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Why Colors Matter in Branding and How You Can Get them Right

The color of a brand is fundamental to its expression of personality and attributes. In fact, some brands owe a lot to color for their iconic status that makes it possible for their target audiences to recognize them even when not accompanied by their logos. Some brands, knowing how important color schemes are for their success and sustained market presence have gone ahead and trademarked their brand colors.

According to a research study by Colorcom, as much as 62-90% of the subconscious assessment of an environment, person, or product is based on the color alone. Studies also indicate that it is possible to increase brand recognition by up to 80% by using colors effectively throughout the process of logo design, packaging, and marketing. It is well established that while effective targeting of advertising and copy are important, the brand’s memorability and core personality could very well lie more in its color scheme.

Why Color Perception Matters

While the potential of color to underline the brand’s personality and memorability cannot be denied, one needs to factor in how the colors themselves are perceived by people from different parts of the world and with different cultures. For example, throughout Asia, the color red is commonly associated with prosperity and luck, in certain western societies; it can represent passion, love or even danger. This makes it vital for cultural perceptions to be acknowledged while designing a marketing strategy that targets specific ethnic or geographical audiences.

Many branding experts also suggest that colors are intrinsic to the trust and loyalty that customers bestow on the brand. It may be premature to suggest that a mature customer will desist buying a product simply because he does not like its color scheme, it can help to avoid it unless dictated otherwise by its functionality. Sometimes, certain colors are also established to have a better connection with certain functions and it is better to stick to the convention just to prevent confusion by choosing a color that may damage the identity of the brand. According to experts in consumer psychology, what consumers feel about a brand is more important than what they think about it.

Determining Your Brand Personality

Establishing the brand identity and personality is of paramount importance to marketers, as all marketing decisions tend to flow from there. Branding colors, including that of the business logo, must be chosen with great care, as they will have a direct influence on the customer perception of the brand attributes. Choosing the brand colors may seem a very difficult task, however, you can make a good start if you focus on what the brand does for the customer and how to reinforce that communication. If your brand is aimed at customers who are young, youthful, and energetic, the sort of colors you may want to consider will be completely out of place for a brand that is aimed at customers looking for tranquility and relaxation. Establishing the personality of your brand is the first step to choosing the colors that will work the best. With digital marketing becoming a focus area, it may help to engage a professional digital marketing agency to help you with this task.

Understanding the emotional associations of various colors are the key to success in choosing your brand colors. Research has shown that the color red is associated more with emotions like passion, importance, and attention while orange denotes vitality, playfulness, and friendliness. Yellow is perceived to be a happy color exuding optimism; however, it can also denote warning depending on the situation. The color green is universally associated with nature, growth, and stability, while brown reflects ruggedness, old-fashion, and earthy attitudes. Light blue denotes trust, openness, and tranquility, however, dark blue is perceived as secure, formal, and professional. While pink is conventionally interpreted as being feminine, innocent, and young, purple stands for luxury, royalty, and creativity. White is interpreted as being clean, healthy, and virtuous while black is thought to be sophisticated, powerful, and edgy. There is a lot more to the interpretation of colors especially when viewed by people of different age groups and ethnicities.

Selecting the Brand Colors

There are some brand managers who want to avoid confusion and choose to settle for a single color, however, the trend in most logo and product-packaging designs is to go in for multiple colors to make it stand out in the clutter. As may be appreciated, there are no hard and fast rules for choosing brand colors. While you may take hints from the general research regarding what emotions certain colors tend to evoke, it can be often better to study what your successful competitors are doing and chalk out a path. Typically, you will want to consider anywhere from two to four different colors or if you have settled for a monochrome approach, a few different shades. Choosing the base color is the most important as it tends to reflect the personality of your brand and create an appeal with the prime target audience. Getting the accent color right is trickier as not only do you have to match your brand’s personality but also work to see that it goes well with the base color. Ensure that any neutral color you select does not draw unnecessary attention to itself or dominate the other selected colors to make the task easier, use the color wheel but keep in mind the goal of the color scheme that you are trying to evolve. Remember that the color scheme has to work equally well across different channels, logo, print advertisements, website, TV, store design, and more.


Getting the color scheme of your brand right is not something that you can do overnight. You need to put in a lot of effort regarding what your product promises to deliver, who your target audience is, cultural influences, the media in which the colors will be used, what your competitors are doing, etc. After developing a color scheme based on the inputs of varied sources, you should test it out and see what sort of reactions it gets. Valuable insights are often given by the sales and distribution networks that are closer to reality than most other people in the business setup are.


Written By

​Andrew Thompson has worked as an editor and writer for more than 10 years. He enjoys mentoring young and upcoming writers. To find out more about web design, SEO, Social Media, Marketing, Business, UI/UX ​To follow on Twitter ​

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