The Guide To Selecting Colours for Brand Identity

A brand is much more than a popular name. It’s the elements that make it popular that matter most. Colour is an important part of a brand’s visual identity. Your brand colours influence your consumers’ perception of your brand and have an immense impact on its existence and longevity.

How to Choose Colours for Your Brand

Knowing what colours to pick and how to pick them is important. Consider these factors:

1. Simplicity

“Too many cooks spoil the broth” is a popular idiomatic expression that simply means less is more. Having many colours makes your brand or product look clumsy or confusing. Consumers can’t think of a colour or colours and your brand comes to mind which makes it unrelatable. Try and limit yourself, “two primary colours and one accent colour should be the basis for your colour palette. You can use as few as 2 colours, but never exceed 4-5 colours in your design. Keep it simple, keep it specific”.

2. Type of Brand

At a 360 Woman Africa conference I attended recently, the CEO of Beautyfull Signatures; a professional makeup artist for film and television, Jennifer Alegieuno shared that when it was time to choose colours for her brand, she went for pink and black. This wasn’t because it was her favourite colour. Ironically, hers was blue but she chose pink because it is a catchy colour that attracts and keeps you interested. Also, makeup is generally associated with females, so she targeted the right audience. This is just to say that you have to consider your type of brand before choosing your colours. They have to relate to the brand.

3. Target Customer

Your colour choices have to be appropriate. Imagine if your brand is child care and you have a diaper or baby powder product but chose red and black for your design. First, of, your product won’t even get a second look if it ever makes it to the open market. Secondly, if it does, it can’t be a first, second, third or fourth choice because it is natural that a mother wouldn’t consider black and red as soft caring colours. Automatically, her intuition tells her that she can’t rely on your brand to care for her child.

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The Effects of Colors on your Brand

Visual images speak to the psychology of the mind and appeal to emotions. Your choice of colours would determine if consumers feel drawn towards or turned off by your brand.
Most people think colour is just the way an object looks and sometimes can be regarded as vague but in essence, the colour of an object is the life of that object and is symbolic to its nature. Basically, colours have the power to evoke emotions, whether it’s a feeling of warmth, anger or sadness.

1. Awakening

This can also be called arousal which is a state of mind associated with a heightened adrenaline rush, blood pressure, and heart rate which makes consumers more active and in a way excited to know more about your product or brand, like an appetite. For example, Apple phones have always had subtle or cool colours ranging from black, grey, silver, rose gold, blue to yellow but when the iPhone 7 edition was launched, a red version was released a few months after the others launched. It was an unusually interesting choice and was tagged “Special Edition”. The commemoration of the 10-year partnership between Apple and Red, an organization dedicated to fighting the spread of AIDS.

The colour red is associated with strength, passion, blood and desire among other things. It was only natural that people would be drawn to it.

2. Evaluation

At this point, consumers try to ascertain the worth of your brand beyond face value and determine if you’re worth the risk, literally just by the colours you have chosen. A study titled Impact of Colour on Marketing carried out at the University of Winnipeg, concluded that “Color is ubiquitous and is a source of information. People make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62‐90 percent of the assessment is based on colours alone”

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3. Trust

They say it is earned not given. When consumers accept your brand colours, they automatically assume it can do what it claims it can and feel positive about using it and may even recommend it. It’s now left for your product to deliver on its promise of quality.

Colours go a long way in influencing the value consumers place on your brand, find the ones that fit and appeal to the intended audience. Having too many colours on your palette doesn’t make your brand stand out and will only confuse your audience.

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