Predicting how potential customers will react to different design options is an important step in branding your business. Although names and slogans are important, many other subtle factors go into creating a response in your customers—a response they may not even realize they are having.
Color is one of these factors, and it has a larger effect than many people realize.
People of all different ages and walks of life share fascinating similarities in the way they think about and react to certain things. Many different branches of psychology, science, economics, marketing and advertising have set out to find and explain these commonalities.
If we were scientists, we would need to explain why these similarities occur, but as advertisers, we only need to know that they exist to benefit from them. Whether due to nature or nurture, colors evoke similar responses in many people while helping memories form and last. Applying this knowledge to your business can help you brand it in the most effective way.
Imagine not just using words to brand your business as trustworthy, exciting or fun, but finding the perfect color that encourages your customers to feel that message for themselves. Some studies suggest that color can increase brand recognition by 80 percent.
Consider that signature Target shade of red that is splashed all over storefronts, displays and print ads in an almost comical way. This uniformity helps to link the many memories you have of the brand, so that the second you spot an actor decked out in that signature hue, your mind is flooded with a multitude of Target messages. The commercial doesn’t need to state that the stores are huge or even the name Target, seeing the color sends you those messages instantly.
The former UPS slogan “What can brown do for you?” is another example of straight to the point color branding. Hearing that slogan on the radio conjured the image of the logo and the trucks in consumer’s minds, in essence recreating the experience of a print ad or commercial.
So if colors are so important to your brand, how can you be sure to choose the right ones? This is where research comes into play. A few examples of what different colors say about your brand are:
Red can create a visceral response, increasing your appetite and even your heart rate. It is useful for energetic and passionate brands.
Brown evokes a sense of durability, strength and earthiness, great for conveying reliability
Black conveys a message of prestige and value—think the American Express Black Card
Green sends a message of health, wealth and serenity, perfect for banks, the health food industry and businesses that promote serene and efficient service.
To learn more about the specific effects of certain colors, take a look at the following infographic that displays information gathered from the world’s top 100 brands.
Even if we don’t know exactly why color makes a distinct impression on us, the fact that they do can be very valuable to your business.