A while back we wrote an article on how color theory can boost brand recognition. Since we can’t get enough of color in our lives, we’re writing another article about color. This time we’ll focus closely on color psychology and how to use it in branding.
Let’s get to it, shall we?
Color psychology is the foundation when it comes to experiencing the power and influence of your brand identity. Choosing the right shade and tone that represents your brand personality helps you send a clear, authentic message to consumers. The more you know about color psychology, the more you can make better decisions geared towards a brand’s success and recognition.
In fact, color is essential in molding consumers’ first impressions. The problem is, color psychology isn’t an exact science. Each person looking at your brand’s colors, whatever it may be, will respond differently. But this doesn’t mean that color is less important than other measurable factors because 90% of first impressions are based on color alone.
Here are some of the most common colors we see in branding, and what it means.
We connect green with nature, instantly. It symbolizes growth. In marketing, green could often mean health, freshness, and all-natural qualities. But darker greens could represent financial stability and wealth. (Ahem! The color of the US dollar.)
Green brings ideas of growth, progress, and calmness. Examples of brands with the color green on their logos: Land Rover, Tropicana, Whole Foods, and, of course, Starbucks.
If your brand is somewhere along the lines of a health brand, green should be your go-to color. For other brands that are looking to associate their name with prestige, go deep because darker and deeper greens convey prosperity and luxury.
The color blue represents purity, tranquility, and peace because it relates to the sky and the sea. Based on the psychology of color, blue exhibits credibility, security, and reliability. You see different shades of blue on brands like Lowe’s, IBM, Oral-B, Hewlett-Packard, and Facebook.
This is the reason why many tech companies choose blue as their color because consumers feel safe and secure.
Blue is associated with intellect and consciousness. It works great to endorse high-tech products because blue shows expertise and stability. We already mentioned Facebook as an example of a tech-based company benefitting from the color blue.
We all know red is a strong color. It pumps us with powerful emotions. Red is connected with fire – it embodies warmth and danger. The color also associated with holidays like Valentine’s Day and Christmas.
Many brands pair the color red with softer hues like white or yellow to show a sense of excitement and hunger, and less the image of danger. Great examples of brands using the color red in their logos are Red Bull, H&M, Netflix, Target, and Disney.
Red is your color if you want to catch your consumers’ attention right away. There’s a reason we can see Coca-Cola’s logo from miles away. Red also activates our minds when it comes to decision making. It signals a sense of urgency that’s why many CTAs or Calls-to-Action are in red.
Yellow is all about sunshine, cheerfulness, and happiness. In some instances, it can also be used to signal warning and caution.
Many brands deem yellow as a positive color. It catches people’s attention. Take McDonald’s or Subway, for example, their logos capture our attention when we’re on the road, and it makes us hungry (all the time). Other brands that use yellow on their logos are DHL, Ikea, Sprint, and Best Buy.
Use yellow when you’re creating a brand that promotes cheerfulness, caution, or dedication.
This color is more than just fruit. Orange is a hue that expresses perceptions of heat and light. It’s full of ambition and pride. But it’s also a friendly color, which many brands take advantage of when they’re trying to build loyalty. Brands like Harley-Davidson, Home Depot, MasterCard, and Nickelodeon use orange to engage and inspire consumers.
Orange is known to boost your brain’s oxygen supply. It creates an effect that stimulates mental activity. It’s a color that inspires desire and imagination.
Here’s a quick checklist for you when you’re trying to decide on a new color scheme for your brand.
- Customer expectations – What are the appropriate colors based on your brand’s history, company culture, and personality?
- Competitor colors – Don’t get lost in a sea of similar colors as your competitors. Study their colors and make your brand stand out.
- Brand message – What sensations are you trying to evoke? Your colors should be closely paired to highlight the emotions.
- Consistency – When you know what color and shade you want, make sure to stay consistent. Consistency etches your brand in your consumers’ minds.
- Customer preferences – Can your consumers trust you based on your chosen colors? Can they relate to it?