That red Macy’s star. Those golden yellow Arches. The fleet of brown trucks running through your neighborhood at all hours of the day. Color has become one of the most powerful tools in branding without even trying and you could be missing out on the opportunity to leverage that power.
The Power of Color
We love color. Think about it. As kids we’re fascinated by the possibilities of what we can turn a white sheet of paper into. From markers, to crayons, to paints, color has been able to elicit emotional responses and communicate different messages and feelings. You may not know it, but color influences our buying decisions and has a great deal of responsibility over the brands we associate ourselves with. When the world goes pink for Breast Cancer or purple for Lupus, we aren’t unfamiliar with the significance of the colors used. From ribbons, to t-shirts, to marketing materials color drives a lot of brands in the right direction and can have a phenomenal impact on your own.
The Colors and Their Meanings
Purple was my preferred choice for a primary brand color. It elicits creativity, passion, and dignity. It is also a cooler color that makes it approachable and calming. Because I wanted to make timid entrepreneurs feel safe, it was the perfect color to preface my business’s brand.
What do you want your target audience to feel and think? How can you use color to strengthen your message and drive your brand’s story and promises home? You can start by knowing the emotions and meanings behind the main colors.
The most dominant color used across brands today, red is a popular color. It is used to energize brands and put things in motion. It excites our emotions and inspires us to take action. It is the color used to market sexuality (think Valentine’s Day), and stimulates our appetites. it is attention-getting, powerful, passionate, courageous, and determined.
This color is said to be the color of the mind and our intellect. It stimulates our mental agility and perception, allowing us to see things as being uplifting and and illuminating. It communicates a sense of hope, happiness, and fun. It is also the color of innovative ideas and creates an enthusiasm for life. It’s warm like the sun, creating a sense of energy and new found strength. Yellow is also the most highly visible of all the colors. It’s why our school buses, pedestrian crosswalks, construction vehicles, and cautionary signage adopt its use.
It is the color of joy, freshness, alertness, cheer, clarity, energy, and warmth.
Representative of adventure and risk-taking (think: Home Depot and the DIY ((Do-It-Yourself)) culture). Being a mix of the two primary colors (Red and Yellow), orange tends to elicit some of the same emotions and results. It can be appetizing, stimulating, and courageous. It is also sociable and friendly.
Orange is the color of confidence, youth, innovation, vibrancy, and impulse.
Green is often associated with growth, nature, and health. It has rejuvenating and healing qualities that are commonly used in healthcare and organic food markets to communicate the idea of freshness. If you think about it, green is the color of rebirth and renewal. We know the Winter months are over once the leaves start to sprout on trees and the grass begins to grow. it is a sign that nature’s lifeforce is back, giving it the attributes of vitality, dependability, and being emotionally balanced.
Green is the color of peace, health, growth, healing, abundance, and growth.
The ultimate color for trust and responsibility. Blue is loyal, honest, and confident. It is tactful, conservative, and orderly, promoting structure and stability in all its ways.
Blue is the color of trust, strength, dependability, calmness, power, intelligence, harmony, and sincerity.
Often used in religious spaces, purple communicates a sense of spirituality, imagination, and wisdom. Purple is also empathic, eliciting controlled emotions. It is also respectable and distinguished (often used for royalty.)
Purple is the color of royalty, mystery, magic, spirituality, dignity, and creativity.
Those are the colors in our standard color spectrum, but there are several others used frequently when companies brand with color:
How to Choose the Right Color for Your Brand
You can get down to the bottom of this by knowing who and what your brand is, and why your brand exists. Arrive at a mental picture for what your target audience looks like, their needs, their lifestyle, their desires, and what kind of emotional response you want to trigger when they experience your brand.
Color is powerful. It can be used in a variety of ways, from distinguishing luxury jewelry from the next (Tiffany’s robin’s egg blue) or defining the prestige of your product from another product in your lineup from another (Johnnie Walker’s Red Label, Black Label, Double Black Label, Green Label, Gold Label, Platinum Label, etc. or Ralph Lauren’s Purple and Black Labels.)