Colours and Their Impact On A Brand
When you think about what the word “Brand” means to you, there are likely to be a few definitions and concepts that you consider.
One of the definitions that is possibly the most relevant to marketing, is that a brand is what your business is first identified and then remembered by, and ultimately the foundation on which your reputation is built.
Your brand encompasses a number of elements, and each of these needs to be given careful consideration. The general consensus is that effective branding requires seven elements.
- Catchphrase, Tagline or Slogan
- Appearance or Images
- Fonts or Typography – read our article on Fonts for more insight into this.
What part does Colour play in branding?
Colours play an important part in how we first perceive something, which then starts to shape our reaction to it. The initial impression needs to be a positive one in order to engage and retain the person’s interest. Albeit subconsciously, you will no doubt be aware of the use of colours in familiar settings. Unless you’ve given these choices some thought, it might surprise you to realise that more often than not, the colour choices are usually well thought out and deliberate.
Colour psychology is the study of the impact colours have on perception and subsequent behaviour, and can be a pivotal aspect when creating your brand. There has been lots of research conducted into the correlation between successful brands and their colours. Some of the results indicate that simplicity, in choosing just one or two colours, is a common trait in the vast majority of cases.
Think of logos in the colours red and white, and immediately companies like Coca Cola and Target will come to mind. Similarly, the simple logo of four squares, in the three primary colours and one secondary is instantly identifiable as the Microsoft logo. The colour of each quadrant has been specifically chosen to represent a range of products and solutions. Subtly perhaps, but powerfully nonetheless, as this is now recognised as one of the most well known logos in the world.
How do you align your colours with your brand?
This is not as straightforward as choosing your favourites and then creating a logo that looks good in them. Although we have placed colour as the last element in our list, that certainly does not represent its importance. On the contrary, it has been deliberately placed there, to represent the glue that holds the rest of the branding elements together.
Once you have identified your brand identity and what your core values are, this forms the context within which the broadly accepted connotations of different colours can start to be applied. As an example, if you are a manufacturer of environmentally friendly products, the choice of the colour green would represent the environmentally friendly and health related aspect of your products, along with the usual connotation of calmness and freshness. This creates an image of your company that is aligned with your products and thus represents your business appropriately. Green is also associated with wealth, as a result of the historical slang term, “greenback”, for US dollars. In the context of the overall brand, this is unlikely to present a negative impression, as most consumers would more than likely expect to pay slightly more for an environmentally friendly product.
Factors to consider when choosing your colours
Colour psychology doesn’t offer as much direction, when armed with just a colour palette and an idea, as you would hope. Some of the factors you need to consider in making the choice for your brand include the demographic of your target market, the appropriateness of the colours in relation to your brand personality, and the full picture that your brand presents.
The demographic of your audience is crucial, as individual colours evoke different reactions as a result of cultural differences as well as personal preferences. An ideal example of this is the colour red. In most Asian cultures, red is a colour associated with celebrations and good fortune. In stark contrast, red is often regarded as a negative colour eg “a red flag”, “in the red” or “caught red-handed”.
As colours tie intrinsically to the brand personality, the appropriateness needs to be given due consideration. As an example, consider if it is appropriate for something like a health related service to choose red and black as their brand colours. Would you raise an eyebrow at this choice? Would it be more appropriate to choose blue or green and white to signify calm, health and purity? Consider the symbolism of certain colours in the context of your business.
Once you have decided on appropriate colours, combine them with your logo, slogan, fonts and graphics. Do they still work when looked at as a full picture? If they do, well done! Seek a peer review, as a fresh pair of eyes can give you a different point of view, and allow you to adjust your selections as needed, before you go to market with an unfavourable brand image.
Feel like you need some help?
At BEVIN, we aim to create brands that leave a lasting impression with stakeholder groups. This is achieved through engaging, considered design as well as brand consistency, continuity and clarity.
In order to build an impressionable and strong brand, we ask our clients in the preliminary workshop/ briefing stage to decide whether they desire a brand that will stand the test of time, or a brand that has the flexibility to warrant growth in line with their organisation.
Transforming verbally communicated concepts into a visual communication device takes skill and flair. Brand management is something the professional team at BEVIN Creative excels at.
Once your brand is created, it needs to be monitored and managed to ensure the parameters and guidelines outlined in the creation stage are being adhered to. As difficult as this is, it is imperative to ensure the brand is not losing potency and that it is remaining the focal point. This requires a strong brand manager with a strong team.
Contact us if you would like experienced brand managers to help you develop, maintain and grow your company brand.