Throughout your journey to becoming an entrepreneur, you will inevitably come across the challenge of choosing a few colors to represent your new brand.
These colors have a heavy load to carry: they need to represent your business, attract your dream clients, help you stand out amongst your competitors, and more!
These colors need to make sense for your business, but shouldn’t be the same as the colors that others businesses use.
Additionally, these need to be colors that you love because they will be appearing in all kids of places, including (but not limited to) your logo, website design, social media pages, and marketing materials. In short, these colors have to do all the things, all the time!
No pressure, right?
Luckily, the process of choosing branding colors doesn’t need to be as complicated as it might seem.
My goal is that by the end of this blog post, you will have the knowledge and confidence to be able to choose the perfect colors for your brand!
Why are brand colors important?
Let’s start at the beginning- why are your brand’s colors so important?
Well, in addition to the reasons I mentioned above, neuroscientists have shown us that how consumers feel about a brand has more of an effect than what they think about a brand. What does this mean? If a potential client lands on your website or social media page and hates the colors and overall look, they probably won’t stay for long, even if you offer the exact product or service they need!
Whether it be for better or worse, your brand colors can impact your sales or performance regardless of what it is that you’re offering.
Brand colors also increase awareness of your brand. For example, have you ever seen a McDonald’s sign that wasn’t bright yellow and red and white, or a Pepsi can that wasn’t blue? Your colors eventually become a part of your brand, so it’s important to use those colors consistently so that your audience knows exactly what to expect from you.
How We Respond to Color
We know that specific colors can evoke specific emotions, so it’s important to utilize colors that evoke the emotions we want out business to convey. For example, if you are trying to build a creative brand, you probably wouldn’t want a muddy brown in your branding colors. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are trying to launch a new funeral home, you probably wouldn’t want bright, sunshine-y yellow in all of your marketing materials.
There are so many resources on color theory and I don’t want to overwhelm you, so I’m going to include an excerpt from my Branding 101 mini ebook! This page names basic colors and what they convey.
So how do I begin choosing colors?
Step 1: Define your Brand
While it is important to use cohesive colors in your brand, you also want to be sure to choose colors that accurately reflect how you want your ideal clients to view your brand.
Your first step is to choose a few (5-7) words that define your business. These words should closely align with what you want your brand to communicate to your ideal audience.
Here are a few adjectives to get you started!
If most of your chosen words are on the left, your brand may be modern, innovative, young, and fresh and would be well-suited with warm, bright, and vibrant colors!
If most of your chosen words are on the right, your brand is probably more traditional than modern and would be well-suited with more traditional and conservative colors such as blue or green.
If you chose words all over the board- no worries! All of your brand’s traits can work together with one thing tying it all together- YOU!
Step 2: Choose Your Base Color
Using the tools above, choose ONE base color to represent your brand. Then, look for complimentary colors (or colors that go well with the color you have chosen).
One of my favorite tools for this is the website coolors.co! I use it often to help develop color palettes for brands (including my own). Coolors lets you build palettes with colors that go well together. You can lock in specific colors to build different palettes based around that one base color.
For example, here I used the dark green (second from the right) to build these 2 palettes.
The top is full of more bright and vibrant colors, while the bottom gives off a more natural and organic vibe.
Each one communicates different things and could be used for different kinds of brands, even though they all have the same base color.
Step 3: Check Your Competitors’ Colors
So now, you’re done… right? Not quite yet! The final step before finalizing your brand colors is to check your competitors’ websites and social media pages to ensure that you are not unintentionally using the same color scheme as them.
But Becca, you wonder, wouldn’t it have been easier to do that from the beginning? You know, before I got attached to these colors?
Well, yes. It would have been easier in that you wouldn’t have needed to build an entire palette only to find out that you couldn’t use it. But here’s why I didn’t have you do it-
I don’t want you to be influenced by your competitors!
By building your branding color palette from scratch without having your competitors’ color palettes freshly in mind, we are making sure that your chosen palette is an accurate representation of your business, not theirs.
You chose these colors because they make sense for your brand, not because someone else used them.
So now what?
Once you have your colors chosen, write down their exact hex codes so that you will always be using the exact same shade. (You can see the hex codes in the example palettes above- it is a combination of letters and numbers.)
Next, it’s time to get creative! You want your brand colors to appear everywhere your brand has a presence- on your website, in the emails you send to your list, on your social media pages, in all of your marketing and advertising. If you have a brick and mortar store, consider using one of your more neutral brand colors as a wall color (or heck, if one of your colors is magenta and it makes sense for you to paint the walls magenta, GO FOR IT!), in staff uniforms, and in your storefront.
If you are still having trouble finding the exact brand colors that you want, check out my DIY Branding Kit! In it, you will find 70+ color palettes, along with logo templates, font pairings, and more!
Ready to take a big step forward with your business branding? Check out how I can help!