Did you ever think about why social media networks such as Facebook, Linkedin or Twitter use blue color? Or why Starbucks and lately even McDonald’s in Europe choose green color? There’s a lot more to colors than meets the eye. Colors have a powerful psychological impact as they evoke certain emotions and feelings that can transfer to your brand. That’s why it’s vital to choose color that will not just set you apart but most importantly work within your industry and represent your overall brand identity and promise. Here are few examples of different industries and their preferred brand colors:
Think Apple, IBM, Samsung, Intel or HP. These and many other technology brands use blue and silver as their dominant colors. Blue, usually associated with sky and sea, is considered to be the safest color choice around the world. It symbolizes freedom, trust, intelligence and progress so it matches perfectly with prestige and wealth of silver color.
Think Audi, Mitsubishi, Toyota or Ferrari and you will see red color. This color activates your pituitary gland, increases your heart rate and causes rapid breathing. It’s energetic, passionate, strong and attention grabbing as it stops a viewer and prompts a moment of careful thought. On the other hand you have Aston Martin, Bentley or Chrysler that, although in the same industry, choose black color as it symbolizes power, luxury, sharpness and premium product quality.
Think about American Airlines, Air France, Austrian or United and you will again witness the dominance of red and black colors. They stimulate your brain and create feeling of excitement, action, energy and power.
This industry is traditionally related to the green color that stands for health, serenity, nature and renewal (think Oxfam International). Very often, however, we come across red color as it also symbolizes danger, attentiveness and determination (think American Red Cross).
Blue, as primary color of finance industry (Visa, PayPal, American Express), communicates the idea that these companies are trustworthy, fiscally responsible and secure. Combined with gray color it reaffirms feeling of neutrality and lack of sentiment (business focused companies).
McDonalds, KFC, Coca-Cola are just some brands that attract attention with powerful usage of red and yellow colors that stand for energy and optimism. Lately, due to growing importance of organic food, green color became one way for brands to show their eco-friendly nature (think Starbucks or Wholefoods).
Bright colors such as orange, light green or pink communicate enthusiasm, excitement and cheerfulness and are perfect solution for entertainment industry (think Animal Planet, Hulu, Nickelodeon). News channels, on the other hand, rely of blues and blacks that stand for knowledge, power and trust (think Fox, abc, BBC).
As a symbol of vanity, elegance and romance pink or light violet are usually seen in companies that are trying to be stylish or appeal to women. More high-end beauty companies, however, rather choose black or even gold colors that are bold, powerful, classic, create drama and connote sophistication.
Colors make us think as much as they make us feel. They are related to different cultural, social and emotional experiences so when choosing your color you need to think what your color palette means for you audience. In case you are running an international campaign you need to consider the meaning of color in targeted country. Red in America is a very powerful color, but considered a lucky color in China. White in India symbolizes death, but it’s considered a clean and pure color in the U.S.
Let us know, what do you think about the importance of brand colors? What’s the color of your brand? Does it align with your industry? We would like to hear from you!