Everyone wants to make a great first impression, and your business shouldn’t be any different. This “first impression” your business makes on potential clients or customers is what’s formally known as “branding”, which can be anything from a logo, advertisement, packaging or even employee uniforms. Essentially, branding is what visually communicates your company’s values to the public. Unfortunately, sometimes there might be a discrepancy between how you intend to portray your business versus what the visual branding communicates to its audience. In this article, we will be showcasing integral steps to developing your company’s visual branding, while ensuring that your intended message is being communicated properly.   

What are brand colours and why are they important?

Brand colours are the first thing customers or clients see when interacting with your brand. The colours chosen immediately set the mood in terms of the experience customers should expect, this is due to our pre-conditioned emotional responses to colours, which will be explained in further detail in the next section. You could have the world’s best product or service, but it could be ignored because of your branding. This is because up to 90% of product selection is based entirely on colours of packaging and logos, which could make or break your brand’s ability to engage customers. The ultimate goal with branding is to get it right the first time and avoid the dreaded “R word”, rebrand. 

Colour psychology and emotional response

Colours can evoke various feelings and emotions just by looking at them. It can even alter people’s behaviours and perceptions to add additional meanings and associations! For example the colour green often denotes nature or health, which would make it ideal for camping products or organic health foods. Even if a food product is not nutritionally healthy, using green in the packaging or logo denotes that it is healthier than its competitors. Below we have listed some of the standard branding colours and their associated meanings:

  • Red – denotes danger, excitement, energy, love, passion and sex (Think GoodLife Fitness or Virgin Airlines)
  • Orange – denotes freshness, vitality, creativity, adventure, and is often associated with being cost-effective (think Soundcloud or Orange Theory Fitness)
  • Yellow – denotes optimism, playfulness and happiness (Think McDonald’s or IKEA)
  • Green – denotes all things natural, sustainability, health, prestige and wealth (Think Starbucks or Freshii)
  • Blue – denotes trustworthiness, reliability, calm, but can sometimes can be depressing (Think Casper Mattresses or SONY)
  • Purple – denotes royalty, magic, spirituality and mystery (Think Crown Royal or Hallmark) 
  • Pink – denotes femininity, romance, youthfulness, and bright shades portraying boldness (Think Lyft or Victoria’s Secret)
  • Brown – denotes being down-to-earth, honesty and wholesomeness (Think Cotton Brand or Hershey’s)
  • White – denotes purity (in Western cultures), simplicity, innocence and minimalism (Think Apple or Tesla)
  • Black – denotes sophistication, elegance, formality, luxury and occasionally sorrow (Think Chanel or The New York Times)
  • Multicolour – denotes unity, openness, spiritedness and diversity (Think Google or the Olympics)

Identify your brand’s visual aesthetic

The most important step in developing your visual branding is to establish the prominent company values you want customers to experience by considering the following: 

  • Brand goals – should customers feel happy, pampered, educated, etc.?
  • Target audience – do you want them to feel luxurious, positive, infatuated, etc.?
  • Brand personality – is your brand serious, hip, innovative, etc.?

Considering these elements will help shape your visual branding identity and ensure that it will represent your brand properly when associating it with colours. However, this may not be enough, let’s take a look at how to make your brand stand out!

Look at competitors’ branding

An important thing to remember when developing your visual branding is who your competitors are and what their branding looks like. For example, if your industry’s market is already heavily saturated with yellow branding try to differentiate yourself from your competitors by choosing a different colour scheme, otherwise your product or service will indistinguishably blend in. However, if your goal is to imitate larger prominent brands with a “no name” product, emulating competitors’ branding could be advantageous. 

Select a primary colour and develop brand colour palette

Once you’ve decided on your brand’s main colour or  “primary colour”, the next step would be to determine the secondary colours to be incorporated into your brand’s colour palette. These could include neutral colours like black or white for lettering, accent colours, or any combination of colours to embody the brand’s values and desired aesthetic. This can be a bit of a daunting task considering there are so many different colour combinations, however, a simple and straightforward way to select your secondary colours is to choose a photo that you feel best embodies the vibe of your brand and select the individual colours used throughout. There are actually online generators that can easily do this for you, like this one from Canva.

Create brand guidelines

The final step is to create a set of rules or “brand guidelines” about how everything will be visually represented on all branded content and media in order to ensure cohesiveness. For example, should the colourful logo always be used or will there be white and black versions made in order to be more appropriate? Proportionately, how big should the logo be? Which font, size, weight and colour should be used for different written documents and visual media? These are only some of the questions to consider when creating brand guidelines. 

Final Thoughts

Visual branding is a very important development within your company’s identity and should not be taken lightly. As we’ve learnt it can make or break your business and you need to be sure that your business’ values are being communicated visually. This is no easy feat, but luckily for you there are professionals who can help you out by designing your business’ visual branding. Media Crate offers branding services that go beyond developing your brand’s logo and colour palette, we delve into building a real overall customer experience by diving deep into the “why” of your business, where it’s uniquely positioned amongst competitors and exploring who your ideal customers are. 

 

Interested in working with us or have any questions? We’re happy to help. Get in touch!

 

Resources

How to choose the right colors for your brand. Canva Blog. Retrieved from: https://www.canva.com/learn/choose-right-colors-brand/

How to Choose Your Brand Colors Plus 10 Examples to Learn From. Wix Blog. Published Jan 14, 2020. Retrieved from: https://www.wix.com/blog/2020/01/brand-colors/