The colors you choose to define your brand – known as a color scheme – are very important and should be chosen with your target market in mind. Colors mean something to each of us, and can mean something different to various industries, countries and cultures. Understanding the balance and energy of the colors you choose to represent your brand can help you better connect with your audience and enhance your brand essence. Remember, your brand and company’s colors should be meaningful and memorable to your customers and potential customers.
The Psychology Behind Color Schemes
Study after study has shown that the use of color in branding plays an important and sometimes pivotal role in how brands are perceived by consumers and the public at large. While some academics and branding experts disagree with many of the specific (and often contradictory) conclusions of these studies, there is a consensus that it is important to choose colors wisely (one study claims that 90% of consumers make snap purchasing decisions based on packaging colors alone) and ensure that the colors you choose reflect the personality of your brand, differentiate yourself from your competitors, and are appropriate based on the product or service being offered.
Does Your Color Scheme Reflect Your Personality?
We may not be always consciously aware of it, but as individuals we make many choices regarding our personal appearance – and, by extension, the color of our clothes and other personal belongings – based on our personalities. For example, an introverted person may choose to wear subdued colors and unobtrusive fashions, while an extrovert may choose to wear flashier colors and clothing styles. Choosing an effective and appropriate color scheme for your business has a lot to do with how you want the your collective personality reflected in your branding – frozen yogurt shops rarely utilize dark, conservative color schemes, while law firms don’t typically use a color scheme of bright, cheerful colors. No matter what business you are in you should choose a color scheme that accurately reflects your business’s personality.
Use Colors To Differentiate Yourself From Your Competitors
If you are familiar with the consumer mobile communications industry in the United States, you may be surprised to realize that you strongly associate a particular color with each prominent carrier – Verizon is associated with red, AT&T with blue, Sprint with yellow and T-Mobile with magenta. This use of color to boost brand differentiation in this industry is so ingrained that carriers such as Verizon often showcase devices featuring their signature color, and T-Mobile recently sued AT&T to prevent an AT&T subsidiary from utilizing another shade of purple. Not only is it important to use a unique color scheme within your industry to differentiate your brand, it is also important not to run afoul of trademark law by utilizing branding elements, including color schemes, that are too similar to a competitor’s branding.
Is Your Color Scheme Appropriate?
Earlier in this blog post, we used the hypothetical examples of a frozen yogurt shop and a law firm to represent how a color scheme should appropriately reflect the personality of a business. Why do most frozen yogurt shops use bright, cheerful colors, while most law firms utilize a formal, conservative color scheme? It’s almost entirely based on the product and service each business offers its clients and customers, which in turn are based on the social norms of Western culture. The products or services you offer should already play an important role in the personality, values and attitude of your company culture, based on the desires and expectations of your clients and customers. Your color scheme should therefore reflect back to these clients and customers the type of personality and company culture they want and expect from you.
What Colors Should You Choose?
Now that you know that your color scheme should help define your brand and the products and services that you offer, how do you go about choosing the correct colors? Use the list below to get a good idea on how each color has its own specific set of meaning and emotions.
- Red – high energy, power, passion, strength, demands attention
- Orange – courage, confidence, enthusiasm, optimistic, friendly
- Yellow – creativity, bright, energy, uplifting, and assists in mental clarity
- Green – healing, health, nature, balance, growth, money, freshness
- Turquoise – spiritual, communication, self-expression, energizing, protection
- Blue – honesty, trust, dependability, security, intelligence, calm
- Purple – wealth, power, royalty, nobility, ambition
- Gold – established, wealth, prosperity, valuable, wisdom, generosity
- Silver – elegant, graceful, sleek, sophisticated, uplifting
- White – clean, fresh, pure, innocence, goodness
- Black – formal, dramatic, classy, authority