In general, most of us have a favorite color. I like red. And most of us are aware that certain colors can evoke a particular emotion or memory in people. It can impact the way we perceive the flavor of a particular food, the effectiveness of a placebo on our bodies, and even the way we select jelly beans. It would make sense then, that color can play a very powerful role in branding and marketing your business as well. Let's take a brief look at color and how it can help, or hurt your brand image in the eye of the consumer.
We tend to associate the color red with love, power, boldness, and youth. We get EXCITED about red, and it's no surprise that red is an incredibly popular choice among department stores and restaurants. Coca-Cola, Target, Kmart, and Budweiser are some of the brands most notoriously associated with the hue.
Orange and yellow often stir similar responses in the human mind, conveying a sense of warmth, friendliness, confidence, and happiness. The iconic smiley face graphic is yellow for a reason. You're likely to see these colors used by brands that may have substantial competition, but rely on your sense of loyalty and trust in them to keep you coming back. They want you to feel welcome and like you're doing business with a friend. Brands that have made use of these colors include Best Buy, Sprint, Amazon, and Boost Mobile.
Green, of course, is a well-known indicator of all things earthy, healthy, peaceful, and growing. It's no coincidence that is the most popular choice for health food and organic-choice purveyors like Whole Foods, Starbucks, Tropicana, and Publix. On the reverse side of that, we have brands like British Petroleum, Hess, and Land Rover who perhaps seek to offset the invariable un-greenliness of the petroleum and automobile industries by casting themselves in a more earth-friendly light.
The color blue inspires a sense of trust and dependability, strength, competence, and corporate-ness. Blue is a popular choice among tech companies, such as AT&T, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Intel, NASA, Dell, and General Electric. It's also common with banks and other financial institutions, as well as the color used by many social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, and Wordpress. Blue is the color you choose when your business is other people's business. When you want to attract clients to your brand or platform, you use blue to instill in them the impression that you are a dependable and hard-working choice for the job.
You don't often see brands use purple, but when they do, it imparts a feeling of authority (from it's associations with royalty), sophistication, and creativity or imagination. Some of the brands to harness this power include Yahoo, Hallmark, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and Monster.com. I selected purple for my logo when branding my social media consulting business. I want my clients and prospective clients to be assured that I have the creative mind and authoritative knowledge to create and execute a comprehensive social media strategy and branding campaign on their behalf.
Aside from the obvious and overwhelming use of pink to designate products and brands as feminine or for girls and women, it also can bring about feelings of sophistication and sincerity. Not surprisingly, brands that utilize this color include Barbie, Victoria's Secret, T-Mobile, and Playboy.
Much like green, brown conveys a sense of earthiness and groundedness, albeit to a lesser extent. Brown also gives the mind a feeling of ruggedness, durability, and a certain sense of home, making it the choice of brands like UPS, M&Ms, Olive Garden,, and Hershey's.
Black is overwhelmngly the choice of high-end, luxury brands or those that seek to paint themselves as luxury brands. It evokes a feeling of sophistication and expensive taste, but can also be used to summon a sense of fear or grief. Brands like Nike, Adidas, Lexus, and just about every luxury clothing and cosmetics brand utilize black to help justify the typically higher price tag associated with their products.
White is the color of clean, giving the viewer emotions of purity, sincerity, and calm or balance. Apple is likely the first brand to come to mind for many, while many other brands use white to balance out the more aggressive themes presented by other colors, mostly black and red.
It is not common that a brand will choose to use many different colors in equal portions a part of their branding strategy, as it can often dilute it's effectiveness and confuse the consumer, but some very large brands have been able to pull it off. Windows, Google, NBC, and eBay all utilize at least red, yellow, blue, and green in their logos and branding, and doing so enables them to convey a message of diversity and inclusion, especially in the last decade or so as the topic of LGBT rights has become more prevalent and it has become increasingly lucrative for businesses to establish themselves as friends of the LGBT community.
Of course, other brands may use a combination of two or three colors to combine their effects. McDonald's pairs the warmth and friendliness of yellow with the bold excitement of red. Subway pairs that same yellow with a more healthy, earth-toned green.
In building your own brand and selecting the way you want to present it to the world, keep some of these tips in mind. Of course, for those of you whose businesses are part of a larger MLM or direct sales brand, a certain amount of that work has been done for you, but that doesn't mean you can't brand your own personal business within reason.
I LOVE talking about brand strategy and creating a cohesive message from start to finish. If all of this has you reeling a little bit, or you're just not sure where to begin, please check out this page and contact me at the e-mail provided. I can tailor a social business strategy that fits your unique voice and target market, all with flexible pricing and services. I can't wait to hear from you!