How to choose the right colors for your brand

Whether you’ve decided to branch out from a company and start your own business, or are launching a game-changing new startup, understanding the impact of color on consumer behaviour will help your brand become a success.

In fact, research shows that up to 85% of consumers believe color is the biggest motivator to choose a particular product, while 92% acknowledge visual appearance as the most persuasive marketing factor overall. Try these five creative tips to choose a color palette that’s relevant, memorable and inspiring for your brand.

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01. Know your focus

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Brands with great color schemes didn’t come across them by accident.

Richard Branson demonstrated this direct approach when he chose Virgin’s vibrant red color, encouraging his customers to be bold and confident, mirroring his own distinct business methods. Coca-Cola shares this approach, using red to appear energetic, vibrant, and memorable.

Having a clear idea about what your brand’s goals are and how you want your target audience to feel will help you hone in on the most impressive colors to choose for your brand.

02. Think psychologically

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Have you ever noticed that many tech brands’ logos are blue? Think of Facebook, IBM, Intel and HP, who use this passive color to symbolize freedom, trust, intelligence and progress.

Understanding color psychology can help you reflect the feelings you want to evoke from your customers.

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For example, if you want someone to be excited or energetic while browsing your website, consider bold colors like red, yellow or orange. Or, for a calming effect try pastels, or nature inspired blues and greens.

03. Don’t be afraid to experiment

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When Heinz released their ‘Squirt Blastin’ green ketchup bottle, more than 10 million bottles were sold in the the first seven months, and resulted in the highest sales increase in the brand’s history – $23 million.

It’s a known truth that different colors can have very different impacts on consumers. Make sure you experiment with at least three options to ensure you find a powerful color palette that is most relevant to your brand.

04. Analyze your competition

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Researching the logos, websites and color schemes of other brands in your industry can help you decide if you want to compete, or stand out.

This guide lists the hex code palettes of several well known brands, which can be used as a reference to create your own unique combination.

05. Create a mood board

Another way to experiment with different color palettes is to create a mood board using colors extracted from images or other brand’s color schemes. This can be done by using a color picker tool, and extracting the hex code of a chosen color.

Placing multiple colors together will give you an idea about the mood or emotions that your brand will evoke.

Many designers recommend using the 60-30-10 rule, which suggests you choose a palette of three colors using the ratio of 60%, 30% and 10% for distribution.

Building a new brand image is an exciting time. Whether you’re a freelancer, an entrepreneur, or a new start up – we’d love to hear about how you chose your awesome #brandcolors! Post below to share the color love. 

Anna heads up several of Canva's content marketing projects, including her favourite: Design School. She's passionate about the way content can be used to create a meaningful synergy between businesses and their audiences. Say hello on Twitter @AnnaIsabella92.