What do your brand colours say about your business?

Colour evokes emotions in people, which means colour evokes emotions for your customers.  What is your brand saying to your customers?  What emotion is being evoked?  

Colour can have powerful meanings.  

It can also provoke powerful thoughts and emotions.  With this being the case, have you thought about the colours that are in your branding?  What does your logo say about your business?  Is your branding true to our business.  Indeed, are your branding colours in need of review as they are not reflecting your core business values.

 What does each colour mean?

There is a great world of psychology behing the meaning of colours.  This is particularly true when used for a business.  I’m not going to delve into the serious side of psychology, just some of the lighter and factual pieces about the use of colour and “meaning” of each.  My recent social media posts touching on brand colours sparked a great interest, so thank you to my followers for the inspiration to write this! 


Red it is a very strong colour in branding.  It is associated with excitement, passion, danger, energy, and action.  Red is the most intense colour in the rainbow of colours for your brand.  It is often used as the colour to “buy now”.  Some brands that you might associate with red include Coca-Cola, Kelloggs and YouTube.


The next colour of the brand rainbow is orange. It represents creativity, adventure, enthusiasm, success, and balance.  Orange can be used to add a fun element to a brand.  However, it is often also used as a subtle colour in the “call to action” buttons on websites, as it tends to draw the eye. Brands like Fanta, Penguin books and Bitly use orange to their advantage in their brand colours


Yellow is the colour that we associate with the sunshine.  It is a positive colour.  The emotions or feelings it evokes include happiness, positivity, optimism, and summer.  However, you’ll notice recently in Covid19 related signage that yellow is the colour of warning.  If there is “free shipping” you will often see this highlighted in yellow on a website.  The brands that use yellow as their dominant brand colour include McDonalds (the Golden Arches!), Hertz and Nikon.


Green is a colour strongly associated with nature and money – two very different things, you might be thinking!  Growth, fertility, health, and generosity are some of the positive associations with the colour green.  It is also the colour associated with envy.  Brands that use the colour green well include John Deere, Tropicana, Lacoste and Starbucks. 


The next colour that I associate in the colours of the rainbow is blue.  It has a strong associated with trust.  It reminds people of the sky and sea.  In addition to trust, the other associations include stability, harmony, peace and calm.  Just remember that blue can be associated as being a cold colour.  The top navigation bar on websites is often blue.  If you think of our large social media brands Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn all use the colour blue in their branding.


Purple has a strong association of royalty.  It is also associated with power, nobility, luxury, wisdom, and spirituality.  The negative side of the use of purple is that overuse of it can cause frustration and sometimes it can be connected to arrogance.  However, some brands use purple superbly, including Cadburys, Hallmark and Yahoo.


Pink is one of my favourite colours and always has been.  It is a very female colour.  Its associations are around femininity, playfulness, immaturity and unconditional love.  It is used a lot in girl’s toys.  Sometimes pink is incorporated into a logo or website to highlight key messages.  Brands that use pink well include Barbie and Victoria’s Secret.


Not a colour of the rainbow, but certainly a very strong part of colour in branding terms is black.  It is a colour used a lot in retail.  The association of black include mystery, power, elegance, and sophistication.  For these reasons, it is not surprising that it is commonly used by brands, particularly luxury brands.  Think of brands like Brown Thomas and Chanel.  But other brands that use black well include Nike and Adidas.


Many argue that white is not a colour!  However, white still plays its part in the overall brand colour picture.  White is connected to innocence, goodness, cleanliness, and humility. Sometimes white can be cold and sterile, so be careful when using it.  However, lots of “white space” on websites is seen as a positive to make it clear to see the text or images.  Black font on white background is easiest for the eye to read.  Brands that use white include the White Company and Asos. 


 Again, you might think grey is a bit dull to include in the brand colour spectrum.  It represents neutrality and balance. The colour itself is a balance between the colours black and white.  Be mindful that it can have some negative meaning and remind people of depression and loss.  On websites and in marketing grey is used as the font colour, headers and graphics.  Brands that use grey include Sony, Mercedes and Apple.

In conclusion

Remember that you can have a mixture of colours representing your brand. Colour is such an important emotion evoker.  Colour plays a large part in marketing.  Get in touch with us to talk about marketing your business.