Here's a fact you need to know: "Research reveals people make a subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone." Whether you're creating a personal brand or a business, there's no question that the colors you choose to associate yourself with will cause people to make a "subconscious judgement" about you. But how do you choose those colors?! Read on to find out.
Understand the Psychology of Color
Let's do a quick break down of what popular colors typically suggest to consumers.
Red: danger, excitement, passion, implusive, love
Green: earth, natural, sustainability, wealth, wholistic
Yellow: optimistic, joy, happiness, youth
Blue: reliable, trustworthy, sadness, calm
Orange: creative, adventurous, funny, fresh
Purple: royalty, luxury, mystery
Brown: wholesome, reliable, dependable, down - to - earth
Black: elegant, sophisticated, formal, sad, death
White: simplistic, pure, minimal, innocent
Multicolor: open, diverse, united
Look at a couple of these colors in action with well known brands. Apple uses white on all its packaging to promise consumers that their products will make their lives more minimal and simplistic. Apple is telling you that their product won't add to the clutter in your life.
McDonald's uses red to stimulate the mind and pull on the impulse to purchase. The yellow promises that buying their food will make you happy.
Hallmark uses purple to elevate its brand to luxury. They even have a crown in their logo, so purple was the obvious choice for them.
Know Your Brand's Mission
You should use color psychology to support your brand's mission. But to be able to match color to mission, you have to know your mission first. Your mission should be a combination of what you do and who you're doing it for. If you want a break down of the steps you need to take before figuring out your mission, click here.
Color psychology doesn't have to completely control the colors you choose, but it needs to contribute to at least one of your colors. If your brand is all about organic food choices, you should definitely consider using green or brown as one of your colors - and then you can fill the rest out with aesthetic in mind. You shouldn't choose a color solely to elicit a response in your audience. Don't choose purple just because you want to justify charging more for your products. Don't choose red just because you want to trigger consumer's buying impulse. This will feel inauthentic and quickly turn people off to your brand.
If you're looking for color palette inspiration - head to a site like Coolors.co where you can browse hundreds of different color combos, and filter the palette's to include colors that support your brand.
Where Should You Use Your Colors
Long story short - you should be using your brand colors everywhere. Having clear brand colors across all platforms, designs, and packaging can increase brand recognition by 80%. Where should you implement your colors on social media?
clothing in pictures
backgrounds in pictures
Instagram reel covers
text on videos
Where should you implement your colors in the physical world?
store walls, furniture, and artwork
Take the time you need to pick colors you're really sure about because the last thing you want to do is quickly decide on a set, change all of your branding, and then realize you hate what you've chosen. This will cost you money and definitely confuse your audience. If you keep switching up your colors, your audience will have a harder and harder time recognizing you in the sea of different brands, and eventually ... they'll just give up and scroll by.
Need help picking colors for your brand? We do brand consultations almost every day - and we'd be happy to help you nail down the color palette that will take your brand to the next level. Set up a consultation here.
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