Think about the last time you drove down the fast food road. Every town has one. One road you can drive down and get any fast food you want. Now think about seeing all the signs as you drive by. What do most of them have in common? The color red.
But why? Hang in there, we’ll get to that!
When picking the perfect colors for your brand, there are a lot of factors to consider. We broke them down so you can choose the perfect set of colors to attract your target audience.
1. WHY BRAND COLORS MATTER
When you think of the word “love”, it probably conjures a much stronger emotional response than when you hear a phrase like “standing desk.”
Emotions are super powerful and whether we like it or not, they are a driving force in our decision-making. As a brand, you want to cultivate a strong emotional connection with each of your customers. Brand colors can be a shortcut to your customers hearts. After all, that’s what we’re doing, right? Winning over our customers’ hearts so they’ll be loyal to us forever!
2. THE COLORS YOU CHOOSE EVOKE EMOTION
Just like the words “love” and “standing desk” make you feel different things, colors like red and blue both create very different human responses as well. Although the same colors tend to provoke similar emotional responses in different people, they can actually trigger others.
Different shades of the same color can evoke different emotions as well. Think, deep blue and light blue– you likely feel differently about different shades of the same color. Color theory goes much deeper than that. But we’re just giving you the basics here. There are mountains of evidence proving that brand colors work… the real question is how do you make brand colors work for you?
3. YOUR COLORS & YOUR BRAND IDENTITY
Repetition, repetition, repetition. See what I did there? I bet you won’t forget that word for the rest of the article just because I said it three times!
Repetition of the same color can strengthen brand awareness. When you picture Coca-Cola, what color do you think of? Red. When you think of Twitter, what color do you think of? Light blue. If you expose your brand colors to the public enough, colors become part of your brand. So you’ll want to encourage this association by using your brand colors consistently.
You’ll probably be using your brand colors for things like your logo, website, brick-and-mortar shop, in-store design, advertisements, etc. By using the same colors throughout your business, you strengthen your brand association with those colors (and in turn strengthen your brand awareness as a whole).
If we can give one tip, it’s to choose your brand colors wisely. Just because your favorite color might be lime green, doesn’t mean that is the best color to help attract your ideal customer avatar (ICA). Before you pick out your bright and shiny new brand colors, you might want to make sure your brand goals align with those colors.
4. DIFFERENT COLORS MEAN DIFFERENT THINGS
Back to fast food restaurants. Go back to your drive down fast food lane– I told you I’d come back to it! Red makes you feel a sense of urgency to stop and grab something to eat with them! Not unlike a stop sign… you have to think fast and make a decision to stop or roll on through (we don’t recommend rolling through a stop sign).
Choosing your brand colors is easy if you know what you’re trying to communicate. One of the earliest steps in building a brand determining your brand personality. Essentially, you want to think of your company like a person: who are they? What is important to them?
Then it’s important to determine your Ideal Customer Avatar (ICA) and know what motivates that specific person.
Once you’ve established your ICA, how do you determine what colors will attract them to your service/product? It’s all about understanding emotional associations or colors.
Red– Red stands for passion, excitement and anger. It can signify importance and command attention (like when you’re hungry driving down fast food lane).
Orange– Orange stands for playfulness, vitality and friendliness. It is energizing and invigorating.
Yellow– Yellow evokes happiness. It is seen as youthful and optimistic but can also seem cheap and attention-grabbing.
Green– Green evokes stability, prosperity, growth and you guessed it, nature.
Light Blue– A light shade of blue exudes trust, openness, tranquility and innocence.
Dark Blue– Deep blues stand for professionalism, security, trust and formality. Think blue suits and brand colors for banks.
Purple– Purple signifies royalty, creativity and luxury.
Pink– Pink stands for femininity, youth, innocence and even ranges from modern to luxurious.
Brown– Brown creates a rugged, earthy, old-fashioned look and feel.
White– White evokes a feeling of cleanliness, health, simplicity and high-end.
Gray– Grey tends to stand for neutrality. It also create a sense of maturity, mystery or seriousness.
Black– Black screams power, sophistication, edge, modern and luxury.
Don’t forget that the effect of your branding depends on the style and design they are used in. Choosing your color combinations (accents) are just as important as choosing your primary color.
Still need help? Consider hopping into our next Brand Camp! We explain color theory, brand voice and creating visuals to match your voice. Best part, you can join from the comfort of your couch and pj’s because Brand Camp is ALL ONLINE! Sign up to be on the waiting list for the next session!