your competitors and see their chosen colors.
Find out what it is about them that creates an impression on the consumers. By doing this, you’ll be able to create a distinct color scheme that attracts customers while distinguishing your brand.
Pinterest can be a great source of inspiration when deciding which colors fit your brand best. A search on social media platforms like Instagram can also reveal several color scheme ideas.
● Select Your Core Color
When choosing the color for your marketing and branding uses, you’ll need to pick at least 3 of them. The first is the core color, which is also known as your primary color.
This is the main color that your customers will identify your brand with. It’s a color that’ll appear on your logo, business cards, website, and staff uniforms.
If you settle for a color, you can further consider its various shades and tints. Do you want it to have a soft appearance or darker?
This makes it easier to pin the exact meaning that you want to express. It’ll also make it easier to look distinct from your competitors.
● Pick Your Secondary Colors
This is when you choose colors that’ll complement your core color. They can be a couple or up to 4 if you wish.
The secret is to make sure that they go well with your primary color. Some of the most common color combinations are red and green and yellow and black. Black and white, white, and silver are also popular.
Your brand’s secondary colors will always appear beside your core color to make the image more memorable. But your primary color should always be the center of attention.
● Choose Your Neutral Colors
Neutral colors are for uses such as background text. Black, white, and grey are great examples.
With these colors picked out, you can now design your brand’s image. Take all the time you need to test out various combinations.
You can ask your customers for feedback about the colors you’ve picked out to determine their effect. Of course, if your target audience doesn’t like them, you’ll have to make some more changes.
Image Source: canva.com
After all of the choosing and deliberation, the question remains, what’s the right color for your brand?
The right color for your company is the one that:
● Carries the Right Meaning
The color with the right meaning will represent your brand’s personality well. We’ve already looked at color meanings, and it’s clear that a single color can have multiple meanings.
Once you choose your primary color, secondary colors can make it easier to bring out the intended meaning. This is a crucial part of establishing your brand’s identity and making a mistake can pass the wrong message.
● Is Appropriate for The Context
During the Christmas season, you’ll notice that red is prominent in ads, shop displays, and websites. Alongside it comes green. Red also becomes the main promotion color when Valentine’s day comes along.
This means that this color is deemed appropriate for these occasions. Using different colors to promote products or services related to these seasons can be a marketing failure.
For instance, blue just doesn’t seem right to inspire the Christmas spirit. Customers will be looking for the flashy red signs, and quickly overlook your blue one.
Therefore, it’s vital that you consider the context of your products when choosing colors. Choose a color that consumers will automatically associate with the product with a single look.
● Creates a Unique Identify for Your Brand
Consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that they can recognize instantly. Therefore, the right color should create a unique appearance that consumers can familiarize with.
It should also stand out from your competitors, making it even easier to recognize. If they can easily identify your brand, they’ll also feel that they can trust it.
● Grabs Attention
All marketing campaigns are geared toward grabbing the consumer’s attention. So, if you’re hoping to drive sales, you need to use a color that demands attention.
A few mistakes can ruin your entire color branding process. To get the most out of the psychology of color in marketing and branding, avoid these mistakes:
● Going by Your Personal Tastes
It’s your brand, but it’s not about you. Choosing colors based on your personal preferences is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
Instead, make all decisions based on your customers instead. If they like it, then it’s the right one. So, when you start the selection process, it’s best to forget all about your preferences.
● Failing to Study Your Competitors
Going into any market without studying your competitors is like setting yourself up for failure. You need to know what you’re up against, and that also applies when it comes to color branding.
Find out which colors are prominent among your competitors, and how you can outdo them. Strive to look different from the rest, and that’ll make your brand more memorable.
Avoid copying images from other companies as that will keep you from establishing a memorable appearance. Also, it’ll cause consumers to view your brand as a copy-cat with nothing unique to offer.
When you choose your brand colors, you should stick to them. If you keep changing them, consumers will not be able to familiarize with your brand.
Also, when you decide on your brand colors, make sure to use them wherever your brand is present. This includes ads, videos, websites, social media channels, or product packaging.
This consistency is what will make it easily identifiable and memorable. Doing otherwise can cost you the chance to make a lasting impression on consumers.
The psychology of color in marketing and branding is something that every brand should look into. It has the power to sway consumer decisions and can therefore help drive sales.
By understanding the fundamental ideas behind color perception, you’ll be on your way to building a memorable brand. Make sure to take all the advisable cautions such as putting customer interests first in order to get it right.
Lisa Loeb is part of the content team at Vivipins where she develops resources to help customers start and grow their own businesses.