Why colour psychology could be your brand’s secret weapon

So you want to build your brand. Great! You’re not alone though. Businesses of all shapes and sizes want their brand to be the best. Often CEO’s and Directors will want to see a logo first if they want a new brand for their business. They’ll want to know about the shape, what it represents, and what kind of tagline can be used with it. The reason for this is that colour psychology is incredibly important if you want your brand to stand out and attract your ideal customers. Surprisingly though, the question that we (as a brand agency) think is possibly the most important is almost never asked: what colours would you recommend?

What is colour psychology and why does it matter for my brand?

We’re glad you asked (I mean, it is the whole point of this blog). The best place to start is with an exercise. Close your eyes and imagine the colour yellow. A vibrant and warm yellow. Then think about what sort of emotions pop into your head as you imagine this world of yellow.

According to colour psychology, you might feel happy, open, sunny, and adventurous. That’s because yellow will often tap into concepts like optimism, creativity, extroversion, and warmth. Some even reckon yellow is the happiest colour in the colour spectrum.

Welcome to the wonderful world of colour psychology – how colours influence the way people think, feel and behave. 

Where this becomes important for business owners is when you think about branding – particularly, your brand colours. How do they impact your customers’ first impressions of your company? And do they have any power over whether people will buy from you?

And colour is more important than you can possibly imagine. According to one study, customers make up their minds about a brand within 90 seconds of their first interaction with it. And between 62% and 90% of this is based on the brand’s colours.

In fact, choosing the right colours might be the thing that influences a customer to choose your brand over a competitor. For example, if you’re a company that sells snowboards and you see that your competitor has a brown logo.

Immediately you have an advantage because, according to colour psychology, brown means old-fashioned. If your company chose red, you are immediately ahead because red represents taking action and activity – some pretty key concepts for a snowboard company.

So choosing the right colours for your brand is probably the most important thing you can pay attention to in the brand-building process.

According to colour psychology, which brand colours should I choose?

The best place to start is to think of your ultimate purpose as a company and your future goals. Then, work out, from a colour psychology perspective, which colour best represents your company? To investigate this, we should check out some colours and what they mean.

Brand Colour Theory Infographic

It all depends on what you want your brand colours to communicate, and that all depends on what you can learn from colour psychology. From there, you can pick secondary colours which complement your primary colour.

It’s important to note that all colours have both positive and negative.

How do some famous brands use colour psychology?

While there are some companies that truly forge their own path and make a colour synonymous with their brand (this Easy Jet and orange, or McDonalds with yellow and red), other times colour psychology sets the standard for entire industries.

For example, a recent study discovered that the colour blue is featured in the branding of more than 75% credit card logos. On the other hand, the colour red is used in precisely 0% of the logos for clothing apparel but is used in more than 60% of retail brand logos.

Returning to McDonald’s as an example, the famous ‘golden arches’ play to the strengths of the colour yellow’s psychological appeal. Yellow indicates positivity and happiness. While red makes people feel hungry and energised. That’s everything you want as a fast food chain.

What about clothing though?
Let’s look at Nike. Nike embraces simplicity through its use of black and white and the ‘swoosh’ logo is also very simple. It captures the mix of authority and confidence – black – while matching that with sleekness and optimism – white -. For a company that wants to empower athletes and help customers feel like athletes, the use of black is a great choice.

So what should you do from here?

The best thing you can do is to engage with a design agency to explore your brand identity and how your brand colours can communicate this to your customers.

It’s not as simple as picking a colour off a chart. Colour needs thought. That’s where we come in! SOAK Creative is a strategy-first digital marketing agency. We work with colour psychology to help build bold brands that help your customers care about your brand. Talk to us today.

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