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6th March, 2017

Colour branding: What do your customers think of you?

Colour plays an important part in our perception of a brand or organisation. When you look at the bright yellow colour scheme of the Giles Publications blog, what runs through your head?

Do you perceive us as wise? Dependable? Balanced? Confident? Optimistic? Hopefully, all of the above—but there’s probably one key attribute that springs to mind on seeing a flash of yellow.

“Colour branding” aims to pick this phenomenon apart and help businesses convey the feelings and messages they wish to convey. Continuing the example above, for example, yellow has been proven to frame a brand as enthusiastic, warm, and full of fresh energy and optimism—qualities that are indeed important to us.

Below are just a few key associations with each colour. What are your customers thinking about you?

However, there is no one-size-fits-all.

Of course, colour can mean different things to different people, particularly across different regions.

For example, a business in China aiming to associate itself with luck may wish to choose a red colour scheme, given the colour’s societal significance in Asia (most prominently China). White may be a good choice for a London-based cosmetics brand, but in some countries—China, parts of Africa, Japan, Korea, and others—the colour is aligned with death, reincarnation, and mourning, making it a potentially unwise choice for an international brand.

However, it’s important to remember that colour is just one aspect of your branding. It would be foolish to ignore entire regions of the colour wheel due to possible cultural qualms alone. You may end up with no options left!

First and foremost, your branding should match your company’s ethos, objectives, and personality, challenge your competitors, have real staying power and visibility within your industry, and connect with your customers (not much to ask!). Colour can be a valuable aspect of such branding, but must seem suitable and natural and be used intelligently to make a genuine impact.

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