Psychology, colour, branding, and you

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Branding and picking a colour theme are two of the hardest things to do with a business venture. The brand is what customers can identify with you with at a glance, and the colours often evoke a feeling and help with the recognition. So, it’s quite understandable that many times the first questions a new business owners come to me as we start them on their journey to crafting a business is “What colours should I use in my brand?” It’s a stellar question that involves looking at psychology, marketing, your preferences, your target audience, and your message. In other words, it’s complicated — and this post only scratches the surface of the debate.

Psychology of preferences

The psychology of colours is convoluted at best. It’s well-assumed that colours evoke emotion in people when they see them, thus influence the way that people react to them. This is, for the most part, mostly true. I say mostly true because some people just don’t have a reaction to some colours or they are too preoccupied at the time to take notice the colour and take the time to allow it to evoke a feeling.

Another assumption is that we can predict what will evoke certain thoughts and emotions with people. However, this isn’t strictly true. Different cultures have different meanings for colours. For example, death in the western cultures is represented by black, while in Japan red is the colour that mourners traditionally wear.

There are actually a bunch of assumptions about what colours mean to us as humans, but the fact of the matter is, it does affect buys and conversion rates. We’ve all been known to debate whether to buy something or not, then pass it up because we’d rather have it in a different colour or buy it because it would go just right in the hall with the other bric-a-brac.

Branding our hearts and souls

So what does this all mean for you as a business owner? It means you should take into consideration the alignment of your goals and passions with what solution you are selling. After all, isn’t that why you became an owner in the first place? This is where the world of branding is being turned on its head. You, as an owner, are aligning your passions with your solutions. What you are branding and selling is you — along with your hopes, dreams, and vision.

This means you should choose colours that represent you. You are bringing your unique talent and vision to the world. Focus on that, hold those thoughts in your mind while you’re making your decision about branding and what colours you want to use. By being you and offering yourself up, you will draw to you the people who actually want you offer how you offer it. You might not be drawing everyone’s, but you’ll be appealing to the right people. And that’s what matters.

Your turn:

What colours represent you? How?

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