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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Are Your Company's Colors Communicating the Wrong Message?

    Posted by Inbound Marketing Agents

    Color and Brand Personality

    A product’s color influences 60- 80% of a purchasing decision.


    Color is the first thing a potential customer will notice about your logo in an advertisement, on your website, or in your storefront. Choosing a brand color is free. Choosing the wrong color will cost you more than many other branding mistakes. Having too many colors can be distracting and won’t convey a clear message. Of the world’s top 100 brands, 95% only use one or two colors. If you're concerned, we're about to fill you in on what colors communicate:

    Do Your Brand and Color Scheme Connect?

    Consumers are savvy, and they are aware of whether or not your brand and logo color connect well. A serious, somber business should not have a cute or playful color scheme. It could be seen as inappropriate or offensive to some, maybe even shockingly comical. Either way, it won’t get you business.

    Warm or Cool?

    Colors can be divided by two categories, warm or cool. Black, orange, yellow, and red are warm. Purple, blue, green, brown, and white are cool. Warm colors are associated with energy or passion. Cool colors are associated with feeling secure and calm. Depending on your business and marketing strategy, you can get away with either one. Banks often choose blue to convey dependability and security, but they can choose to convey a bolder stance by choosing a warm color without losing credibility. Banks such as Nashville-based Avenue Bank, for example, are innovative, passionate, and friendly—making red the obvious choice for their brand.

    avenue bank logo, color for business branding

    Image Source: avenuenashville.com

    The Spectrum

    Red increases your heart rate by activating your pituitary gland and causing you to breathe more rapidly. This means red holds the power to energize. It can symbolize passion, courage, and energy. Or in the worst-case scenario, it could represent danger or aggression. Red is a bold, domineering color.

    Yellow is a sunny and optimistic color. It is bright and eye-catching, and represents creativity and energy. Bright yellows are seen by the eye before any other color, making it a great choice for product displays.

    Orange is the loud guy at the party. Orange is dramatic like red, and cheerful like yellow. It is seen as gregarious and childlike. Orange is great for innovative companies who want their customers to get excited about their product. Stagnant industries need not apply to be orange.

    Blue is the most popular choice, possibly because it puts people at ease. Associated with the sea, blue is seen as trustworthy and secure. It’s very popular with financial institutions, and it’s clear why. Blue is traditional, though a bit cold and unapproachable, and it conveys logic and trustworthiness—two qualities people want in their bank.

    Purple is a color of whimsy or sophistication, depending on how you use it. It can be seen as a symbol of royalty or luxury, and can be used effectively for luxury products such as indulgent Cadbury chocolates.

    Black is also a sophisticated, glamorous color like purple. But instead of being whimsical like purple, it is also a color that takes itself seriously, perhaps too seriously. Black is classic and timeless, but it can convey exclusivity, anywhere on the spectrum from classy to snobbish. Black works well for expensive, sophisticated products. Brands like the Gilt Group, Chanel, and Yves Saint Laurent use black effectively.

    Brown is an earthy and simple color that evokes thoughts of durability and nature. Be careful with brown, because it can also be seen as dirty or boring. Maybe nature is part of your brand, but brown is not modern enough.

    Green, like brown, is a natural color. But green is fresh and healthy, and expresses new growth. Green also symbolizes wealth and prestige. Starbucks is a great example of how to use green effectively, because the company is branding itself as young and earth friendly.

    White is a pure and clean color, best used when one is trying to convey an image of crispness and unwavering good sensibility. For that reason, white is often used in healthcare and businesses centered around children. On the other hand, white is also pretty bland and probably won’t excite anyone into going to a restaurant.

    What colors does your company use?

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    image credit: arztsamui/freedigitalphotos.net

    Topics: Inbound Marketing