Your brand identity is really important as it not only helps to build brand recognition, but also brand loyalty. It differentiates you from your competition and can position you in the mind of your customers as a business providing a product or service that is worth paying for.

Brand identity is made up of lots of different visual clues, such as words, shapes, symbols and even numbers — but the number one visual clue that most people will remember is colour. In fact, research by the University of Loyola has shown that “colour increases brand recognition by up to 80%.”

We can see the impact colour has on branding, which is mainly due to its influence on us in both an emotional and practical way. One a practical level, your brand colour choices can help you stand out from the crowd, while on an emotional level colour affects how consumers feel when they look at your brand.

There have been multiple studies completed on the relationship between branding and colour, but they all tend to show the same results:

  • Colour influences how customers view your brand’s ‘personality’
  • The relationship between brands and colour is based on how well your customers perceive your chosen colour fits your brand
  • Customers will make snap judgments on your brand based on your colour scheme alone

So, we cannot overemphasize the importance of choosing the right colours for your brand. This is why it is so important that you understand the psychology of colour as this will help you (and us) make a more informed decision. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the meanings that are closely associated with different colours:

 #1 Red

Red is one of the most powerful colours out there, and so should be used with discretion! It is the colour of danger (think fire and blood) but also the colour we most associate with love (passion and excitement) — so it will deliver a bold punch whenever it is used.

It tends to symbolize confidence, power and strength, and so is a good way to stand out from the crowd.

#2 Orange

Orange is a secondary colour which is made by combining red (warmth) with yellow (happiness) and so when used it tends to communicate energy and activity. Of course, at its very basic, orange is the colour of the fruit, oranges, and so also tends to be associated with health and freshness as well.  

Our client Gentronix uses orange as a way of expressing the energy they put into all their screening services, as they work hard to ensure they can offer customers in the global chemical industry a broad range of predictive toxicology solutions.

#3 Yellow

Yellow is the colour of sunshine and so it tends to be associated with joy, cheerfulness and energy. It is also one of the most visible colours when viewed at a distance, and this is why it is so often seen on street signs. 

Yellow also has a dual personality, like red, as it is also used on police cordoning tape and hazard vests, where it can be seen as a cautionary colour associated with intellect.

#4 Green

Green is another colour that can imply different things. It is mostly used by environmentally friendly companies as we tend to associate it with the earth and nature, but it is also used by finance companies as it is the colour of money (in America that is).

The choice of green you use for your brand depends on what you want your brand to be associated with. Lighter greens are typically felt to be more organic denoting growth, renewal and vitality while darker greens are associated with wealth, and so represent abundance and prestige.

#5 Blue

Blue is the most widely used colour in business perhaps because it is one of the most versatile. Our client BBI, for example, uses it to convey the reliability and trustworthiness of their biometric sensing technology which is pioneering in the healthcare industry.

Blue can also be seen to be calming as it is the colour of the sea and sky, but we also use it to describe people who are sad as well so again choosing the right shade of blue is essential. 

#6 Purple

Purple is the colour most associated with royalty, and so often conveys a sense of opulence and luxury although some people also associate it with mystery and spirituality.  Research has shown that men do not actually rank purple as a top-tier colour, but women do which may be the reason why it is not a colour that is often used in branding except by Cadbury’s of course!

#7 Brown

Brown is similar to Green in that most people associate it with the earth although it can literally remind them of dirt! However, when most people see brown they think of wholesomeness and orderliness which makes it great for brands who are in the niche of natural beauty and food.

Some brands have adopted it as a way of showing that they have more things to care about than their brand colour brown comes across as a colour of simpleness and strength in that way.    

#8 Pink

Pink is quite a stereotypical colour that is associated with femininity and girliness, although in reality, it is again quite a diverse colour. Pale pastel pink denotes sweetness, light pink has associations with romance, and hot pink is fun and exciting. 

Interestingly, blush pink is now quite often referred to as ‘Millennial Pink’ as this generation seem to favour it for graphics and interiors something to think about if this is your target market.

#9 Black

Black is often not seen as a ‘colour’ as such, but it can actually be very distinctive and memorable (see our Zool logo!) Black is a colour that denotes seriousness, boldness and power we are not to be fooled with!

Black works well when it is contrasted with other brighter colours we have paired it with white for a simple, yet bold statement but you could pair it with gold for a touch of luxury. 

#10 White

White has long been used to symbolise purity and innocence and it has a simple way about it as well. Apple has always used white as the base of its brand message. It conveys how simple their products are to use and how their product design is modern and clean. 

A word of warning though, it can be difficult to inject personality into a brand if using white, so make sure you are happy with your brand conveying simplicity and transparency.

#11 Multicolour

Let’s not forget that some brands use more than one colour in their logos — such as Google or the Olympics. What are they trying to achieve by doing this? Well, they are really trying to cover all bases and indicate the variety of what they do — diverse people, diverse offerings, and diverse countries.

Hopefully, this has inspired you to look at the colours you are using in your branding, and what your competitors are using and what your colour preferences are conveying to your customers. If you want to chat more about colours then please get in touch with the creative team here at Zool we are more than happy to help.

Why is colour so important in branding?

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Your brand identity is really important as it not only helps to build brand recognition, but also brand loyalty. It differentiates you from your competition and can position you in the mind of your customers as a business providing a product or service that is worth paying for.

Brand identity is made up of lots of different visual clues, such as words, shapes, symbols and even numbers — but the number one visual clue that most people will remember is colour. In fact, research by the University of Loyola has shown that “colour increases brand recognition by up to 80%.”

We can see the impact colour has on branding, which is mainly due to its influence on us in both an emotional and practical way. One a practical level, your brand colour choices can help you stand out from the crowd, while on an emotional level colour affects how consumers feel when they look at your brand.

There have been multiple studies completed on the relationship between branding and colour, but they all tend to show the same results:

  • Colour influences how customers view your brand’s ‘personality’
  • The relationship between brands and colour is based on how well your customers perceive your chosen colour fits your brand
  • Customers will make snap judgments on your brand based on your colour scheme alone

So, we cannot overemphasize the importance of choosing the right colours for your brand. This is why it is so important that you understand the psychology of colour as this will help you (and us) make a more informed decision. 

Let’s take a closer look at some of the meanings that are closely associated with different colours:

 #1 Red

Red is one of the most powerful colours out there, and so should be used with discretion! It is the colour of danger (think fire and blood) but also the colour we most associate with love (passion and excitement) — so it will deliver a bold punch whenever it is used.

It tends to symbolize confidence, power and strength, and so is a good way to stand out from the crowd.

#2 Orange

Orange is a secondary colour which is made by combining red (warmth) with yellow (happiness) and so when used it tends to communicate energy and activity. Of course, at its very basic, orange is the colour of the fruit, oranges, and so also tends to be associated with health and freshness as well.  

Our client Gentronix uses orange as a way of expressing the energy they put into all their screening services, as they work hard to ensure they can offer customers in the global chemical industry a broad range of predictive toxicology solutions.

#3 Yellow

Yellow is the colour of sunshine and so it tends to be associated with joy, cheerfulness and energy. It is also one of the most visible colours when viewed at a distance, and this is why it is so often seen on street signs. 

Yellow also has a dual personality, like red, as it is also used on police cordoning tape and hazard vests, where it can be seen as a cautionary colour associated with intellect.

#4 Green

Green is another colour that can imply different things. It is mostly used by environmentally friendly companies as we tend to associate it with the earth and nature, but it is also used by finance companies as it is the colour of money (in America that is).

The choice of green you use for your brand depends on what you want your brand to be associated with. Lighter greens are typically felt to be more organic denoting growth, renewal and vitality while darker greens are associated with wealth, and so represent abundance and prestige.

#5 Blue

Blue is the most widely used colour in business perhaps because it is one of the most versatile. Our client BBI, for example, uses it to convey the reliability and trustworthiness of their biometric sensing technology which is pioneering in the healthcare industry.

Blue can also be seen to be calming as it is the colour of the sea and sky, but we also use it to describe people who are sad as well so again choosing the right shade of blue is essential. 

#6 Purple

Purple is the colour most associated with royalty, and so often conveys a sense of opulence and luxury although some people also associate it with mystery and spirituality.  Research has shown that men do not actually rank purple as a top-tier colour, but women do which may be the reason why it is not a colour that is often used in branding except by Cadbury’s of course!

#7 Brown

Brown is similar to Green in that most people associate it with the earth although it can literally remind them of dirt! However, when most people see brown they think of wholesomeness and orderliness which makes it great for brands who are in the niche of natural beauty and food.

Some brands have adopted it as a way of showing that they have more things to care about than their brand colour brown comes across as a colour of simpleness and strength in that way.    

#8 Pink

Pink is quite a stereotypical colour that is associated with femininity and girliness, although in reality, it is again quite a diverse colour. Pale pastel pink denotes sweetness, light pink has associations with romance, and hot pink is fun and exciting. 

Interestingly, blush pink is now quite often referred to as ‘Millennial Pink’ as this generation seem to favour it for graphics and interiors something to think about if this is your target market.

#9 Black

Black is often not seen as a ‘colour’ as such, but it can actually be very distinctive and memorable (see our Zool logo!) Black is a colour that denotes seriousness, boldness and power we are not to be fooled with!

Black works well when it is contrasted with other brighter colours we have paired it with white for a simple, yet bold statement but you could pair it with gold for a touch of luxury. 

#10 White

White has long been used to symbolise purity and innocence and it has a simple way about it as well. Apple has always used white as the base of its brand message. It conveys how simple their products are to use and how their product design is modern and clean. 

A word of warning though, it can be difficult to inject personality into a brand if using white, so make sure you are happy with your brand conveying simplicity and transparency.

#11 Multicolour

Let’s not forget that some brands use more than one colour in their logos — such as Google or the Olympics. What are they trying to achieve by doing this? Well, they are really trying to cover all bases and indicate the variety of what they do — diverse people, diverse offerings, and diverse countries.

Hopefully, this has inspired you to look at the colours you are using in your branding, and what your competitors are using and what your colour preferences are conveying to your customers. If you want to chat more about colours then please get in touch with the creative team here at Zool we are more than happy to help.