Styling Your Brand: Why Colour Matters

Colour is often the last thing that people think of when it comes to styling their brand. Names, logos and website designs often come first in the creative process, but it's colour that should really be leading the way.

According to the Institute for Colour Research, the average person makes a subconscious judgement about a product or business within 90 seconds, and more than two thirds of that judgement is based on colour. Our brains respond to colour in much the same way as they repond to pleasure or pain, producing an emotional response. 

We all know that blue is calming, red is exciting, black is formal and purple will help get you noticed, but what other ways do colour impact your business, and why does colour matter when it comes to your brand?

What colours mean for different brands

In the world of business and colour, blue is seen to represent honesty, trustworthiness and dependability. It's no coincidence that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all use blue as their main identifying colour. Red is used to convey energy, boldness and urgency, with the likes of Coca-Cola, Netflix and ESPN all utilising this high-octane hue.

Obviously, green is the colour of nature, the outdoors and health, which is why Holland and Barrett, Land Rover and Greenpeace all chose it for their logos; silver oozes elegance, mystery and sophistication - just think of Apple, Wikipedia and practically every car manufacturer out there; black is similar to silver in its connotations, but with a more serious tone added, like the BBC, American Express and Chanel; pink is fun and girly, like the likes of Mattel’s Barbie and Benefit; orange and yellow are warm, enthusiastic and fun like Fanta, McDonald’s and Nickelodeon; whilst purple represents quality like Cadburys and Hallmark. A multicoloured logo is more likely to represent variety and diversity - think Google or Ebay. 

Why one colour is not enough

Don’t just pick one colour for your brand and call it a day. It's much more important to choose a whole colour palette for your brand so that it tells a story, and can be applied to everything from your website to your email signature and many other aspects of your business. 

Don't just choose your favourite colours

Likewise, it's important not to just choose colours you like, or colours that you think make your logo look good. The colours associated with your business should mean something, they should evoke a feeling within your customers, so choose wisely.

Choose the season that best suits your brand

A great way to kick-start your brainstorming session on colour is to choose what season suits your brand best, and then choose colours that are associated with that season.

For example, winter businesses are serious and intense, using colours like grey, black and maroon; spring businesses are fun and lively, using lots of green, yellow and light pink; summer businesses are calm and easygoing, featuring muted colours like pastel pinks, blues and purples; whilst autumn businesses are earthy and robust, using colours like mustard and dark purple. Depending on what goods you sell, or what services you offer, these colour palettes can change to suit. 

Be consistent

Once you have chosen the perfect palette for your brand, it's important to stick to it and use it as much as possible in relation to your business; not only on your company logo, but across your branding materials.  As well as being consistent in the use of your colours, you also need to be consistent with the shade of colours that you use so as to avoid confusion and maximise the impact of your individual brand. 

There's no doubt that incorporating the psychology of colour into your marketing strategy helps to reinforce your brand identity (be it cutting-edge, fun or traditional). More importantly however, it's often the visual aspect that people will remember most.