Every color has a meaning and triggers a special emotional response. This also holds true for brands that are able to reflect their persona by the choice of colors they have used in their branding. Think about how brands that have fair use of red as their primary color are often in the business of delivering fun and happiness, for instance, Coke, Hamleys, etc. Likewise, most brands associated with money or finance make use of blue, like SBI, Barclays, Bank of America, Citibank, etc. This isn’t and cannot be a mere coincidence that every one that is serving the same industrial segment tends to like the same color. One inference can definitely be drawn that branding and color schemes have a deep connection.
Branding Color Schemes Matter. But why?
Emotions have a profound effect on our decisions. Branding is said to be successful when the brand is able to give rise to the right set of emotions. It is obvious that it is not just the colors but a combination of logo, name, product, customer service, website, store, etc. which will help in developing a deep emotional connection with your customers. But definitely, colors send a clear message without the need, on the customer’s part, to notice other branding cues.
In a famous book, Color Psychology and Color Theory, Faber Birren, has reiterated the connection between the colors and the emotions. He has even stated that the same color can, in fact, invoke the same kind of emotional response in different people. The color theory thus seeks to explain human affiliations to colors on a much deeper note.
It has also been proven scientifically that customers are more likely to be attracted to a brand if they are able to have a feeling for it and are emotionally drawn to it. The use of the same color in different brand merchandise and ventures fosters brand awareness.
How to Choose Brand Colors?
The first step is to develop a clear vision of the real personality of the brand. The rule says that the color of your brand should be in line with its personality. It is possible that you do not personally like the color blue, but in case you are going to open a finance firm, then picking blue would be a good idea. Colors will be used in stores, logos, websites, packaging, staff uniforms, and even advertisements. The choice of colors becomes easy if you know what you are trying to say in your messages. There is a spectrum of the personality traits in brands ranging from feminine-masculine, delightful-grim, modern-retro, young-old, etc. The color choice will be a clear reflection of the goals of your brand communication which again will depend on the brand personality. This is because every color has a different connotation and leads to specific emotional associations.
Colors and Meaning in Branding
Every color has an association with a particular emotion and leads to similar reactions among people. Here is a list of colors and their related meanings:
- Red: Passion, Love, Anger. It is linked with life and attention.
- Orange: Friendliness, Creativity and Vigor. It is linked to energy.
- Yellow: Hope, Youth, Positivity. It is also linked to being friendly to pocket and attention-seeking.
- Blue: Formal and Secure. It is linked to maturity and trust.
- Purple: Royalty and Luxury. It is linked to indulgence and lavishness.
- Green: Growth and Prosperity. It is often linked to nature.
- White: Health, Serenity and Virtuous. It can be either very approachable or completely high-end.
- Black: Powerful, Luxurious and Edgy. It is linked to riches and modernity.
Another point to note is that colors and the way they are used in the designs and logos related to the brands, the proportion of every color in relation to others will make a lot of difference.
How to Create a Brand Color Palette?
There are no strict rules and the choice is both personal and professional. But, taking care of some basic cues can definitely help in the creation of a unique brand identity.
- Pick 3 Colors: You should start with three basic colors which will be the base, the accent and finally the neutral to bring about the fundamental variations in hues.
- Choice of Base: Base is the most important color and is the one which should be closest to the brand personality and will have maximum appeal to the target audience. All the other colors in the palette must best match the primary color or the base.
- Choice of Accent: This forms the second-best to the base color. The choice is a little difficult as it is dictated by both the base and the brand personality.
- Choice of Neutral: This forms the primary background color whose main purpose is not to catch attention but accentuate the color scheme chosen. Greys, blacks, whites, etc. often go in this part.
Bottom line is that you should have a clear idea of your brand personality and message. Brands also make a choice from among monochromatic, analogous, triadic, etc. schemes as well depending on the above factors. Too many colors cannot symbolize professionalism and security commanded from a financial brand, and likewise purple cannot symbolize fast food, etc. These are basic cues that have far-reaching consequences which are not always apparent but subtle. Theses subtleties go a long way in developing right connect with the target audience and win a share of their heart and mind. Effective branding color schemes not only make people appreciate but also compels them to feel the message. Think!
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