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How to choose the right colors for your brand

An illustration of hands holding color swatches, pointing to a color, with the words 'Color Guide'

Whether you’re starting a new business, or re-branding your current company – one of of the most important aspects to think about is how the colors you choose for your brand will impact your consumers and help your brand become successful. Large, successful brands such as Coca-Cola, Starbucks, John Deer, and Facebook didn’t just come across their iconic brand colors on accident. Color psychology  played a large role in choosing the right colors to attract consumers.

What is color psychology and why is it so important?

Color psychology is the study of different colors to determine how they influence human behavior. Colors make a larger impact on human behaviors than you might think, which is why it’s so important to focus on when developing branding for your company. 92% of consumers said that they put most importance on visual factors when purchasing products and about 85% of consumers said that color is one of the most important factors for choosing a product. Read this study by Colorcom to learn more about just how powerful the psychology of color really is.

How do I apply color psychology to my branding?

Here’s just a few tips on how to use color psychology to choose the right colors for your brand.

  1. Define your brand: First of all, make sure you have a definitive target audience to focus on. Have a clear idea about how you want your target audience to feel when they think about your brand, and use your products or services. Do you want them to feel trust, excitement, passion, luxurious, warmth, etc.?
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  2. Understanding color psychology: Now that you know how you want people to feel about your brand, products & services; turn to color psychology to select a color that represents this feeling. Take a look at some of the colors & the feeling they represent above. Remember that these colors also have different values and shades that can represent different feelings as well. Such as pastel colors having a calming effect versus bold colors conveying feelings of excitement. Select a color or two that you think will convey the feeling you defined in step 1.
  3. Analyze your competition: Take a look at the colors that your competitors and other companies within your industry are using. For example a lot of tech companies (Facebook, IBM, HP) use blue as their main color because blue often symbolizes freedom, trust, integrity and intelligence. Your specific industry might have a color that is used often, like green for agricultural companies. You can decide to stick with a similar color – consumers are more likely to associate your business with the industry if you use similar colors. Or you can choose contrasting colors to stand that may help you stand out from competitors in your industry. This website shows color schemes of many well known brands that you can base your new color palette on.
  4.  Experiment and find what works best for your brand: Experiment with at least a few different color variations to decide what works best for your brand & what conveys your message the best. Test out your logo, website, and other promotional materials in different colors to see what catches & retains more attention.
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