Everyone knows that branding is important when it comes to business. You want to make sure that it’s memorable, cohesive and identifiable. One way to do this is by choosing a brand color palette that is unique to your business. 

In this blog post, we will explore the psychology behind color choices. With these principles, you can get started with choosing a color palette.

Step 1: Identify your target customers.

First, you need to identify your target market. What industry do you work in? Who are your customers? The more clarity that you can get around who that person is, the better. 

Now, consider how you want your target customers to FEEL about your brand. Do you want them to view your business as professional? Playful? Funky? What adjectives do you use to describe your business? 

The colors you choose can have an impact on how people feel about your company. 

Step 2: Do competitor research.

Next, you will want to do competitor research to see what similar businesses use for their brand colors.

You may notice that certain groups of brands have similar brand colors. This is because they share similar core values and content. For example, Animal Planet and Whole Foods both use the color green because of its psychological ties to nature. 

Similarly, you may also notice that some brands distance themselves from the signature niche colors. This bold move is intentional. As they attempt to target a specific segment of the target audience, they stand out from competitors.

Step 3: Choose the right colors for your brand

Often, business owners make the mistake of choosing their favorite color for their brand.  Instead, they should select colors that evoke a certain emotion in their target audience. 

When it comes to product perception, 62‐90% of the assessment is based on colors alone, according to this study.

By using color psychology, brands can create an emotional connection with customers. Some common color meanings are listed below:

Red

Red is a great color for grabbing attention. It’s an energetic, passionate color that increases the heart rate. It’s the perfect color for creating urgency or drawing attention to calls to action. Red also helps to induce hunger, which is why you see many popular chain restaurants using it. 

Brands that use red: Coca-Cola, Target, CNN, Adobe. 

Orange

Orange represents brands that are fun, optimistic, and adventure-seeking. This color can spark conversation or create enthusiasm. Orange calls to action work extremely well because of the color’s bold but friendly nature. 

Brands that use orange: Home Depot, Nickelodeon, Fanta, Soundcloud.

Yellow

Yellow ties brands to a sense of happiness or optimism. It is also associated with speediness and reliability. 

Brands that use yellow: Nikon, McDonald’s, Snapchat, Best Buy.

Green

Green is a color that denotes money, growth, and connectedness to nature. Depending on the shade, it can also be linked to clarity, open communication, and tranquility. 

Brands that use green: Fiverr, Animal Planet, Starbucks, Whole Foods, H&R Block.

Blue

Blue can inspire a sense of calm and trust. It is seen heavily in the corporate world because of its association with professionalism. You’ll notice that a lot of medical offices are painted blue (that’s not on accident). 

Brands that use blue: Visa, Dell, HP, BlueCross BlueShield.

Purple

Purple represents luxury, mystery, or wisdom. Psychologically, it’s a color that can uplift and calm. Creative, digital, and spiritual brands tap into this color for branding. 

Brands that use purple: SiFi, Twitch, Wonka, Roku.

Pink

Pink helps signify brands that primarily want to appeal to a feminine audience. This color is often perceived as lighthearted or playful. Vibrant pinks can evoke a sense of confidence and energy. Softer pinks give off more of a romantic vibe. 

Brands that use pink: Cosmopolitan, PINK (Victoria Secret), Lyft, T-Mobile.

Black

Black is a color that evokes a sense of luxury, authority, and sophistication. When in collaboration with white or bright colors, brands create high-contrast imagery and focal points.

Brands that use black: Apple, Uber, Chanel, Adidas.

Step 4: Use brand color tools to perfect the perfect palette.

If you aren’t working with a designer on your branding, you will want to make sure that you brush up on how different color combinations work together. 

Some popular free color tools include:

Coolors – This color palette generator creates aesthetically pleasing combinations with a single mouse click. If you find a palette that you like, you can also tweak each individual color until you are happy with it.

Adobe Color Wheel – With this tool, you can select a color harmony rule from the choices to find a palette that works for you.

Canva’s Color Palette Generator – Choose from hundreds of pre-created color palette combinations and integrate them into your Canva creations instantly. 

The number of colors needed may vary from brand to brand. As a general rule of thumb, I like to suggest choosing 1-3 primary colors, 2-3 secondary colors, and 1-3 neutrals. 

Step 5: Implement your brand color palette.

It is common to create a brand style guide that includes your business’ standardized assets. This includes fonts, colors, photography, messaging tone, social media guidelines, etc. 

When including your chosen palette in this guide, be sure to include the exact color codes needed.

HEX color codes are a 6-digit format that is for digital use. These codes are helpful for your website, social media pages, digital banners, etc.

CMYK color codes are a series of 4 numbers and are for printing processes. You will need these codes for business cards, posters, billboards, etc.

Be consistent with use of exact color codes throughout all branding materials. It’s also helpful to use your brightest brand color for calls to action. This strategy pulls the audience’s attention to where you want them to look / take action.

In conclusion, I hope that this article serves you well as you tackle your branding journey. 

If you would like to chat more 1-on-1 about your brand strategy, I’d love to help you. Tap the button below and schedule a FREE consultation call with me today.