This question came up during our webinar last month on strategic branding. One of the attendees was in the process of developing her brand for the first time and she wondered if gold was a good choice for her logo color. We talked briefly about the color psychology of gold, which in her case, makes sense.
What are some of the tips you can use to know if you are choosing the right colors for your brand?
1. Does the psychology of that color match your brand personality?
This is the most important question to answer. If your brand color and personality don’t match, your prospects will feel that dissonance, even if they can’t articulate it.
Marketo has done an excellent analysis of the color spectrum and it’s a great guide for which colors are better for which industry.
Of course, remember that color meaning is somewhat cultural, so consider where your markets are and do some research to be sure your color choices are not sending the wrong message.
2. Does the color (or colors) differ from your competition?
This blog post recommends that you specifically choose a color opposite to your competitor to give your brand stand out strength. Certainly, that has been done in many a complex rebranding campaign and can be very effective. If your competitors are all blue, going red makes your logo jump out in the ocean of blue.
3. Does it speak to you?
This is probably our most controversial tip as it flies in the face of “listen to your customer” advice. You, and the rest of your management team and all your employees, will be associated with this color or colors. It needs to inspire you and your company. We figure color is such an expansive world, so with a little work, it’s possible to listen to your customers and still find a color you love.
4. Can that color be easily applied across all mediums?
This is a very practical tip but one that we’ve certainly seen disregarded in the name of “art” when doing logo design. Be sure that whatever color you choose can work as well in print as it will online. Metallic colors, for example, look fantastic when presented as concepts on paper, but don’t translate well online.
Additionally, some colors are more stable across different browsers/viewer settings and some tend to vary a lot more. Some reds, for example, can be a lot more variable on different screens and will “appear” as red or pink, depending on the browser. That could make a big difference for you and your target, so consider that (and test, test, test!) in your color selection.
Have you recently gone through a rebranding or branding process? Tell us what color you chose and why in the comment section below. We love to hear stories and talk brand color!
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