How important is your corporate colour palette?

The short answer is very important (but you knew I was going to say that)

Autumn brings a rush of excitement and a sense of renewed energy and commitment for most people.  Why? Is it our muscle memory charging us to tackle a new school year? Probably, but I’m more inclined to think it has everything to do with a change in our seasonal colour palette as the serene greens of summer yield to vibrant golds, reds, and oranges. Everything from fashion to farmers’ markets engages our desire for warmth, passion, and vitality … before we surrender to the cooler and more muted tones of winter.

Colour psychology is the study of hues as a determinant of human behaviour and is widely used in marketing and branding as it is believed to influence consumer emotions and perceptions of your brand and the goods and services you offer – albeit subconsciously.

As a part of our brand definition process, we carefully consider the audiences you’re intending to reach and recommend primary and secondary colours that speak not just to what you do and how you do it but to your history, essence and culture as a company. It’s essential that your colour palette resonates with both the demographic and socio-psychographic profiles of your customers to facilitate an instant connection with your brand.

It is not uncommon for us to observe the use of traditional industry primary colours such as professional services blue, restaurant red, fashion pink, and environmental green but while this is a safe way to go, it may not distinguish your brand from your closest competitors or serve your unique personality, customer base and approach to servicing them.

Let’s take a closer look at the positive attributes colour selections communicate about your brand:

  • Green: Harmony, balance, refreshment, universal love, rest, restoration, reassurance, environmental awareness, equilibrium.
  • Red: Physical courage, strength, warmth, energy, basic survival, ‘fight or flight’, stimulation, masculinity, excitement.
  • Yellow: Optimism, confidence, self-esteem, extraversion, emotional strength, friendliness, creativity.
  • Orange: Physical comfort, food, warmth, security, sensuality, passion, abundance, fun.
  • Brown: Seriousness, warmth, nature, earthiness, reliability, support.
  • Blue: Intelligence, communication, trust, efficiency, serenity, duty, logic, coolness, reflection, calm.
  • Purple: Spiritual awareness, containment, vision, luxury, authenticity, truth, quality.
  • Pink: Physical tranquility, nurture, warmth, femininity, love, sexuality, survival of the species.
  • Black: Sophistication, glamour, security, emotional safety, efficiency, substance.
  • Gray: Psychological neutrality.
  • White: Hygiene, sterility, clarity, purity, cleanness, simplicity, sophistication, efficiency.

Let’s put this to the test. When you think of federal-level politics in Canada, colour psychology is purposely used to communicate the beliefs and values of each party and to incite support and loyalty from voters – blue (centre-right Conservatives), red (centrist Liberals) and orange (social-democratic New Democratic Party).

We purposely selected orange-red as our primary colour and grey as our secondary colour. We’re in the business of revitalizing brands and are committed to bringing energy, excitement and passion to our clients’ marketing and communications efforts. Our secondary colour is a neutral grey as while creativity is the fun part of what we do, we are best known for being a research and strategy-driven firm. We don’t guess, we learn everything there is to know about your industry, your clients and how you stand out from the competition.

What do your corporate colours say about you?