The strongest, most enduring brands are the ones that form emotional bonds with their audience. While those connections don’t have to be more than a fraction of a second in duration, their impact is ongoing if a brand adequately fosters them. Like a fond childhood memory or the scent of a customer’s favorite flower, color is another powerful tool for a company’s branding and marketing arsenal.
Given our experience in the space, Trackmind wants to lend our insights on the power of color theory to help firms maximize the impact of their messaging. When margins are slim and competition fierce, a concept as straightforward as color can be a significant boost to a company’s branding and marketing efforts, providing a needed competitive edge that establishes brand identity and breeds loyalty.
Color Theory and a Brand
Every interaction a customer has with a brand is an opportunity for that company to either build or better its relationship with the audience. Marketers play a pivotal role in that dynamic, creating designs and choosing colors that evoke particular emotions that, if persuasive and consistent, can parlay those small opportunities into greater brand loyalty and revenue streams.
Recent research has shown that up to 90% of a customer’s perception towards a company’s products or services is based on how well brand color syncs with a company’s personality. Put another way, either through preconceived notions or the product of a consistent branding effort, customers associate colors with a company. When those colors don’t mesh well with those perceptions, a brand is failing to leverage color theory to its fullest extent.
Look at the colors that you use in your branding and marketing as a window into your company’s ideal brand personality, keeping in mind that there are five basic brand personality types – sincerity, excitement, competence, sophistication, and ruggedness. While some brands display a mix of those different types, most are strongly associated with just one. From there, branding and marketing campaigns can use complementary design elements to bolster that centralized personality type.
Once a marketing team understands which personality type the customer base links to the brand, it can then utilize color theory to match particular colors with particular personality types to strengthen the bonds formed between the brand and customer base. While every member of your target audience, even in a B2B environment, is unique with varying affinities and needs, the psychology behind color theory reveals a generally more universal impact that brands too often minimize.
For example, although the color yellow might invoke an entirely different sensation in one customer than in another, the emotive responses from specific colors tend to be uniform across an audience, although cultural or geographical differences can skew interpretation in some instances. However, despite those differences, science has linked specific emotions and traits with each of the primary and most popular secondary colors in the spectrum that apply to the majority of any target audience.
Red – Fiery and energetic, visceral and distinctive, red is bold and almost primal in its ability to invoke both appetite and highly instinctual responses.
Orange – Fun and breezy, amiable and open, orange is emblematic of vitality and a communal spirit, frequently used to appeal to more upscale segments of a market.
Yellow – Optimism and hope with an overarching sense of positivity and warmth, yellow tends to be the first color that catches an audience’s attention.
Green – Seen as harmonious and healthy with a sense of balance and vitality, a viewer will often associate darker shades of green with prestige.
Blue – The color blue evokes dependability and security, strength and trustworthiness that explains its popularity in everything from business attire to an office’s color palette.
Purple – This color represents creativity and imaginative thought, also evoking both wisdom and royalty from its historical use.
White – Long associated with simplicity and a combination of cleanliness and purity, white is minimalistic and speaks volumes through its perceived absence of color.
Black – The color most commonly associated with power and prestige, black is serious and bold, useful when something is classic and never goes out of style.
Pink – Youthful, hopeful, and vivid, pink is light-hearted and happy, commonly used to represent a tranquil but exciting ideal.
Color theory is at its most potent when marketers use colors in logos and overall design that successfully blend with a brand’s personality. Correctly matching that personality with corresponding colors is the cornerstone to color theory and the basis for building those ever-important emotional responses from either a current or potential customer.
The Digital Asterisk to Color Theory
Naturally, while it would be nice if merely matching personality with the appropriate color were the entirety to unlocking the full potential of color theory, there are other moving parts involved, especially in the digital environment. Colors on paper don’t always translate well to the digital form, sometimes losing part of their essence that makes them so unique and definable in the first place.
Metallic colors are a good example of this notion, where gold and silver might shine on print, but the translation to digital can lose much of that luster. The same can be said for pastels, appearing somewhat washed out on a website and, therefore, sacrificing some of their impact. Keep an open mind when integrating color theory into your site or app design, remembering that what might have been your ideal palette in theory might not translate well to reality.Ultimately, it’s the sensory experience you create for your audience that is the most important asset for your branding and marketing. To your customer, perception is reality, and your ability to convey thought and emotion through color, copy, and design is critical to successfully communicating and connecting with your audience. Of course, Trackmind is here to provide our expertise to your efforts and help make your branding and marketing as impactful as possible.