Color is one of the most immediate and persuasive elements used to shape brand identity. Successful companies rely on the consistent use of color to build brand recognition over time. Think of UPS and Coca-Cola and the colors brown and red instantly come to mind. Or how about “Tiffany blue” or “John Deere green?” These companies have worked diligently for decades to define their signature colors — with great reward.
There are many schools of thought when it comes to selecting a brand color palette. Some brand experts rely on the psychological associations of color. They evaluate a company’s brand personality and then align it with a color that conveys those specific traits. An example would be selecting sage green for a hospital to communicate calming, nurturing, and tranquil feelings. Other branding professionals look at colors that differentiate businesses from the competition. If 80% of the businesses in your industry use blue, it makes sense to look at alternative colors that aren’t in play to help your brand stand out from the crowd.
I often tell clients to “select a color you can own.” In other words, look at unique colors — shades and tones that aren’t common. Again, think of “UPS brown” — not a widely used color, but UPS now “owns” the color brown. Those brown trucks and uniforms have become a huge part of the company’s brand identity, maybe even more important than the UPS logo.
Selecting a brand color is one thing; making that color synonymous with your business is another. As I’ve said in previous blog posts, creating brand recognition takes time. The use of a consistent color palette is key to this process. Marketing strategies and advertising campaigns may come and go, but your brand identity should stay the course.
There are many factors that come into play when a company defines its corporate colors. I’ve given a brief overview here of a much more complex process. Like most branding and design initiatives, defining brand color requires a lot of thought and background knowledge.
What does your brand color say about your business? Check out this informative graphic created by Column Five Media for Marketo:
If you’re thinking of launching a new brand or reinvigorating your current brand, give Bozeman branding company Engine 8 a call. Our business is building better brands. 406.222.7566
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