28 - 01 - 16

Branding By Colour: What The Colours You Choose Say About Your Business

Exploring the ways that colour can change the perception you have, this article will explain why famous brands chose specific colours for their branding, and how this relates to their product.

Without actually realising it, certain colours can have a big impact on how we feel. This has recently become a hot topic in marketing and design and is a key element when building a brand for your company. Research has shown that colour influences our emotions in a variety of ways and is the first sensory touch point with a customer or client.

Colours aren’t tied to any particular industry, though some may be better suited for some services/products than others. You should aim to pick a colour that will represent your brand’s personality best. One that will give your customers the right impression the first time they see it.

Brands and colour are intricately linked because colour offers an immediate method for conveying meaning and message without words. Colour is the visual component people remember most about a brand followed closely by shapes/symbols then numbers and finally words. Many of the most recognisable brands in the world rely on colour as a key factor in their recognition. For example, we associate red with Coca Cola and blue for Facebook.

Before choosing a colour, you should think about what each colour stands for and what would be the best suited to your company. Colour can dramatically affect moods, feelings and emotions and so it is a very important factor to consider as you will take on those associations. See some examples below:

  • Red: Red is the colour of extremes. It can symbolise love, passion and excitement but also danger and anger
  • Orange: Orange is vibrant and engaging but is a colour people either love or hate. It symbolises energy, warmth and good health
  • Yellow: This is the most luminous colour of the spectrum and is the most eye-catching. It is the colour of happiness, optimism and creativity
  • Green: It is an emotionally positive colour which symbolises balance, harmony and growth
  • Blue: Blue is a very popular favourite colour but has more complex and contradictory meanings than most colours due to the shades. Dark blue means trust, intelligence and authority; bright blue symbolises strength and coolness and light blue is seen as peace and serenity
  • Pink: Pink is seen as a very feminine colour. It can represent compassion, sensitivity and nurturing
  • Black: When used correctly can communicate glamour, sophistication, exclusivity. It adds substance and gravitas, a brand to be reckoned with and, to be taken seriously
  • White: This is an inherently positive colour. It can represent a simplicity, purity, cleanliness and softness

In general terms, bright and bold colours are attention-grabbing but can sometimes appear brash, whereas muted tones are portrayed as more sophisticated, but run the risk of being overlooked. When using more than one colour, it usually shows that your company is offering a wide choice of products, such as Google and eBay. These can sometimes be harder to pull off yet these companies have been successful in this area. Some brands will also break with colour traditions which can be seen as risky, however this can work in creating a unique brand identity.

When choosing, it is also a good idea to pick a colour opposite to your main competitors as you are then more likely to stand out. For example Coca Cola and Pepsi have chosen the complete opposite of one another, although they are a similar product. A brand’s strength lies in its ability to stand out and you will want to show that you are different and eye-catching in order to make a statement.

However, as we know the problem with this growing and ever changing world that we live in is that most of us are always looking for the next big thing. This can sometimes translate into a question of "How do we maintain our client's focus?" The answer to this would be then to possibly rebrand. Most companies will then choose to keep their logo for some recognition but only change the colour. This can be to possibly mark a stage in the company’s growth; maybe a company merge or just a change of direction.

Finally, although colour is a very important factor, there are other aspects to consider also so do not let it define your Identity.​