This is why COLORS matter
This article is the 1st out of 3 in the article series called ‘The Meaning of Colors’.
The upcoming articles are:
- The meaning of Colors [2:3]: How your choice of color can guide…or confuse your customers
- The meaning of Colors [3:3]: Color combinations – the secret steps to success (yet to be released)
Color and consistency = RECOGNITION
Colors are an essential part of branding your company and guiding your customers. Not only the choice of color, but also how you combine your colors.
Just like colors on your clothes evoke feelings, express personality and stimulate associations, so does the colors of your products and brand. This is why colors matter!
When your customers visit your website or your shop, they expect that your visual communication is coherent with the area of expertize you are in. And they decode this information instantly and often without knowing it.
If your values and the story of WHY your company makes a difference doesn’t match throughout your choice of color, your logo, your website, your service, your message, etc., then your customers just won’t believe you.
So what is the right color?
Of cause that is a question with multiple answers … luckily. Otherwise we would all brand our companies with similar colors.
First of all you have to understand the meaning of colors and why colors matter. If you choose your colors based on likes and dislikes, you may not appeal to your target group.
Take Ups for example. There is a reason why their logo is brown/gold. Brown signals stability and reliability and gold send a signal of quality and first class. Speed is not essential for their brand message. But promising to deliver your packages safe every time is.
Or take a look at many of the social media; Facebook, Skype, Twitter, Linkedin. Their logos are all blue, which symbolizes communication but also quality, stability and trustworthiness. Which makes sense.
Colors can be used to emphasize who you are or – if your get it wrong – completely work against your message. In the next part of this article series, I will show you how the wrong colors can mislead your customers.
If you want to know more about how colors affect us and see examples of known brands‘ use of logo colors, have a look at Visual Triggers’ Color Resource Guide.
Increase your brand recognition by up to 80%
It is not only what color you choose; it is also a matter of how consistently you use it in your communication with your customers.
In fact according to a 2007 study by the University of Loyola, Maryland, the consistent use of color(s), make brand recognition increase by up to 80%!
Here is an example:
What is the first company you think of, when I say RED? … probably Coca Cola, right?
Coca Cola brand themselves consistently in their red and white color scheme. And they do it in everything from logo, to bottles, to displays in retail stores, to advertisements and website…everything. And today they are one of the most known brands in the world.
So think about how consistent you are when you communicate with your customers. It really does matter!
Learn more about the meaning of red.
Color beats shape and message
Colors don’t stand alone when it comes to branding. Obviously. But if you want your customers to remember your brand, you have to take this list into consideration.
Our brains remember color best, then shape and last the message. It is simply a matter of how long it takes to decode the information.
1. Colors are directly related to associations and feelings. Among other findings psychologists have discovered that our memory is significantly better at recalling scenes – and brands – in colors than in black and white. And the reason is, that colors have a stronger appeal to our senses, which creates a better connection with the parts of our brain, which has to do with memory. Decoding a color therefore happens instantly and by instinct.
2. Shapes have to do with recognition. Do we have a reference? Something we can tag or relate the shape to? Often shapes are built on cultural codes and if you don’t know the brand, decoding the shape takes longer.
3. Message. Your logo name, your message in an ad, your headline on your website. Reading a message is more precise but it takes longer than decoding a color or a shape.
These processes happen really fast. And of cause it is the correlation between color, shape and message that creates a total perception of your brand. But if the meaning of colors, shape and message point in different directions, it confuses the customers and weakens your brand recognition.
See the meaning of colors here in our color guide.