Colour Psychology: What Your Brand Colour Says About Your Organisation

Why the use of colour is important for brands and how they can use it to reinforce their own identity and stand out in the market.

assorted-color hot air balloons during daytime
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Colours emote different feelings, and so even though we’re all different, the choice of colours that are used from a billboard advertisement to the packaging of food, all has an influence on your decision to engage with the product or not. 

Consumers can often make a subconscious judgement when it comes to a person, the environment they’re in or a product within 90 seconds of the initial viewing. 

In research that has been compiled by Colorcom, that is something that is further influenced when it comes to colour itself. Being able to control the emotion your consumer feels is something that any brand would want to achieve, especially if it dictates whether they will end up purchasing the product/service or not.

When you think of different colours, you’ll likely have a different feeling to each one, with some even having a nostalgic or significant feeling or moment attached to it. 

So when it comes to brand and designing your logo to the advertising of your brand, the colours you use are important to consider. 

Commonly, the colour black has a lack of light, it’s dark and is often symbolic of being malicious or evil. Now, if you were to put a white text and logo design on a black background, you’re subconsciously referring light coming out from the dark. 

White is virginal, good, and pure, so if you’re trying to sell yourself as a brand, these are two colours that often good together. Nike is an obvious example of how they’ve used the black and white together. There’s tends to vary, but they’ve got a variation of the black background with the white tick in front of it.

Colour psychology matters in branding because we often lead with our purchases in life with emotion. We’re emotionally drawn to things we identify with, whether it’s a physical connection or an emotional one. 

Red as an example, is one that’s seen as probably the most well-liked colour in the whole spectrum. It’s typically associated with luck and prosperity in some colours but typically you think of love and passion when it comes to this colour. 

McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, and KFC are all popular fast-food chains, and what do they have in common? Their branding and logo feature red backgrounds.

What Do The Colours Mean?

Closeup of hands holding color swatch

So there are examples above that have been mentioned when it comes to the colours themselves and the psychology behind them. But what about all the other colours? 

Personal colour preference is something that, as a brand, is worth considering because not everyone is going to have the same positive or negative response to one colour. 

It’s therefore important to consider which colours you should be gravitating towards and which ones you might want to stay away from. 

These decisions you make when it comes to colour are going to likely affect how well your brand performs in front of consumers, whether it’s online or offline. 

Here is a handy breakdown that’s worth knowing when it comes down to each individual one and what it typically portrays to a consumer. Red, Black, and White have already been mentioned above, so we’ll skip them.


Starbucks disposable cup

There’s a lot of different variations of the colour green that is typical of many UK-known brands. A few worth mentioning is the earthy greens used for many McDonalds nowadays to green shades used for Nuffield Health and Starbucks. 

The emotional perception that you would typically feel when you see green is that it’s healthy, and you’ll probably think of nature. 

This is a clever colour to use if you’re brand isn’t typically healthy, like a fast-food chain, but you want to use an inviting colour that’s going to draw people in.


Cadbury purple branding

Purple is a very regal, luxurious colour and it’s often used when it comes to branding for the royals here in the UK. 

It’s a colour that isn’t always used but a lot of companies popping up are shifting their attention to purple. 

Traditionally, purple was seen as something that only the wealthy can afford, but in today’s world, it translates moreso into top-quality and high-quality services. 

A few brands that use the colour purple are Cadbury’s, Hallmark, and Premier Inn. With this colour, it’s tricking the consumer and making them associate that luxury within a brand, even if that brand might not be costly to afford as a consumer.


Oral B

You’ll likely see a lot of blue used with companies that are related to technology or motors. It’s a colour that you’ll often associate with intelligence and stability. 

Like green, there’s lighter shades of this colour, and these will often be used with medical companies or those brands that provide a service or product that looks after the body, like your oral health, for example.

Both Oral-B, Colgate, and Sensodyne toothpaste feature the colour blue in their packaging.


opened MacBook on table

Grey/Silver colours are typically found to be the most neutral of colours on the spectrum, and when it comes to seeing it as a consumer, you might not feel much, which does make it a great colour to use when you’re trying to reach a mass market of consumers that may all be different in age and demographic.

Apple is a perfect example of this, with most of their products being predominantly grey, and it’s a colour that’s timeless.

The Link Between Colour & Industries

green Land Rover Range Rover SUV passing on dirt road between green trees

When it comes to colours, there are certain colours that are used mainly in specific industries due to the emotional connection they have with consumers themselves. Depending on the type of industry you’re in, might influence which colours you’ll aim to use when it comes to the colour palette. 

There’s a great infographic created by Towergate Insurance which you can find here, which gives you a better understanding of which industries favour or lean towards certain colours. 

For example, the food industry will opt for red as their main colour choice, whilst the Auto industry will opt for a mixture of black and grey. Using the right colour is obviously important in making sure it appeals to who you’re trying to sell too.

How To Choose The Right Colour For Your Business Brand Identity

three silver paint brushes on white textile

So now that you understand a bit more about colour psychology and how it could impact your brand’s success, how do you go about choosing the right colour for your business brand identity? 

Well, firstly, you want to consider the industry your business lands in. Once you know that, you can take a look at resources like the infographic above and how each colour emotes a different response for the consumer. 

When you’ve gone through all the colours, it’s then a case of finding the right balance of each one so that they complement each other. 

There are businesses out there that just use the one colour for their brand logo, but they might use a mixture of colours when it comes to their packaging or the actual products that they sell.

A primary colour, therefore, is worth deciding on before you move forward. It’s then worth considering a secondary colour that’s going to work well with your primary colour. 

You want to try and test these brand colours out to your core focus groups to figure out whether it works or not. It might be a case of trialing different ones and seeing which ones land well and which ones don’t. 

As branding for a business is so important nowadays, it’s essential that you’re getting it right from the beginning. 

As much as the internet has brought a new wave of opportunities for everyone who might be starting up a business, the competition to stand out becomes more fierce. 

As part of your branding, you want to hone in on your colour palette as a business and ensure that you’ve picked the right ones for your brand. It’s then a case of making sure that stays consistent across all your platforms in the hopes that it can become a more recognised brand going forward.


Rebranding Your Business?

Have you thought about colours before when it comes to branding? 

The psychology of colour is a fascinating one, and it’s something that’s worth focusing on as a business because it could be the catalyst that helps gain your business more success in the future. 

Find your colour partnerships and apply it to your branding from the beginning.

Consider a brand refresh if your current colours no longer resonate with your target audience or reflect your brand’s evolution.

If you do need a hand with anything we’ve touched on, we’d love to help.

After building hundreds we know what works, and more importantly, what doesn’t.

Contact us today for a no obligation strategy call. Even if we both decide it isn’t a good fit, we guarantee you will get great value from the session.

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