The Importance of Color in Branding

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, 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.

About the Author

As Marketing Consultant, Rochelle brings the element of written media to NCD’s branding process, creating the link between the design that connects emotionally with your clients and the message that embodies the intention. Her extensive background in entertainment and media, working with all the major television, cable and radio stations across the country for over 20 years, fuels her ability to craft messages that appeal to each unique market.

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