What color is your brand?

If you’re starting a business or are in the midst of marketing one you’ve no doubt thought about branding. The powers that be typically agonize over brand language, logos, taglines, and the like and are typically willing to work until they get the branding just right.

But when it comes to brand colors, says marketing strategist Angela Coulter, some of her clients get downright emotional at the thought of changing them because they’re so caught up with what the colors mean to them personally.

Big mistake.

Getting emotional about your color choice is what your customer ought to be doing, not you.

“When you think about your target customer,” says Coulter, “think, ‘How do I want them to feel about my company, product, and/or service?’ Then look at your logo and the colors you use – on your product label, business card, Website, brochures, presentations, handouts, and anything else that a prospective or existing client would see – and see if they match that expectation.”

Her color guidelines may begin to sound familiar if you’ve heard institutional psychologists talk about how certain wall colors may evoke more calming or aggressive responses or trigger certain feelings, and if you think about it you know there’s truth to it.

Coulter notes that there are both psychological and cultural associations people tend to make with certain colors. For instance, she notes that psychologically, people tend to see blues as cool and calming and that culturally the color “can represent peace” or “keeping bad spirits or evil away.” Red, on the other hand, makes people want to “take action/take notice,” among other things. Culturally, red can be associated with power or danger  —  but here’s where you want to be careful, especially if you’re marketing your products overseas  — in China, red evokes feelings of purity and joy.

So if you’re really attached to your brand colors, now might be a good time to ask yourself why.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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