Defining Brand Identity: How the Right Colors Impact Branding

By Philip BerardoFeb 06, 2020

how color impacts branding

how color impacts branding

image credit: REDPIXEL.PL/

A brand’s identity is defined through a number of factors, such as its messaging or a powerful mission statement. It may not seem like a big deal on a surface level, but color can also play a vital role in determining how someone will react to a company’s branding. There’s something almost unnerving about altering the color of a brand’s logo beyond recognition. Just imagine the uproar if Coca Cola decided to rebrand their cans in bright green instead of the classic red!

Here are a few ways that color impacts branding and how your company can help define a meaningful part of its brand identity.

Color helps define the emotion behind a brand

Plenty of research has gone into color psychology; it’s the reason why Pantone’s color of the year has such an impact on designers and marketers. However, this doesn’t mean you should sacrifice your current brand colors in favor of a trending color. If the excitement and passion of Red don’t fit with your company’s messaging personality, it shouldn’t be shoehorned into your brand identity. Your brand may resonate more with its current color, such as a tranquil light blue.

From a recent Business 2 Community article, Here is a quick breakdown of the emotional resonance that colors often have on individuals:

  • Red: emits a passionate feeling with plenty of energy.
  • Orange: for those looking for something fun and adventurous.
  • Yellow: warm and pleasant.
  • Blue: evokes tranquility along with stability.
  • Purple: a color that emits creativity. It’s also often associated with royalty.
  • Green: restful and calm; associated with well-being.

Ultimately, it comes down to the emotion your company wants its brand to evoke. You may decide your brand identity is closer to a wise thought leader than a friendly next-door neighbor—and there is nothing wrong with either choice!

Color is a strong differentiator for your brand identity

Color also helps your company differentiate its brand identity from competitors. For example, if you’re in the digital marketing industry, there are hundreds of competing companies out there who may have similar solutions—and even messaging—as your company. It no doubt becomes confusing when several brands are using the same color palette in their logo and other branding materials. Luckily, there are ways to develop a brand identity that differs from your competition.

As an example, try to attribute the color selection your branding will use with the same philosophy as a search engine. When a user makes a search for “digital marketing strategy,” the number of results that appear are guaranteed to be overwhelming. The search term is too broad, with not enough intention behind it. Compare this to a search for “digital marketing strategies for a startup tech company.” This search is far more specific and clearly expresses the user’s intent.

Now compare this to your brand colors. A simple “blue” has less meaning—and differentiation—than “Aqua blue” or “Cobalt blue” for instance. In other words, your company should dig deeper into its brand identity and determine a specific color and shade that truly brings out its personality and helps it stand out from competitors.

there is no such thing as the “best color” for branding

Choosing the right color for your company’s branding isn’t a simple Google search for “best colors for a brand.” According to Marketing Influencer Neil Patel, testing a number of color options yourself is the ideal way to determine which color will best fit your brand. When it comes to choosing the right branding color—specifically for your company or product logo—you’ll want to experiment with multiple designs to start.

Color provides brands with the right emotional energy and individuality to stand out among a sea of competitors—and gives breadth to a brand’s identity. For more insights into the world of branding, check out thinkdm2’s eBook, “Branding Truth or Dare,” to assess the strength of your company’s brand. Thinkdm2 is a digital marketing and branding agency from New Jersey that specializes in the professional services and technology industries.

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