Color evokes emotion, and it further expresses your brand personality. The more your brand embodies a color, the more relatable and identifiable it becomes. It's important to decide on your brand colors, and together we'll explore how to select brand colors. This is really important because psychologically, the brain processes color immediately after shape and before it registers content. So, color shouldn’t be something you decide to figure out later - it’s done at the time of branding.
- I want to take a few minutes to talk about color and it's impact on branding. Now there's a lot of great material on color theory, design, and how to pick brand colors here on this site. And I encourage you to explore those. But for this course, I want to discuss color from the perspective of how it creates differentiation and how it helps or hinders how your brand is perceived. Color isn't easy. It may seem like the options for color are just as limitless as the options for picking a name, but this isn't necessarily true.
Brand colors, regardless of their unique shade, wrap up into your basic colors, red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple, plus your neutral colors of black and white. Think for a minute about a brand that is red. What comes to mind? I can up with Coca-Cola right away. What about orange? I think Home Depot. Yellow? McDonalds. But if I said yellow and blue, you might think IKEA. Consider, on the other hand, Tiffany's. They have their own unique blue. You might be able to picture that color.
It's clearly different, but it's still going to be associated with the properties of blue. Color evokes emotion, and it further expresses your brand personality. The more your brand embodies a color, the more relatable and identifiable it becomes. Psychologically, the brain processes color immediately after shape and before it registers content, so color shouldn't be something you decide to figure out later. It's done at the time of branding. Now I'm not going to get into color theory. You can explore that on your own.
There's all sorts of thought behind what colors convey and how your eye processes them. Instead, let's talk about colors as symbols and differentiators. Symbolically, colors have come to represent various traits. Black for luxury, purple for loyalty, blue for leadership, green for environment, and so on. The first step of determining your color is to consider what various colors symbolize to your target market and within their frame of reference. You'll want to align your brand with colors that embody who you are.
But that's only great if you're the market leader. Otherwise, you'll have to pick a different color. John Deere leads the market on tractors, so it's no surprise they selected green. It's agriculture. Now the next big player in the space, New Holland Tractors, has a near identical product lineup, but with green unavailable, they selected blue. It's not ideal, but it is more important to create a clear differentiation than to have the perfect brand color. We see this with every major competitive brand. Take a look at some brands this week and explore how each competitor uses color.
You can often figure out who was the first into the market by the color they selected. Home Depot is orange. It's bold, powerful, and has a ruggedness to it. Ace Hardware has red. It's energetic, vibrant, and powerful. Logical choices for a hardware store. Lowe's has blue. Now does blue scream hardware? No, but they had to be different, and they built their brand around this color and what it stands for. Sure, it's a tranquil color, but Lowe's uses that to their advantage. They can challenge the hardware store model and play into their store being a better, more tranquil experience.
Take a closer look at color and think about how it positions you in the market and differentiates you from your competition.
Explore best practices for researching, developing, visualizing, and managing your brand, and learn about incorporating your brand throughout various customer touchpoints and keeping tabs on your brand as your company grows.
- Components of branding
- Creating a brand strategy
- Conducting a brand audit
- Crafting your vision statement and selling position
- Evaluating brand visuals, colors, and language
- Enhancing brand touchpoints
- Measuring brand loyalty and equity