As consumers, how we feel about brands means more to us than what we think about them. Think about some of the brands you love and how they make you feel. What is it about their branding that makes you feel that way? And also….what even is branding?
What is Branding?
Branding is the action of marking with a branding iron. Just kidding, we’re not a cow ranch here and that is not the branding we’re talking about. The branding we’re talking about is the process of creating a strong, positive perception of a business, its products and services in the mind of the target customer. A company’s brand includes its logo design, the visual design of its marketing materials, the mission statement for the business, and the tone of voice used in the content of the marketing materials. And of course, a company’s brand is only as good as the quality of its products and services.
But as a new business, how can you convince your future customers that your products and services are amazing, and that your business can be trusted? Believe it or not, the colors that you use in your branding have a bigger role to play in that than you might think.
Meanings of Colors
You want your customers to connect emotionally with your brand, and using the right colors can help with that. Have you ever noticed how a lot of financial institutions use blue in their branding? That’s because blue is a color that communicates trust. We see this in nature when we look at a blue sky, or when we see clean water from a distance. If something is blue, it is something that is good and dependable.
Colors can also have cultural meanings. Here in America, we associate the color green with money, because that is the color of our paper currency. Currency in other countries may be different colors, thus using green as a symbol of money wouldn’t work. However, using green to signify being environmentally friendly, a.k.a. “Going green” would be more widely understood across different cultures.
Here is an abbreviated list of colors and meanings. This list is just scratching the surface of what colors symbolize across various cultures.
Red is a primary color. Red can symbolize passion, action, and energy. It can also draw attention, and can be used as a sign of caution and danger. Brands that want to come across as warm and energetic often use red, as well as brands with political affiliations.
Orange is a secondary color and is a mixture of red and yellow. Orange can be uplifting, friendly, and encouraging. It is considered a fun, optimistic color that is warm and joyful. Brands that appeal to children or any brand that want to communicate a sense of energy often use orange.
Yellow is a primary color. Yellow is the color of happiness and optimism. It boosts enthusiasm and stimulates the intellect. Brands associated with being carefree, happy, and optimistic often utilize yellow.
Green is a secondary color and is a mixture of blue and yellow. Green promises growth and prosperity. It signifies nature and new beginnings. Green is also the color of harmony and health. Brands that are health or environmentally focused often use green.
Blue is a primary color. Blue represents dependability and loyalty. It is a peaceful color that has a calming and relaxing effect. Blue is popular for tech brands, financial institutions, and health care brands because it communicates dependability and professionalism.
Purple is a secondary color and is a mixture of red and blue. Purple inspires us with creativity and wisdom. It is often associated with luxury and royalty. Purple feels rich and sophisticated, and is starting to become more popular amongst financial and tech brands.
How to Use Branding Colors
So what is the best way to make your brand colors work for you? Consistent use of your brand colors across all of your marketing materials is a great first step. If you choose a certain shade of red to use in your logo, that same shade of red should also be used in your social media graphics, your website, and your business cards. Think about the branding for Coke products. The same shade of red is used for all of Coke’s products and marketing materials and that is what makes their products so recognizable.
How to Choose a Color Scheme for your Brand
It’s hard to apply strict guidelines to something as seemingly abstract as choosing a color scheme. Below is a general guide to choosing what types of colors to use in your branding color scheme.
- Choose your primary color. This color represents the strongest personality trait of your brand. This color should also be the main color to appeal to your brand’s target audience. The other colors you choose will need to coordinate well with this color.
- Choose an accent color. This one can be tricky. It needs to go well with your base color, but also speak to your brand’s target audience, and match your brand’s personality.
- Choose a neutral color. Think of this color as a background color, one that doesn’t get a lot of attention but is there to support your primary and accent colors. Neutrals can be varying shades of black, gray, white, or brown. Be careful in choosing your neutral color so that it doesn’t dominate the other two colors.
Once you’ve chosen your color scheme, you can expand upon it by using different tints and shades of those colors. A tint is a color mixed with white to make it lighter, while a shade is a color mixed with black to make it darker. Using tints and shades of your branding colors can expand your color palette to fit all your design needs.
Hopefully this will help you in deciding which colors to use for your branding and how to use them. If you need further assistance, feel free to schedule a marketing consultation with us by calling (580) 699-2729, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by clicking here.