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    3 Ways to choose the right colours for your brand.

  • July 10, 2018
  • Website Design

    Did you know 93% of shoppers make purchase decisions based on color and visual appearance? With a stat like that, you better be picking the right colors for logos, websites, emails for your business.

    There are tons of articles out there on the psychology of color and how a subtle difference in hue can impact the perception of your brand. Unfortunately, the conversation is confusing and in some eyes boring.

    Most small business owners don't want to read a lengthy article on why pink is better than blue, or how a customer who grew up in the North East of England perceives various shades of yellow. Instead, you want a quick and easy way to figure out which colors are right for your businesses.

    It's a difficult task - research has shown that color preferences are influenced by more than chance. The colors people like are related to personal preference, cultural upbringing, life experiences and context.

    Although it's hard to determine exactly how a certain color will impact your brand, it is possible to make some broad sweeps to help you narrow the playing field.

    Colors are most effective when consumers believe that the brand's color "fits" the brand, according to a study called The Interactive Effects of Color. That means that your colors have to speak to your customers. If you sell to organic or nutritienal foods, it makes more sense to use green or brown than macaroni and cheese orange.

    Context is important, too. Sometimes brown is used for something natural, perfect for those organic foods stores. Other times it's seen as rugged and masculine, perfect for male outdoor types and motorbike enthusiasts who are into motocross for instance.

    1. Start simple, but don't be restrictive

    Just like the shapes in your logo or the words in your brand name, the shades in your brand color palette are defining attributes of your brand identity. The more colors you include in your palette, the harder it will be for your customers to remember you. Take a moment to think about some of the biggest companies in the world, like IBM, FedEx, and Vodafone. Most of these brands will only use one or two colors in their brand assets.

    Even one of the companies known for being more colorful, Google, only uses four shades in their brand logo. Aim to use no more than four colors at most. You can start with a single color that conveys the most important characteristic of your company. For instance, if above all else, you want to be seen as reliable, then blue may be the shade that underpins the foundation of your brand color palette. From there, you can build out with a couple of extra colors that accent and supplement your main shade. For instance, you might choose white to indicate innovation, and green to demonstrate sustainability.

    2. Translate the language of color

    Today, even the smallest brands can end up going international. The growth of the internet means that you can quickly earn a reputation that spans across continents. With this in mind, it's important to make sure that the brand color palette you choose works well in every country you might want to sell in. For instance, in most western countries, the color white is viewed as a symbol of purity. On the other hand, Eastern countries often see white as a symbol of death.

    Similarly, in Belgium, mothers and fathers use blue to symbolise the arrival of a baby girl, while pink is common for baby boys. Knowing what different colors mean across the borders of the world will help you to ensure that you don't offend the wrong audience. A color chart for international color symbolism should help when you're figuring out how to create a color palette.

    3. Be consistent

    Finally, remember that while some companies do change their brand colors over time with rebrands and business updates, it's important to remain consistent for as long as you can. Repetition is the key to success with many elements of an effective brand. Use your color scheme wherever you can in your marketing, from your sales collateral to your social media sites.

    To help your designers and employees remain consistent with their choices of brand colors, create a style guide that includes hex values. This will help to ensure that your shades stay the same regardless of which channel they appear on.

    If you're concerned that you can't commit to a particular brand identity color palette yet, consider experimenting for a while first. Give your customers the chance to weigh in with their opinions on social media or do a test-run of a logo before you launch it as part of your business identity.

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