When creating a brand or rebranding, colour is as important as graphics and typography. Choosing brand colours goes far deeper than choosing colours that you like – the colours must connect with your target audience.
Many successful companies have associated their name with their brand colours, for example, Coca Cola, Caterpillar, Starbucks, Shell and Tiffany and Co. As consumers, without even reading the logo or taglines, we can instantly identify the brands by their colour.
Importance of Colours in Branding: Understanding Colour Psychology
Colour psychology is the study of colours in connection to human behaviour. Colours can evoke feelings and influence moods. In business, where the primary language is persuasion, targetting the emotions of consumers can drive decision-making and help increase conversion rate.
Understanding the psychology of colours and using them strategically can make a huge difference in how your brand connects with the audience. Colour can make a business merely blend in or stand out from the competition and leave a lasting impression. It can help establish and enhance brand perception but can also do damage.
Colours can also have a different effect on people depending on their personal experiences, culture, upbringing, ‘society norms’ and gender.
The Psychology of Colour
Colours and Their Meanings
Red: Red provokes, passion, excitement, strength and action. Red excites the appetite and raises the pulse rate.
Popular Brands: Coca-Cola, YouTube, CNN, Netflix and LEGO.
Orange: Orange gives a sense of freedom, creativity, balance, enthusiasm, youth. Orange stands out from the crowd and adds fun to marketing material.
Popular Brands: Nickelodeon, Harley-Davidson and Fanta.
Yellow: Yellow invites happiness, positivity, clarity and curiosity. As the colour of the sun, yellow stands out and doesn’t fail to put a smile on people’s faces.
Popular Brands: McDonald’s (hello golden arches!), Post-it, Hertz, DHL, Nikon and IKEA.
Green: Green reflects nature, luck, harmony, serenity, prosperity and health. Green is everywhere in our world. Nature and health-focused companies often green to represent their brand.
Popular Brands: Holiday Inn, Spotify, Tropicana, Starbucks and John Deere.
Blue: Blue is trusting, powerful, confident and loyal. Blue conveys dependability, strength, professionalism and reliability.
Popular Brands: Oral B, Facebook, General Electric (GE) and Dell.
Purple: Purple conveys royalty, spirituality, justice and imagination. Purple activates the imagination and emphasises the belief that anything is possible.
Popular Brands: Cadbury, Taco Bell, Yahoo and Hallmark.
In addition to colour psychology, it is also essential to consider the application of colours in branding. Colours in print materials may not translate well online. Additional colour pallets may be required, but the colour of your visual identity should work across all applications. Remember, it is important to go back to your company vision to ensure the colour fits with your brand. Focus on how you want people to perceive your brand and run tests to see what works best.