We’ve nattered about the importance of finding your brand voice, prepping your photoshoots and generally fine tuning your brand personality, but what about that all important colour palette?
How important can those shimmering hues and tones really be to the success of your business?
The answer: very!
A certain type of woman will pay to get her ‘colours done’. Now, for the poor unfortunate soul who doesn’t understand this monumental rite of passage, it involves a ‘colour expert’ draping various fabric swatches against your face and announcing that you are a ‘spring, summer, autumn or winter’. Yes, you heard me right.
As odd as this sounds it can actually do wonders for your entire look, health and wellbeing. By matching the correct colour palette to your hair colour, eye colour and skin tone you can transform yourself! And it’s an excuse to buy a whole new wardrobe in beautiful shades that will make you look and feel fabulous.
The same theory applies to your business brand. Dithering over a colour palette and making hasty choices will not bode well for the future success of your enterprise. You’ve created an amazing product you know will sell because you’ve carried out extensive market research and committed time and money getting it ready for market. So, why on earth would the work stop there?
Your gleaming product is ready to be shown to the world and now the real work begins!
You are the expert on your product. You know your target audience, its buying capacity, its mood on a daily basis and what colour loo roll it prefers (ok, that last one was a stretch). But, you know what I mean. You really KNOW your market. So, don’t mess it up by getting your branding wrong.
You’ll work with your awesome brand designer (that’s me) and get your product’s colours done.
But what do they all mean? What colours should I avoid or embrace? Does it really matter?
Think of the world’s top brands and I guarantee you could tell me their primary colour in seconds. Colour is what sticks in the customer’s mind long after they’ve read your copy. The colour palette you choose will have a direct emotional effect on the consumer so beware of picking harsh reds for your health and beauty business, or light pinks for your mortgage advice service.
Never fear because I know my colours and I’ll know YOUR colours too, so read on for a handy guide to getting it right!
This one is self-evident. Red symbolises drama! Fire, blood, sex, passion, power and on it goes.
Red is full of life and packs a punch so consider it wisely. It will always stand out in the crowd. If you want to do the same, it could be the colour for you. Red denotes warmth, so might suit a winter clothing brand. It’s also popular in sport and entertainment for very obvious reasons; both elicit feelings of excitement and competitiveness. Red can be softened with complementary tones such as cream.
If you want to put yourself in a good mood then wear orange! This vibrant shade exudes freshness, creativity, vitality and health. If your business is geared towards a younger market then orange might work for you. The colour orange stimulates the appetite so if you’re a foody business then you’ll be onto a winner. Not so much if you want to be considered as a serious or luxury brand.
This little ray of sunshine puts a smile on anyone’s face. It exudes cheerfulness, positivity and energy. On the flip side it can induce anxiety so use it wisely! If you run a social enterprise yellow will encourage confidence and charity. Yellow is also perfect for health-related brands like gyms, personal coaching and other life-enhancing services.
Before you brush this off as being old-fashioned and a little bit sexist, think again (why on earth has pink been associated with femininity for so long? In days gone by pink was traditionally a male colour!). Cynical marketeers imposed the ‘pink for girls / blue for boys’ rule a few decades ago simply to sell more products. However, millennials and Gen Y have given punchy, passionate pink a much needed reawakening. But not any old pink: ‘blush’ pink. This gorgeous soft pink tint is everywhere: soft furnishings, graphics and fashion, and its appeal lies across the gender spectrum. Despite this progression pink is still mostly associated with beauty, children and women.
This life-giving shade signifies abundance, fertility and health. You’ll see it represented in organic food brands and earth-loving products; all very current in today’s market. It’s also the colour of money! Green is linked with finance, banking and growth of the economic kind. So, think carefully about the message you wish to express if you’re planning on a green palette.
Blue is the colour of calm, serenity and trust. And it’s pretty much the world’s favourite colour. It’s associated with communication and reliability as well as authority (think of the ‘thin blue line’). It personifies the sea and sky and so works well with holiday/hospitality brands. Ideal if you’re a seaside B&B! The connotations of trust and security means it is commonly used by financial and security services. It can also signify depression, so give serious thought to how you use it.
We’re in serious, straight-faced territory here. You don’t mess with black. It’s so mysterious, it’s not even a colour! If you want to radiate luxury or authority then consider black your friend. In reality black is a friendly complementary shade that sits well beside most other colours on the spectrum. It adds a little bit of drama just where you need it most.
The symbol of purity and perfection, white is a bold choice. ‘Apple’ understood this and designed stark white stores and products that conveyed modernity and reassuring quality. White works best with brands that wish to be viewed as innocent, pure and simple. White is not the colour for bold, adventurous or ground-breaking products.
I hope this was a helpful translation of our most popular tones and shades. Have fun with colour, and remember that you can mix and match! Together we’ll get knee deep in this fascinating rainbow and create a palette that will make your product pop!
To start this journey you can reach me at email@example.com