I’ve read many articles about colour and branding over my years in the creative business, with varying views on the colours you should choose for your brand. It is the main consensus that it should be your target audience and/or your sector area that should drive your choice and these are factors that should be a big part of your decision making
There is, however, mixed views on whether you have to ’like’ your brand colours or even have any connection to them. There are some views that your own personal preference should not enter the design process at all. Again, this is an important point because after all you are not necessarily the target audience you are trying to reach.
For instance, if pink is your favourite colour would you use that in a brand for a service that is aimed at 50-60 year old male? Not a choice I would recommend to my clients, but not one wouldn’t consider either, as it depends on message that you want to get across and what it is you are actually selling.
You need to think lot about what messages you consciously and sub-consciously want to give to your target audience with your colours, images and words, and not just in your logo but in every contact you have with your customer.
However, I firmly believe that there should be another small factor in your colour decision process, especially if you are a solopreneur or a SME, and is that can YOU relate to your chosen colours? Do you feel confident using those colours? How do they make YOU feel? If you are not comfortable with your choice then without you realising you can give negative vibes about your business without you even knowing it.
This is not something I have just plucked from thin air, but has come from my experiences of working with small business owners over the years.
There have been many times where my clients have not engaged fully with their initial business branding, because they don’t like or have a connection to the colours they had chosen. The reasoning behind their initial choice was many things like customers, target, audience, sector standard or just what was available at the time.
After many questions and discussion with my customers regarding their vision, mission, values and their target audience I then asked the questions about colour choices. It is important to know what they like or dislike as well as what colours and tones they would be confident with and happy to wear?
These spark a lot of discussion around colour, what it means and the many variations of their favourite colours there is around. Without you realising you will always be drawn to a certain set or range of colours that you feel a great connection with and that will make you feel confident. Your wardrobe and draws will be full of them without you realising. These are the tones and colour ranges that will give you confidence to sell your business, giving a deeper connection and excitement when promoting and marketing your services. We are naturally drawn to certain tones within colours either on the warm or cool spectrums.
So, back to our example of the business owner whose favourite colour is pink and has a target audience of 50-60 year old males. How can this colour be used within their brand? In a research study carried out by Joe Hallock (www.joehallock.com) the older males’ affinity with colour changes over the years. Although red & blue are still highly chosen colours the hues of the colours they choose become warmer for instance a more purple blue. So, with all these factors in mind the following colours could be chosen which then connects with both their target audience and the owner. As they all have warm hues and tones that lean towards purples. Even in the bluer colours there is a warmth about them. Although there are no pinks, that very fact that they are warm in nature and have tones on the warmer pink/red side of the colour wheel the connection to pink is close to help have an affinity with the owners preferred colour.
When I have completed my client’s logos and branding materials they have found a renewed energy and confidence in their marketing and promotion. However, for me they now have a deeper connection with their brand and feel proud to show it to the world which is great to see, as this will ultimately mean they will use it well and consistently throughout all they do with their business.
So, when considering the colours for your brand be bold and confident in your choices for your target audience and for yourself you will be amazed with the impact this can have on your business. At the end of the day, as a small business owner, you ARE your business so wear it with confidence and pride, literally.