First of all- Happy V Day BGB’ers!
Pink and Red are the colors of the day, and tell me… what sort of images do they invoke to you? Think about that as you read, and be sure to drop your comments in the comment section below.
Do you feel all warm and love-y and well… Valentine-y?
Sometimes when you’re busy preparing a new branding strategy and writing your brand story you get caught up in all the small details that make up THE BIG PLAN.
And I don’t exactly blame you if you forget a thing or two. Crikey, busy is busy and it can be hard at times to see the forest through the trees.
And with branding, your particular trees might resemble a long list of “things to think about”. Such as:
- What particular aspect or philosophy of your business do you want to highlight?
- What kind of logo should you have?
- How much investment money can you allocate for your branding strategy?
- Which medium or combination of media do you need to use to drive your brand?
- How do you check to see if your shenanigans are actually working?
And so on and so forth.
Really there are like a million pieces (OK that may be a slight exaggeration) you have to put together in order for THE BIG PLAN to work beautifully. And if you’re a one-man op like yours truly, so-called schedules can pretty much go out the window on a regular basis.
This puts a total crimp in your brand strategy mojo by the way.
Not only that, but if you let yourself get bogged down in minutia, or focus too soon on the more complicated aspects of branding, you might end up stalling out before you really begin making some impact.
So, before you roll up your sleeves and dig into the complicated stuff that makes up your chosen branding strategy, we need to get back to basics a bit. No matter what the skill you’re trying to learn in life, starting with the basics will never steer you wrong.
Color Me Basic
That said, you might now ask yourself; what’s more basic than picking a business philosophy or deciding on a logo?
Think building blocks my friend.
When deciding on that logo, think color scheme, font size, font color, and images to be used. In short, color, color, color.
Sure you can outsource design decisions to a graphics consultant or that branding manager you hired, or to your really creative sister who happens to have a LOT of potentially useful branding ideas. Nothing wrong with that at all.
But just for kicks, how about you consider these little things yourself as well? After all there’s no one better versed on your business or the message you want to send than you. (At least I hope!)
Fonts and colors might not seem all that important when you look at them in context of the big picture, but you’d be wrong. They can actually play a very big role on the first impression you make with your right people. (AKA target market.)
Having an amazing visual to accompany your brand “personality” is a great way for you to hook your people and get them coming back for more.
Not to mention your visuals can speak a thousand languages.
They can talk sexy and exude images of hooking your finger and batting your eyelashes at your perfect customer, or they can speak geek and resemble a beacon that points people right to your nerdy little door.
Either way too flashy or too understated can end up being an epic fail. So that’s why you use colors, fonts, and images to pimp out the perfect approach for your business.
The Color Pimp
Despite the mentions of fonts, colors, images, philosophy and all that jazz, I’ll be wrapping up this post by mainly talking about how to use the color wheel to your branding advantage.
Colors are important because they can say so much about your brand image, industry and brand promise with just a glance. Colors can even mean different things to different people, depending upon their personal tastes, their socio-cultural context and how the logo is presented.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some rather standardized meanings you can usually bank on to accent your message.
Think about it.
- Facebook and Twitter are blue.
- Sony Ericsson is green and silver.
- Apple is white.
- McDonalds is yellow and red.
- Walmart is blue and white.
Just by using color to refer to your brand, you can establish good name recall and make sure that the public doesn’t forget you. Marrying your brand to the right color choice can strengthen your image and make it more appealing to your people and even trigger some psychological effects. (Like Mickey D’s using the red and yellow schtick to stimulate appetite!)
Hot or Cold?
There are two basic color categories you can choose from: warm tones and cool tones. Warm hues such as reds and yellows give off an energetic vibe (like my girl Maria at Red-Slice… I see her blog as a dose of branding know-how with a slice of yummy goodness and totally feel it’s the red and green apples that invoke it! Lol), while cooler colors are often seen as more reserved.
You can adjust the brightness of your chosen colors to make them more vibrant and striking, per your tastes and what you’re hoping to convey.
Of course, nothing is stopping you from using a combination of colors side by side, or swirling them together to create a new hue, or using patterns and designs to liven up your brand visuals.
Before going all crazy though, some basics about color psychology are handy to know so you can pick colors that best represent your image and that shout with feel-good vibes to your right people.
So before you decide on the other aesthetic components of your brand, do a little color psych investigation, using the tips below.
Color Psychology and Flim-Flammery
This color is known to send zinging sparks to your pituitary gland, which in turn speeds up both your heart and breathing rate. This scene-stealing color is aggressive as well as energetic. While this color can evoke passion, it’s not always the good kind, so be careful. Santa Claus might wear red and be uber cuddly, but most danger signs across the world are also hued in shades of red.
Warm as the sun, yellow tones are ideal for communicating light and positivity. Really bright yellows can be a good way for you to instantly attract the eye of passing pedestrians; so it could be a good idea to splash your display counters with this color fairly generously.
A classic example of the cool color family, blue evokes trustworthiness, calmness and financial stability. This color is closely associated with the sky and the sea, giving the impression of clear open spaces. It’s also the primary color of two business giants, so it must be doing something right!
Cheery and childlike, orange is a good color to use when you want to convey fun and funk in your brand. Lighter tones of this color seem to be more attractive to upscale markets. In general, the color is good for restaurants, beauty salons and health care services.
The any season color of sophistication, black is both dramatic and serious. It can work well for some really pricey products such as perfumes and jewelry. If you’re using this color, make sure that it is balanced so the design doesn’t look too heavy or morbid. Unless of course goth is your thing.
Possibly one of the most versatile colors ever invented, you can use different shades of pink to convey different things. More intense pinks are very exciting and fun, dustier pinks are rather sentimental and lighter pinks are romantic. Light, bright pinks are often a fun color for baby apparel.
So, them’s some basics.
Whichever color (or colors) you pick out for your brand, whatever fonts or images you use, and whatever your philosophy is… remember to stay true to your brand promise and send out a coherent message to your buying public.
A (mostly) unified approach can give you a greater edge against your competition and push your modest little brand straight to the top of the bidness heap.
If you totally loved this post, I’d appreciate if you’d share it with your people and help spread the message. You can “color” me happy when you do shite like that. 😉