What the colour of your brand says about your business

Written on 14 September, 2015 by Verity Meagher
Categories Web Design & ContentTags branddesignlogo

Would you think food was healthier if it was packaged in natural tones? Would you still feel the same about Cadbury if the brand’s main colour was bright orange? Can you even think about Coca-Cola without imagining the colours red and white? 

Colour psychology plays a huge role in the way products and services are perceived, and colours are often associated with a brand’s identity. In fact, up to 90% of snap judgements made about a product are based on colour alone, and 85% of consumers say colour is the biggest visual motivator when it comes to picking a product.

Here, we share what the colour of your brand might say, and how you can use colour psychology in your business.

Seeing red

The colour red is associated with blood and fire, and is often linked to passion, love, trust, intensity and excitement. While red can often come across as aggressive, it’s perfect for brands that are high octane or that want to make a statement and be memorable.

  • Use red if: You want your brand to create excitement, or if you want to be bold and stand out.
  • Iconic red brands: Coca-Cola, YouTube, Honda.

Feeling yellow

Associated with all things happy, yellow often evokes images of sunshine and can convey lots of energy and optimism. Yellow is a highly positive colour, and is both joyful and exuberant, making it perfect for brands that want to give clients a warm, fuzzy feeling.

  • Use yellow if: Your brand is associated with happiness, and you want to give clients that ‘feel-good’ vibe.
  • Iconic yellow brands: McDonald’s, Ferrari, Nikon.

Green with envy

While green is often seen as the colour of jealousy in the real world, in branding greens and browns are often associated with nature and natural products. Green is calming and exudes feelings of harmony, growth, health and peace.

  • Use green if: Your business creates natural products, or you want to be strongly associated with harmony and balance.
  • Iconic green brands: Starbucks, Android, Oxfam.

Got the blues

Often used in the professional world, blue is strongly used to represent intelligence, stability, understanding and clarity. Blue tones often remind people of the sky and the sea, both in vastness and in depth, providing a degree of comfort to those who see it.

  • Use blue if: You want to communicate your professionalism, show you are an expert in your field or appear trustworthy to clients.
  • Iconic blue brands: LinkedIn, Samsung, Facebook.

Purple rain

While many people associate purple with royalty and luxury, purples can also convey creativity, innovation and imagination. Purple shades can be glamorous, but also introspective. It can also be used to convey romance in a more subtle way than red.

  • Use purple if: You want your brand to convey a certain feeling of elegance, or if you want your company to be seen as unique and innovative.
  • Iconic purple brands: Hallmark, Cadbury, Yahoo.

Back to black

Black is the ultimate in luxury, boldness and seriousness. Brands that use black are often minimalist and luxurious in a subtle way, but also reliable, calm and neutral.

  • Use black if: You want your brand to be simple and elegant, but also retain an air of mysteriousness.
  • Iconic black brands: Apple, Nike, Gucci.

How to choose the right colour for your business

When it comes to choosing the best colours to use in your branding, it’s all about understanding your business and your clients. Define how you want to be perceived, research other colours used in your industry and create a mood board of images you associate with your brand to see if there are any dominant hues.

From here, create a colour palette of about three colours to use across your branding, and then test, test, test with current and potential clients to see which colours resonate best.

And lastly, don’t take colour psychology as gospel. After all, rules are meant to be broken!

What does the colour of your brand say about your business?