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A Practical Guide to Choosing the Right Brand Colours in 2022

The famous French painter Henry Matisse said, “With colour, one obtains an energy that seems to stem from witchcraft”. How true does that hold in the corporate world? Indeed not the witchcraft, businesses are not spending their time going deep into the woods looking for broom riding, potion-making sorceresses. They are instead dedicating teams to create real magic. Because what would a company not give to attract its end-use consumers! Read on to determine why a company’s brand colour palette has a significant role in its success (or failure). A study reveals that 60% to 80% chances of a sale to go through depends on the reactions a brand invokes. A customer’s final purchasing decision will be affected by the usability and need of the product or service and how they feel. The choice of the right colour builds a brand association in the consumer’s mind and may also lead to one of the most trustworthy marketing – ‘word of mouth’.

As a startup or an established brand, one of the leading branding guidelines to follow is CONSISTENCY. 

The hues that make our world fun to live in and beautiful to look at can be summarised in a bit of a nutshell. On the more Science-y side of things, all light contains colour. Made from electromagnetic waves, colours have different wavelengths. The shades that we see and recognise various objects from are the component of light which is reflected off their surface. But that is not what we are here to discuss. Here we are attempting to summarise brand colours. Studies dedicated to studying the vertical of ‘Psychology of colour’ have been somewhat helpful to businesses and organisations. The effect colours have on individual human behaviour is bound to differ. Our mental absorption of different pigments is relative, and so are our reactions. Hours of research and development go into deciding the branding guidelines. 

Let us walk down this magical yellow brick road together.

What do most commonly used colours mean, and how can you choose them as per your industry?

Red – Power, passion, and action triggers. A colour that instigates impulsive buying, red also increases blood sugar levels making people hungry. Coke capitalises on red, big time!

Yellow – A colour associated with happiness and childlike curiosity, yellow is eye-catching. Just like the sunlight, it is associated with promoting warmth and happiness. Remember McDonald’s Logo?

Orange – Friendly, fresh, youthful, and lighthearted.  Orange combines the effects of both yellow and red. 

Green – Environmental, healing, and tranquil; green represents growth and vitality. This colour is often used in the writing industry, agricultural and food sector. Nickelodeon, Dunkin and Pizza Hut!

Blue – Calming, trustworthy and dignified, blue is usually favoured in the IT sector, medical companies and banks. It has the ability to represent success and security. Intel, Facebook, Samsung, HP, Nokia, and American Express wonder why all of them are blue?

Purple – Regal and sophisticated many lifestyle brands and meditation businesses offering spiritual or inspirational healing choose purple as their primary colour.  Due to its hues of red and blue, it invokes confidence. Hallmark is one such example.

Pink – One of the more delicate shades in the brand colour palette, pink is associated with innocence, gentleness and femininity. Barbie, Playboy and Cosmopolitan are the perfect examples. 

White – When Steve Jobs chose the colour white as his brand logo, he knew he was looking to build a brand that’s showed purity and exclusivity. Apple took the lead while Channel and Tesla followed. 

Brown – This colour is most prevalent in industries related to candy, fresh produce and agriculture. It depicts rough earthiness. M&M and Hershey’s!

Gray – Law firms, IT, and automobile companies choose this subdued, classic shade. Gray represents neutrality, and it shows strength but not inflexibility. Mercedez Benz and Jaguar showed their strength through the grey.

Black – Deep and intense, black represents authority and class. Fashion houses, design firms, fitness brands and the likes most commonly use black. Nike, Adidas, and Puma!

The colour chosen to represent the brand must speak volumes without the use of words. Brand colours evoke the right emotions and keep the focus on business offerings. 

What Product or Service are you Offering?

The colours you choose for your brand can make the impression last forever. For example, the colour usually associated with danger is also a hue that triggers impulse buying and stimulates appetite. No wonder brands like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Heinz and KFC have loyally stuck to it. If you are diversifying or starting, building a brand should always be a priority. Know how to combine your brand colours by helping build recognition and familiarity. Different industries usually stick with a particular brand colour palette most used for the pertaining line of work. Colours can instigate a lot of memories, new and old. We come to associate some colours with certain products. It is thus no surprise that companies, especially established ones, seldom change their brand colours. 

Stand Apart from your Competition 

Your branding guidelines help the customer base distinguish you from your competition. How can we talk about colours and not let you play around with them?  It can be immensely confusing and an uphill task, but you do not always have to go by the usual industry standards. Play around with the secondary colours’ shades in your logo while keeping the primary colour as per industry standards or vice-versa. There are no set rules to follow when choosing your brand colours but keeping the target customer in mind. Once you have the colours in place, make sure your marketing complements this process’s effort and thought. 

Final Consumer 

Put yourself in the final consumer’s shoes, LITERALLY! If you are a product company, go to a supermarket and see if your product gets lost in the assembly line. For example, most sunscreens used are yellow. Most face creams use pink packaging. As customers, we view a sea of those colours with extraordinarily little to identify with, be the brand that uses the same colours but different shades. Smart work! 

Brand Identity

As a marketer in today’s day and age, you are like a kid in a candy store. The difference is you can have all the candy if you play your cards right. Make sure your brand colours are used across all verticals of your business. Starting with your logo, it must be integrated across your website and all the social media handles. Company visiting cards, letterheads and employee uniforms, if you have a physical presence. Ensure that your office and stores should resonate with your primary brand colour palette. 

Why create your brand identity through colours?

  • Consistency in brand colours brings about brand recognition and increases brand awareness.
  • Brand colours reflect business values; they communicate what you stand for.
  • Brand colour psychology represents your principles.
  • Brand colours differentiate you from your competition.
  • The carefully chosen brand colour best embodies your business and its vision.

Hence, choose your brand colour palette carefully, including the primary colours and the neutrals, and place them together closely to gauge if they can communicate the business message effectively. Once you have reached the desired palette, stick to it and stay consistent. 

A brand is supposed to persuade its end consumer to initiate the sale process. There are branding guidelines to follow, and it requires immense consideration. Just because one colour has not worked for a particular company in the past does not mean it will not work for you. Put in time and effort into market research, suitability and current trends to make an informed decision. Finding colours for your company should not be a figment of your imagination. Your brand colours create a visual structure of your company vision and what you stand for. It is something that your product or service will be associated with and identified with for years to come. 

At iWrite India, we help you bring your brand identity in place and position it in the right frame for your target audience. When it is about branding, your vision and your business projection remain at the forefront, and that is how we play!

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