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Monday, December 4, 2023

How to Choose Brand Colors – The Crucial Mandates

Colors play a pivotal role in a business. It can help the brands and the products to have their aesthetic and brand personality. But it is also important to know the impact of certain colors on the brand.

A brand color is also part of consumer decision-making. The colors influence the audience’s behavior and how they see the product. So, it is quite important to choose the right brand colors from the color wheel or color palette. It can also be said that the brand color can either improve or ruin the brand recognition and image.

With this article, you will understand about brand colors and how to choose a color that suits your brand. We will also help you to select a color that is appropriate for your brand personality and aesthetic.

1. What is Brand Colors?

Brand Color is a color palette consisting of 3 to 10 colors often used to represent a company and its value. These colors give a brand its personality traits. It also gives identity and recognition to the brand visually.

Normally, brands use 3 designated colors as brand colors but it can go up to 6 colors. These colors then create a brand palette scheme from the color wheel that is signature to the brand’s style. All the channels of the company thereafter use these brand colors. It can span from website to logo.

All of the color palette and color schemes have certain emotions, meanings, and concept that comes along with it. It helps with the outlook of the target audience towards the brand. One of the successful brand colors is blue. Many of the brands use blue as a brand color.

Brand colors also say a lot about the industry the brand is from. Learn more about it in the next part.

how to choose brand colors
Photo by Laura Chouette on Unsplash

2. Need of Brand Colors

Brand color is the brand’s identity. It is very important to select a color that reflects the company’s values. This in turn will contribute to the image, concept, and personality.

The emotions or feelings connected to the colors are a reason for the same. A well-grown brand can make its consumers emotionally attach themselves when they see it.

The color symbolism and brand colors influence the audience. There has been research on color theory that helps to understand and use it to the benefit of marketing.

The consumer thus, connects the brand to those emotions. The brand yields benefits from this connection.

A few of the typical feelings that the audience resonates with the colors are red stands for love, passion, power, and anger, yellow for happiness, sunshine, wealth, and bright. Green stands for nature, growth, and optimism while blue stands for cool, calm, trust, and loyalty.

Some of the popular brands are known for their brand color. These colors are well-recognized.  Some of the examples include Facebook, Coca-Cola, IKEA, and Starbucks.

how to choose brand colors
Photo by Thibault Penin on Unsplash

3. How to Choose Brand Colors?

There are certain things to keep in mind to have the perfect Brand Colors or brand color palette for your brand. Below given step by step guide below will help in the process. Make sure to go through this before deciding on the color.

3.1. Have a Brand Identity

Before selecting things like fonts, colors, logos, and marketing ideas, make sure to do some primary work. The colors you select will reflect your brand personality.

To select the brand colors, color palette, or color scheme and to know more about the brand’s identity ask these questions:

  • Why did you start the company?
  • What is the story of the brand?
  • What is your brand vision?
  • Who are your customers?
  • How do you want your consumers to feel about the brand?
  • What is the aesthetic, nature, and personality trait of your brand?
  • How is your brand different from its competitors?

These questions and the answers will lay the ground to know your brand colors and how to use the color. If you want your brand to communicate with its consumers, then choosing the brand colors isn’t easy.

Make sure that the color palette aligns with the message and values that the brand is trying to convey. People often prefer brands that fit with their lives and their identities.

how to choose brand colors
Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

Learn more about the colors, the feelings, and the culture associated with each brand’s colors.

3.2 Learn about Colors

Each color has some emotions and feelings associated with it. This is called color psychology. This association can help the brand immensely.

Some brands have a single brand color scheme like Nike while some go up to four different colors like Microsoft.

These brand colors can also indicate which industry the company is from. Thus, it is quite important which color you are selecting for the brand. Given below are Some of the preferred colors.

3.2.1 Red

Red stands for passion, love, strength, and energy. It is often a choice for automotive, agricultural, food, and technology industries as this is eye-catching and claims importance. Some examples are Ferrari, Pinterest, and Nintendo.

3.2.2 Orange

Orange stands for youth, warmth, emotions, and optimism.  The technology, health care, and food sectors are the common users. It is selected as it evokes friendliness and offers warmth. Some examples are Amazon and GSK Healthcare.

3.2.3 Yellow

It is a color that stands for happiness, positivity, and youth. It is often selected by brands from foods, household goods, and energy. This brand color palette is attention-grabbing and affordable. Some of the examples are Shell, IKEA, and McDonald’s.

3.2.4 Green

It is for safety, harmony, health, and growth. It also feels connected to nature. This brand color palette is prevalent between finance, food, and more. Some of the companies that use are Starbucks and Android.

3.2.5 Blue

It is the most famous brand color of all. Both light blue and dark blue are famous choices. It ensures trust, security, loyalty, and responsibility. The fields of finance, airlines, and healthcare prefer to use blue. Some of the examples are NASA and Oral B.

how to choose brand colors
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

3.2.6 Pink

It stands for feminine, playfulness, and compassion. It is a dominant color in the beauty, health, toys, and food industries. Some brands that use the brand color palette include Barbie, Taco Bell, and Victoria’s Secret.

3.2.7 Black

It is a brand color used for brands from fashion, technology, and luxury. It stands for protection, elegance, power, and sophistication. Some of the brands that use it are Nike, Sony and Mercedes.

3.2.8 Gold

Gold stands for success, luxury, triumph, and success. It is used for companies in fashion, entertainment, automotive, and food. Some examples that have gold in their color palette are Guess, Lindt, and Warner Bros. Pictures.

More colors are commonly used as brand colors. These brand colors include brown, grey, white, and silver.

3.3. Cultures and Colors

Colors also have a significant cultural background. It is also a major factor in color association and preferences. Some of the other factors that can affect brand color selection are history, myths, religion, and language.

Some of the examples of how color and cultures can clash at times are given below.

While white can be a color of joy, purity, and perfection, in many parts of Asia, it is associated with death, and ghosts or is considered inauspicious.

how to choose brand colors
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

Red is considered a lucky color in China and an auspicious color in India. But in South Africa, it is associated with mourning. The red color in their flag is for the bloodshed during the independence struggle.

There are so many more examples. After all this, narrowing down one color to one certain emotion is not possible. Just make sure to research and understand the emotional and cultural factors as the brand colors also decide how people see the brand.

3.4. Build a Brand Colors Scheme

Browse your competitor’s color palettes and think about how your color choice can differentiate the brand from the competition. Also, try conducting market research. It means taking all the brand color choices and giving them to focus groups for feedback.

This can help you understand how people actually react to those colors and how can the brand connect emotionally firsthand. Try to select at least 3 colors- primary color, secondary color or accent color, and neutral color.

It is often difficult to deal with brand identity. The process can be confusing and huge. It is good to have a little guide at hand. Given here is the process of building a color scheme for the brand which can be helpful.

how to choose brand color
Photo by Marques Thomas on Unsplash

3.4.1. Types of Color Schemes

Four types of color schemes are prominent.

The monochromatic color scheme usually has Different shades and tints of the same brand colors. It focuses on one personality trait and the meaning of that color. It is great for minimalist brands. Some of the examples of these color combinations are PayPal and Oreo.

Analogous Color Scheme have the brand colors that are next to each other on the color wheel. Analogous color schemes usually have three colors- dominant, supporting, and accent. They have alike emotions. While analogous colors are safe options, they don’t stand out. Some of the examples of these color combinations are Mastercard and BP.

Complementary Colors are colors across from each other on the color wheel. A complementary color scheme is also a popular type of scheme. Complementary colors are the best color scheme as it brings out the best in each other when it is paired. Some of the examples of these color combinations are Mountain Dew and Taco Bell.

Triadic Colors are those colors that are placed on equal parts of three different sections of the color wheel. They are often very bright color palettes that make the brand pop. The hardest part of this scheme is to get three brand colors that have the traits of the brand. Some examples are Burger King and Popsicle.

how to choose brand colors
Photo by Yves Scheuber on Unsplash

3.4.2. Select a Primary Color

The most important part of your brand color scheme is the primary color. Primary colors are the most prominent color. It is also the dominant brand color. This color also stands for the brand’s personality trait.

Experiment with tints and different shades of the color you want. It can go from lush, and dark to pastels or neon.

These colors should appeal to the target customers. The remaining colors should be selected on how well they match the primary color. Some of the famous primary colors are Tiffany’s blue and Starbucks green.

3.4.3. Select Secondary Colors

The next step is to select your secondary color. It can be one to four. The only rule is that it should have a similarity to the brand identity. It can either complement the primary color or can be used as a supporting color.

The accent color is the most used color after the base color. It is to be kept in mind that it should be visually pleasing when paired with primary color. So, choose accordingly.

how to choose brand colors
Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

3.4.4. Select the Neutral Color

Neutral colors are just as important as other colors. It is also the colors that are in charge of most of communication and it appear in the background of most assets. It is mostly used as a background color.

Mostly the colors are black, white, or some shades of grey. Beige and off-white work too. Beware when using black as an option as it can overpower any other color or color scheme.

3.5. Famous Examples

The brands mentioned below are some examples of successful color branding. The brand colors of these brands are so popular and recognizable.

The reason for the success is the emotions, the company’s mission, and the cultural meanings they highlight.

3.5.1. Coca Cola

The red, black, and white brand color of Coca-Cola is one hell of a brand. The iconic mix of these colors of this brand is known far and wide.

The red is the primary color, black is the secondary color and white is the neutral color.

While some other brands have incorporated the same color combination, Coca-Cola is one of the OGs. The red in the brand is even known as Coca-Cola red.

3.5.2. Netflix

Netflix is the most popular streaming platform online. This is another brand that has red as the primary color. This red is very different from the one mentioned above. The supporting color is black.

Red is often associated with pleasure, anger, love, and hate. This goes well as the brand is in the entertainment business, the color relates to the emotional lows and highs of the characters of the shows on the website.

The red is used all over the website on all the forms and buttons and sometimes even words.

3.5.3. IKEA

IKEA is one of the most popular furniture brands. But it is also a lot more than that. The blue and yellow logo of the brand is so iconic and easily recognizable.

They have used the opposite colors. The contrast of the colors makes it strong and has an impact on all.

how to choose brand colors
Photo by Ruel Del Jamorol on Unsplash

The blue and yellow of the brand is used on basically everything, from their websites, and trolleys to the famous IKEA bags.

3.5.4. Starbucks

The green in the brand’s color is in the family of greens. They also have 4 neutral colors. Starbucks has the siren logo that goes with the green, which is also known as Starbucks Green.

The brand has an ever-expanding color palette that uses primary green and two secondary greens along with other fresh and inviting hues and shades.

As a beverage and food company, they have selected a natural color palette that stands out from the competitors that have warm colors.

4. Where to Apply the Brand Color?

To give more brand awareness, colors should be displayed in all possible ways. Some of the few places to use the color consistently are websites, logos, staff uniforms, advertisements, storefronts, in-store designs, and business cards.

You can also include the colors on invoices, social media assets, accessories, and apparel.

It has to be made sure that no matter what, the brand colors have to be used anywhere the brand is shown either in real life or online.

how to choose brand colors
Photo by Julien Tondu on Unsplash

5. Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q)

Q.1. What is the brand color rule?

Ans- The brand color rule is that you need to choose 3 different colors and use them in various proportions. The main color should be used by 60%, secondary colors by 30%, and neutral colors by 10%.

Q.2. What is the most successful brand color?

Ans- The most successful brand color is blue. It is used by most brands.

Q.3 Which color attracts the most audience?

Ans- The most eye-catching colors are orange and red.

Q.4. How many colors to choose for a brand?

Ans- The basis of the color palette should be 2 primary colors and 1 accent. You can add as many as you want but it needs to be resonated with the brand and its values.

Q.5. Why should you use consistent color brands?

Ans- Consistent coloring can increase sales, engagement, and brand recognition.

6. Conclusion

Colors are an integral part of a brand. Brand colors can be the identity that reflects the brand values, personality traits, and emotions. It is a way to connect with the consumers and keep them connected to the brand emotionally.

These colors also have a lasting first impression on the target audience. Due to these reasons, it is very important to select the correct colors for the brand. There are many powerful tools out there that can help you in the process.

Make sure to keep these points in mind when selecting your brand colors, get creative, play with colors, have fun, and find the right color combination for the brand.

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