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Choosing colours for your branding

We talked in the a previous blog about the importance of understanding your company's persona. What is your mission vision and values, how do you want to be perceived by your customers? The answers to all these questions will inform the next decision of your branding journey.

Obviously the appeal of your brand can make a difference to people’s interest but it’s more than that. Colours are powerful conveyors of emotions, certain colours are associated with certain type of product or company. This is probably the first contact a potential customer has had with your brand to form an initial response so you need this to strike the right impression. Let’s look at how people react to colours.

Colour psychology is the study of how colours affect perceptions and behaviours. It allows us to understand colour and use it to our advantage, especially when it comes to marketing and branding.

We all know red is associated with danger, Green with nature, did you know Blue is often associated with medical, white with purity?

A lot of research has gone into colour theory. You can definitely get lost down the rabbit hole finding the story behind each colour, however, here’s a quick summary to give you an idea:

Red is associated with danger, excitement, and energy. It’s also known for being the colour of love and passion.

Pink is feminine, it’s sentimental and romantic. Different shades, like hot pink, can be youthful and bold.

Orange, like it’s namesake, is fresh and full of vitality. It’s also creative, adventurous, and associated with being cost-effective.

Yellow is optimistic. It’s a colour associated with being playful and happy.

Green is natural, often used to demonstrate sustainability. But it can also align with prestige and wealth.

Blue is trustworthy and reliable. It’s calming or often associated with healthcare or banking.

Purple is royalty and majesty. It can be spiritual and mysterious.

Brown is down-to-earth and honest, often used for organic wholesome products.

White is pure. It conveys simplicity and innocence, often with a minimalistic feel.

Black is both sophisticated and elegant. It can be formal and luxurious, but also sorrowful.

Grey is the balance between black and white, its also neutral

Multicolour is united or open to anything. It’s great for capturing the spirit of diversity.

Identify your brand essence.

Look back at the branding exercises we did in the blog about your companies mission vision and values. This will help you to decide what do you want people to feel when they think about your brand?

What is the goal of your brand, is it to convey a message, make money, make people happy?

Let's look at the colour choices we made for Apple Orchard Marketing.

I know my audience are mostly start up companies or SME’s I have built buying personas for multiple different people I might deal with as business interactions.

I have a vision to see start up companies, particularly Med-Tech, Succeed. I can contribute to this in many ways ensuring a clear brand and representation of this, ensuring they have a clear marketing strategy to execute on, supporting marketing campaigns and their digital persona.

Our mission is to do this by delivering marketing services that are appropriate and cost effective for start ups. Turn your seed of an idea into a successful company.

Marketing is a creative environment, but I also know I need my customers to see us as professional offering a service that is good quality but simple to interact with.

Take a look at the colour choices described above and you can easily see how I arrived at a colour palette of orange and grey. With a focus on being creative, obvious for marketing, but also fresh, balanced and cost effective Orange as the predominant colour supported by grey as an accent colour were the obvious choices.

Know your competition.

Take a look at your competitors and how they represent themselves in colour. You will often see a common theme like blue for medical, this can lead to a quandary though, you want to stand out but there is a reason they have all chosen the same colour. Think about the possibility of incorporating different shades.

EG as already discussed, medical is often seen with blue, look at Zimmer Biomet, Hologic & Philips. Breast cancer is associated with pink. If you have a new technology in treating breast cancer consider a pallet that mixes shades of pink and blue/grey.

Most brand or companies don’t have one colour but a suite of colours and then different shares or hues (created by adding in different amount of black or white)

You don’t need to be a designer to create such a colour palette and there are lots of options to look for colours that work well together.

Once you have chosen your colours you will need the colour codes to represent these. These are typically given in a number of ways.

RGB this is the mix of Red, Green and Blue needed to make up the colour. It was typically used for designs to be viewed on a computer, like websites before HEX was introduced. This will lead to a 9 digit code for each colour.

HEX. A colour hex code is a hexadecimal way to represent a colour in RGB format by combining three values – the amounts of red, green and blue in a particular shade of colour.

These colour hex codes have been an integral part of HTML for web design, and remain a key way of representing colour formats digitally. They are a # and a 6 digit code making it slightly more condensed than RGB

CMYK this represents the make up of Cyan, Yellow, Magenta and Black. It is predominantly used for managing colour in print.

Once you have decided on your colours its easy to find the RGB, HEX or CMYK codes for them and these should be included in your brand guidelines to ensure all materials, digital or print, are developed to show consistence in representation of your brand.

We hope you have found this blog interesting and feel better equipped to start and build your brand but if you have questions or would like help either in developing your brand persona, Mission, Vision and Values or branding please contact us.

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