This will be part of a series on color, branding and reflecting it not just throughout collateral but within the total company culture, written by NCD’s Marketing Consultant Rochelle Joseph.
The Importance of Color in Branding
We’re wired to be affected by color. Studies show that colors naturally affect our biochemistry, for example: blues and greens are calming, and are generally appealing, hence, those are the colors most often used in hospitals. We also respond to color because certain meanings have been learned and ingrained — green go, yellow caution. Either way, at a deep level, we react.
While you gain further impact by adding symbols, typeface and a tag line, color conveys a message without the need for words or sound. This should be a key consideration if your company deals internationally, or if at least a portion of your market speaks another language.
The brain registers color first, followed by a logo shape or symbol, then numbers then words. A study done by the University of Loyola, Maryland states that color increases brand recognition by up to 80%! If you need any more convincing, there is plenty of research out there, like this article on colorcom.com, which bullet points several studies and stats.
So color is a key foundational component that should be carefully chosen. You want to start with a color, then decide if you will add another one or two – and which ones — to communicate the message, intention, values and vibe of your company from your logo through all your collateral, marketing and any packaging.
If you study successful logos, you can easily see their foundational and accent colors, along with their symbols.
What is the color that comes to mind when I simply say COKE? Red, right? You may already be seeing their symbol in your minds’ eye, the wave-like ribbon… and quickly the font used for Coke may materialize.
Once a brand is established, other components can be developed for new products or to keep up with the times. There are points at which Coke commercials attached varying tag lines and songs to their brand. Remember the wildly successful campaign using: “I’d like to teach the world to sing…” tagged with It’s the Real Thing? You completely connected that with Coke.
Yet they suffered no brand loss as they switched out theme songs and came up with new tag lines (Things Go Better with Coke, Makes Other Colas Seem Flat, The Pause for Refreshment) or spokespeople, since the 1920’s , when Santa liberally enjoyed the dark nectar. They went from signature glass bottles to flip top cans to screw top plastic, added cans of varying solid colors, introduced new fonts, and even changed the recipe for the drink itself! Regardless, what one thing remained unchanged in its 128 year history?
The color red!
Because colors symbolize things to us, consciously or unconsciously, and bring a reaction both psychological and visceral, Nicte Creative Design is particularly strong in the area of color use. We can help you understand what is conveyed by different colors, and will take you through the process of establishing color standards then developing them along with you as your company, products and services grow.