Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Color & Your Brand

Color is extremely important in brand identity. The most prominent brands in the world are identified by their colors. McDonald's golden arches, UPS, Coca-Cola, Tiffany's--these companies, & many others, strategically use color in their logo, website & product for instant recognition & to appeal to customers.

Learn from these huge conglomerates & pick a color or colors & use them ALL the time--in your written communication, on your website, your promotional imprinted products & your packaging.  But don't pick just any color or a color because it happens to be your favorite.  Colors relay messages & choosing the wrong color could extend the wrong impression of your business.

Why should you care about your colors?
  • Studies have shown that a product color influences 600 - 80% of a customer's purchasing decision. Color can make or break a product.
  • Color is the 1st thing a customer will notice about your logo.
  • It costs your company next to nothing to choose a color, but making the wrong decision could cost your business in the long run.
 So you see, color matters........your brand colors will make a huge statement about your company!

Colors have an impact on people's emotional state & on their ability to learn & concentrate. The effect of color are physiological, psychological & socialogical.

Research has found that different color provoke different reactions. Here are some examples:
  • Non primary colors are more calming than primary colors.
  • Children prefer primary colors. Children's books & toys use these colors.
  • Blue is the most calming of primary colors. Test takers score higher & weight lifters lift more in blue rooms. Blue text increases reading retention.
  • Blue & black suppresses appetites.
  • Yellow evokes cheerfulness. Houses with yellow trim & yellow flowers in the garden sell faster.
  • Reds & oranges encourage diners to eat quickly & leave. Red also makes food more appealing & encourages people to eat more. Fast food restaurants always use these colors.
  • Red trim is used in casinos & bars because it causes people to lose track of time.
  • Orange is often used to make an expensive item look less expensive.
  • Pink enhances appetites & has been seen to calm prison inmates.

Companies use colors to express who they are & what they want you to think of them.  How many companies can you recognize just by the color they use?

After reading what emotion each color elicits, scroll down  & see if your list matched mine.  Did you add to it? 

Brands use red when they want to be seen as powerful, passionate companies.

Brands use green to show youthfulness, financial savings or gain, love of nature & the environment.

Brands use yellow to show they're fun & friendly.

Brands use orange to signify playfulness & physical comfort, enjoying social interaction & you get your money's worth from the product or service.

Brands use blue to seem calm & logical. It also conveys trust, integrity, & communication.  But if the wrong tone of blue is used, the company can seem cold & unapproachable.

Brands use pink to show femininity, love, nurturing & sexiness.

Brands use purple to seem luxurious, whimsical, highly intelligent & to convey a sense of royalty.

Brands use browns to show warmth, dependability, safety & earthiness.

Brands use black to signify exclusivity, glamor, luxury, sophistication & sometimes mystery.

Brands use white to be associated with coolness, cleanliness & freshness.

RED: The Virgin Group, Coca-Cola, Target & Macy's. The French shoemaker, Christian Louboutin won the right to trademark his shoes' distinctive red soles after suing Yves Saint Laurent.

GREEN: Garner Fructis, National Car Rental, Land Rover & Starbucks. And of course, the recycle icon is green.

YELLOW: McDonald's, Best Buy & Disney. IKEA uses yellow in their stores to emphasise a feeling of fun & happiness while shopping, inducing customers to buy more.

ORANGE: Nickelodeon, Blogger & Office Depot. The financial institution, ING, uses orange in their branding to show you'll get your money's worth; but they also use blue to show logic & trust.

BLUE: Facebook, LinkedIn, AT&T, GAP & Pillsbury.  Tiffany is immediately recognized by it's distinctive teal blue, which they had trademarked.

PINK: Victoria's Secret & Barbie. Different charities related to breast cancer have branded themselves pink.

PURPLE: Cadbury Chocolates, Yahoo!, Harrahs & various academic institutions. The pop singer, Prince, is known for only wearing purple & that has become his own brand.

BROWN: UPS, Luis Vuitton & Hershey's. The original M&Ms come in the easily identifiable brown package.

BLACK: Chanel, Nike & the car maker Lamborghini. Very few companies are known for just black--that color is usually combined with other hues.

WHITE: I can't think of any that uses white as their only color or as the main color.  Can you? But laundry products that use no additives--only natural & pure ingredients have solid white containers.

What are your colors?  How did you pick them? Because they were your favorites or because of the emotion behind them? After reading this post, do you feel they fairly represent your company?

I'd like to hear from you.
Ronni Sherman


  1. Very good information. Most people do not realize color is emotional and can rule your moods and what you do during any given day. A majority of people think of color as visual only.

  2. Lights and color. Color and lights. That is the way to put your business out there. If you are not sure about this, go to a mall or Vegas. Stores and hotels try to grab your attention. Lights and color on the strip and colors in the store windows and on placards.