Have you ever had your cup of coffee in a different coloured mug than what you normally have? Did the coffee taste different? It’s the same coffee but the mug’s colour has influenced your preconception of how it is going to taste. You’re influenced by colours all the time and so are your customers.
Choosing the colour for your brand is a big decision. It needs to differentiate you from your competitors while still being appropriate for the type of customer you want to attract, evoking the right emotions and feelings. For example, red reflects excitement and boldness – great if you’re a company like Coca-Cola, but if you’re a firm of solicitors, it probably isn’t appropriate, as traditionally a solicitor is seen as trustworthy, calm and dependable. It’s getting the balance right: being different vs. being instantly recognisable while still attracting your ideal customer.
The human brain recognises shapes first, then colour – so before your potential customer has even read anything about you there is already a preconception. Obviously this is not an exact science and the individual’s personal upbringing will influence them. Colours have different cultural meanings too, so be mindful. If this is something you want to know more about, here’s a great piece on hubspot
As part of your brand guidelines there should be a breakdown of your colours which will reproduce as close to the desired colour as possible i.e. CMYK, RGB, HEX, PMS and so on. Make sure you test it on various media before signing it off. Ideally you should also consider a secondary palette which will compliment your brand colours and also investigate what a tint of your brand colours would look like.
There will be occasions where you will not be able to produce a full colour piece of collateral, so agree what your brand would look like in black and white or a single colour and what that single colour would be.
Agreeing and creating guidelines for your brand colours will ensure consistency across all touchpoints and help build your brand’s identity.