Brand Makeover – Which Color is right for your Brand?

Topics: Advertising, Branding, Business, Creative, Ideas, Innovation, Inspiration, Marketing, Sales, Strategy By: Danielle Parish

Do you know that colors can make your brand memorable?  Think about the story your colors tell.  Look at the fast food industry; what does its choice of colors tell you?  Red and yellow are universally used for branding in fast food franchises.  What would happen if another fast food place decide to use blue and orange instead?  People in general associate blue and orange with healthcare because we see them in a lot of healthcare arena.  Colors matter.  Look around the office…white walls, black furniture?  How about you, what are you wearing?  While, black and white are appropriate colors for a business atmosphere; they get boring really fast. No wonder you need a vacation.  I understand that professionalism is the motivation; but I want to encourage you that inserting color in all sorts of ways can cause a more favorable outcome in your business and your life.

Recent studies on color prove that colors effect psyches in various ways; in most cases the outcome is pleasant.   Thus, let me show you how color can change your mood, make a statement and even help you advertise and get that sale in nuanced ways.  So let’s take a look into The Study Of Color or Color Psychology and discuss the ways color can impact you and your business.

Color is used in many different atmospheres.  Color is found in Fashion, in Art, in Design but there is greater significance behind color than a tool “creative’s” use.  Color is implemented in Psychology, in Advertising, in Marketing, in Behavioral Sciences, in Alternative Medicine, in Sports and the list goes on and on.  I know, Art may not appeal to you between high school and college, but effective use of color can make your business proposal appealing, and even help land you that client.

For instance, color can help to change your mood or behavior.  Certain treatments psychologists’ prescribe use different color lights to relieve stress and/or elicit different types of favorable moods.  Additionally, based upon hair color, eye color or facial undertones, certain colors look best on you, and can even make you stand out.  Not only that, but some companies implement colors or avoid other colors, to make a statement or remain bias in branding.  Moreover, incorporating different colors in your food options ensure you are getting the required nutrients and vitamins your body needs.  So, you can’t go wrong with color.

Let’s take a look at what different colors mean and how it can help you in dress, in office design, in creating inviting spaces and in marketing or branding.  Further, let’s also analyze how the top corporations use color.

1) Red:  Love, Passion & Power (Warm Color).

It is true that red is a color you either love or don’t care too much about, but it definitely makes a bold statement.  Our eyes tend to always see red, and when seen, red calls for us to focus, look and notice.  So in advertising, if you want to catch someone’s eye use red; but make sure the message is a neutral one so that people will not be repelled. Top Brands that utilize this color are CNET, CNN, Target, ESPN, and Adobe.

2) Orange: Fun, Warmth & Activity (Warm Color).

Orange is quite a color; it’s full of life and excitement.  Popular use of this color is usually within the technology and healthcare industries.  You either love it or hate it.  But it is a color that creates and stirs conversation.  Some of the top Brands you notice using this color are Gorilla Nation, Blogger, and Nickelodeon.

3) Yellow: Happy, Enlightenment & Optimism (Warm Color).

Yellow is a color that will enliven a space.  Since this vibrant color is reminiscent of the sun, it communicates feelings of hope and optimism.  Yellow is known to stimulate creativity and energy.   Additionally, its brightness is effective in catching a customer’s eye. Some of the top brands known for yellow are BestBuy, IMDB, UPS, Amazon, McDonalds, and obvious one YellowPages.

4) Green: Natural, Soothing & Relaxing (Cool Color).

Green is everywhere, in trees, in nature and in life.  Further diverse spectrums of green are omnipresent.  Green is the main color that alleviates stress and depression by instilling calming and a fresh sense of health.  Some popular brands that use green are TD Waterhouse, Limewire, AMD, Castrol, Starbucks, Acer, British Petroleum, SKODA, and XBOX. Brands that added a sprinkle of green are among the biggest such as Google, MSN, EBAY, Picasa and NBC.

5) Blue:  Calm, Cool, Inviting & Wise (Cool Color).

Blue is arguably the top choice among brands. It is famous for putting people at ease, as it is reminiscent of a calm blue-sky day.  It is very popular in the Travel, Energy, Finance, Technology, Healthcare, and Agriculture industries.  Some of the top brands using blue are IBM, PayPal, FOX, AOL, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Skype, WordPress, HP, Sears, The Weather Channel, Priceline.com and Chase.

6) Purple:  Creativity, Uplifting & Spiritual (Cool Color). 

Purple is a great color to wear; it has a mind of its own.  Purple is known for sophistication and mystery.  If you use purple correctly, it can also elicit a sense of elegance. Purple is great for industries such as Technology, Healthcare and Finance. Such brands that use purple are Yahoo, Monster, Los Angeles Lakers, and FedEx.

7) Pink: Youthful, Sensual & Exciting (Warm Color). 

Pink has a similar effect as red but it is not as forthcoming.  It is a color that elicits action and fun.  So it can be a great way to use sparingly in business proposals. Brands that capitalize on this fun color are T-Mobile, Hello Kitty, Teen People magazine, Victoria Secret’s “Pink” collection and Barbie.

Color is important; it could bring awareness to your brand or it could very well repel others.  For instance, red could stand for love or danger and blue could stand for “the blues” or peaceful waters.  So, when it comes to color and branding you should consider the following:

What are the current trends saying?

What are the cultural factors around color?

What are the political and historical significances?

What are the religious and mythical references?

What are linguistic references of color? 

Additionally, mixing warm and cool colors, blending three colors, and/or using colors in the same family can be very beneficial and have worked extremely well for such brands as NBC, Google, Microsoft, Priceline, Vistaprint, EBAY, and Picasa.

Remember not using color could do your company a disservice.  If you have not started using color yet and are uncertain, take note of this article and start slowly.  All in all let color do what it does best; draw attention.

2 Comments

  1. Jack Laroque

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  2. Thank you Jack! We are happy to help. Appreciate your feedback.