How to use the power of colour in branding
Colour in branding matters in the world of brands and plays a pivotal role in all our visual experiences and communication.
Brands and colour are inextricably linked because colour offers an instantaneous method for conveying meaning and message without words. Colour is the visual component people remember most about a brand followed closely by shapes / symbols then numbers and finally words. People see colour before they absorb anything else. Therefore, most recognisable brands in the world rely on colour as a key factor in their recognition.
Research has reinforced that:
- 60% of the time people will decide if they are attracted or not to a message – based on colour alone!
- Colour can increase brand recognition by up to 80 per cent.
The influence of colour in branding
Colour bisects the worlds of art, psychology and culture, influencing behaviour and creates meaning both consciously and subconsciously.
Colour can be used as a communication tool to reflect our internal states both in a personal-sense (your choice to wear a bright turquoise shirt today), and in the worldly-sense (where cultures reject or embrace particular colours). Colour signifies motives and can even be used to shape people.
Colour is very subjective, and it varies from person to person. Over time particular colours can remind us of brands, feelings and moods. Our past experiences, along with being immersed in a culture which applies certain conventions to colour-use, contributes to this. As a result, we can study the generalised effects of colour on people and use this to better communicate visually with our audience. Since 1666 when Sir Isaac Newton devised the first colour wheel the psychological effects of colour have been studied and used to great effect within brand identity design.
What does colour say about your brand?
The following graphic shows how global brands work alongside their respective studied emotions of their colour.
Tap into the power of colour to express your brand attributes and values
Have you ever wondered why colour is so significant in identifying brands? Red is associated with Virgin. Blue is the preferred colour for NHS, Ford and Facebook. These large corporations have developed a confident brand identity by using logos with particular colours.
Colour in branding also plays a vital role in retention, it stimulates the senses and delivers a message in half the time text does.
Colour in branding psychology is the study of how colours affect our emotions and decision-making processes. It is a sub-discipline of behavioural psychology since it studies and identifies behavioural responses to colours.
The branding process is very important. Defining your brand identity is critical as this will help you stand out from the crowd. Finding the right colour to best identify your brand is not as simple as picking out colours from the colour wheel, it takes time.
Identifying the most appropriate dominant colour to use is essential to the success of your branding campaign. Prominent colours significant to your brand, mission and vision must be apparent in all your promotional materials, which necessarily include literature, product packaging and exhibitions.
When it comes to deciding which colour to use in developing your brand identity, remember that it should be the colour that particularly relates to your brand and it should be able to set you apart from all other trademarks, especially your competitors.
A successful branding campaign can hinge on colour and how efficient, effective and persuasive it can be when properly used in visual communications.
Ready to inject some colourful flair into your brand?
Choosing the ‘right’ colour for your brand isn’t easy, but it is important, and you should spend some time choosing the colour(s) you think best represents your brand.
Start with these questions:
- What words represent your brand’s personality?
- What colours represent those words?
- What colour suits the characteristics of your product / service?
- What colours do your competitors use?
If you refer back to my previous article How to build a stand-out brand identity, colour can help create that unique feel, make your brand memorable and bring a feeling of consistency within all your marketing communications.
If you feel that your colours are not supporting your brand or sending out the wrong message, feel free to give us a call on 01293 886805 or email us.Other articles relevant to :
One of the most interesting projects that a graphic designer can take on is to design a brand identity. It is so exciting to create logo options based on market research and add a touch of design magic through the creative process. Then finally narrowing the design down to an approved logo and seeing it out in the world for all to view, is a very rewarding experience.
Brand… unified vision
However, most of the time, a logo is not enough. Large businesses with layers of management require a thorough brand identity system that provides a unified vision along with marketing tools that help build the brand.
Brand… identity kit
Brand identity is the combined effect of visual elements in your marketing materials. A basic brand identity kit consists of a logo, business card, letterhead, and email signature. This basic set of materials can be extended to include: brochures, folders, flyers, website, exhibition stand and vehicle livery.
A successful brand identity is built around these
How may of these characteristics does your brand identity capture?
- Unique business “look and feel” and on-brand message. Make sure that the way you write and talk about your business is unique and your graphics stand-out and cannot be confused with the competition.
- Repetition helps clients and prospective clients remember and relate to your business. It takes between 6 and 12 contacts with your business for customers to truly remember and connect with your business.
- Consistent use of your logo and strap line on all marketing materials. To build a strong brand for your business, you need to have a unique visual design. This needs to be consistent throughout all of your marketing material.
- Memorable devices make your business stand-out. You’ll be able to create a memorable brand through uniqueness, repetition and a consistent approach of all marketing material. Make your visual graphics memorable by creating a unique logo and brand styling.
- Graphics with meaning make your business’s messages come to life via symbolic graphics, colours and typography choices. Meaningful text gives depth to your developing brand and more importantly, your audience will be able to understand the meaning in your graphics and text.
- Clear graphics and text communicate your message in an understandable way. Make sure that your graphics are sharp, clean, simple and meaningful. Make sure all text expresses your brand and is in no way confusing.
- Brand honesty is key to delivering your brand promise and doesn’t alienate you and your company… or even worse damage your client relationships and your overall brand.
- Brand personality of your business helps you appear different and unique. Clients can immediately tell that all of your branded materials are coming from your business. If you’re the owner of a one-person business, your brand identity might resonate with your own personality. If your business is larger, or if you want to make it appear larger, you can create your own brand personality to connect with your potential clients.
- Professionalism in all things, from the quality of your graphics, to the way your text is written (proofreading is essential!), to your personal presentation: the way you talk, dress and speak. Professionalism in customer service and in the way you treat people you meet is always important. Follow through on your offers and promises.
When you include all of these characteristics into your brand identity, you’ll have a business look and feel that will really help your marketing messages to be taken seriously: one that will enhance your overall brand.
If you’ve considered these characteristics and feel that your brand is falling short and letting your business (and your customers) down, feel free to give us a call on 01293 886805 or email us.Other articles relevant to :
How to write a good design brief to get the design you want!
How do you get exactly the design you want? The ideal design you envisage in your mind, the one to take your business to the next level? A good creative design brief is the answer.
A thorough design brief is the single most critical factor to ensure your project is successful.
What is a design brief?
A design brief is critical to the success of any creative design project as it provides the designer with all the relative information needed to exceed expectations.
A design brief needs to focus on the results and outcomes of the design and the overall business objectives of the project.
It should not attempt to suggest how the aesthetics of design could look… that’s the designer’s responsibility.
As a client, the design brief allows you to focus on exactly what you want to achieve from the design project, before any work begins.
A good design brief will ensure you get a professional design that meets your business requirements.
How to write a good design brief
The questions below are designed to help you crystallise your thoughts and provide your designer with a complete creative design brief.
Please make sure you have fun answering the questions and remember, provide as much detail as possible!
1. What does your business do?
• What does your company do?
• What is your company’s history?
Tip: Don’t assume the designer will know everything about your company. Be concise and avoid jargon.
2. What are the goals? Why?
• What is the overall goal of the design project?
• What do you want to communicate and why?
• Are you looking to sell products or increase brand awareness of your product or services?
• How are you different from your competitors?
• Are you looking to rebrand or simply updating your promotional material?
Tip: Give the designer copies of all your current marketing material.
3. Who is the target market?
• Map out your target market demographics? e.g. age, gender, income, tastes, views, attitudes, geography, lifestyle of your potential customers.
Tip: If your market has multiple audiences, list them in order of importance.
4. What copy (text) and pictures are needed?
• What copy do you need to include within the design? Where is the copy coming from e.g.your marketing department?
• What pictures / photographs / diagrams etc. need to be used?
Tip: The copy and pictures used in a design are as crucial as the design itself and you should clearly state who is going to be providing the copy and pictures if needed. You may need to consider engaging a professional copywriter or photographer – ask your designer for some recommendations.
5. What are the specifications?
• What size / format is the design going to be?
• Where is it going to be used? On the internet, stationery, marketing brochures on your car?
• What other information can you give the designer?
6. Have you got a benchmark in mind?
• What other material do you consider would assist the designer. This could be your competitors’ brochures.
• Remember things not to do are just as important, for example styles that you do not like or wish to see in your design.
7. What Is your budget?
• Providing the budget upfront allows designers to advise if the project is going to be possible to complete.
• Providing a budget allows designers to match valuable time and resources to maximise your budget.
8. What is the time scale / deadline?
• Make sure you give the designer a detailed schedule of the project. Set a realistic deadline for the completion of the work. Always take into account the different stages of the design project for example consultation, concept development, proof reading, production and delivery.
Tip: Rushing a design job through helps no one and mistakes can arise, especially if a complex project is pushed through without time for reviewing it.
Occasionally, there are times when a job needs to be completed quickly. In these cases you should be honest and clear with your designer.
Now that you know how to write a good design brief, give it a go and email us!Other articles relevant to :
Your brand is more than your logo. In a commercial context, brands are all about connecting customers to businesses.
Your logo and its ability to send out the right signals about your brand and what it represents is an all-important connecting tool in your business armoury. But it’s not the only tool.
To make that logo as powerful as possible and to give it an appropriate context, it’s essential to first identify and define the heart of your brand, its purpose and its cause. This is what branding means in the truest sense.
I’d like to share with you, exactly what that means for your business.
There are five key points to consider about your brand:
1. If marketing is how your business goes-to-market, then your brand is your Marketing Director, informing the focus of all marketing activity. From the products and services through to your people, your environment, processes and support systems – it encompasses your entire business proposition! Marketing without brand clarity is like playing the lottery, characterised by the highs (when you get lucky) and the lows (when you’re not) and having no idea of what’s working and what’s not. It’s a frustrating and inconsistent approach which doesn’t need to happen. Is your brand’s proposition clear and compelling for your most valuable customers and advantaged versus competitors and reflected in all your brand does?
2. Brands are all about making the right connections for your business. The right connections allow your business access to the right customers, the right channels, the right prices, the right territory in the market. Is your brand set up to make the right connections? Is it better at making those connections than your direct competitors?
3. Who are your most valuable customers? What are their needs? How does your brand address these needs, so it becomes the best solution for these people? Brands (not blands!) are defined by their actions. They stand for something clear and valuable to some and stand out from their competitors as a result. A powerful brand can clearly project what it represents and why that’s valuable to those it wants to connect with.
4. A brand is a promise, it’s not a logo. What does your brand promise and does it keep to it every time? What is its sense of purpose and how does that resonate with your most valuable customers?
5. What is your strategy to create tribes of Raving Fans – customers who love what your brand does for them, so they not only do they keep coming back for more want more but will also, crucially, willingly and strongly recommend your brand to others. Businesses that successfully and profitably create Brand Fans typically grow 2.5 times faster than those businesses in their market that don’t. Now that’s worth having and exploiting!
So, there’s a lot more to ‘branding’ than that all-important logo. If you correctly gear your brand to your business, it will become one of your most powerful growth enablers and you should be using it for all it’s worth.
Is your brand working as hard as it could be to take your business to the next level? We’d love to discuss that question with you and explore what more could be done – why not get in touch!Other articles relevant to :
Steve Oakes is Turquoise Creative’s Creative Director
Steve Oakes has over 20 years experience in the branding and advertising world, providing creative solutions for the likes of British Airways, Coverzone, DNA Logistics, Kent County Cricket Club, Interserve, Rentokil Initial, Start-Rite, Thorntons Chocolates and Yahoo. Prior to setting up Turquoise Creative, Steve held positions at Signal Graphics, Beacon Creative, Eurolink Consulting, TDG Integrated, Adare and the Purple Agency.
Steve Oakes is responsible for the creative output of the company, coordinating client presentations and the execution of the client marketing communications campaigns; maintaining profitability and delivering high-quality projects.
Steve is a creative person with a huge passion for his business while helping his clients succeed. He is a family man who loves working out at the gym, cricket, rugby, photography, travelling and spending time outdoors…. and of course, all things turquoise.