How your colour scheme builds brand recognition and trust
By Dean Williams (Print-Print.co.uk)
You recognise a supermarket from a distance by the orange of Sainsbury’s, the green of Asda, the yellow of Morrisons and the red and blue of Tesco, and the signage inside the shops continues those brand colours throughout the store. If they were to change the the colour of their logos then you would immediately know something was wrong.
Keeping the interior colour consistent in-store not only increases brand recognition and trust, it subconsciously reinforces brand awareness and builds customer loyalty, because the shopper knows their experience will be consistent across all locations.
Yet companies don’t need to always follow this example. There are examples where altering the whole colour branding of your company can still work, no more so than McDonalds. A few years ago you couldn’t imagine walking into a McDonalds and seeing blue or green seats? You might not consciously realise why, but the chances are you would feel that something was wrong, that you were in the wrong place. You might even have to go back outside to check you really were under the golden arches. But they have recently done away with the ghastly red and yellow theme in favour of a much more organic, healthy green approach, if you closed your eyes through the door though you maybe forgiven for thinking you were somewhere else, yet by retaining the golden arches within the logo the brand was strong enough to change the whole overall look of its outlets yet still remain McDonalds.
5 steps to creating your own colour brand
1. Select core brand colours that convey the image you want to portray. Learn a little about the psychology of colour. Red, for example is a high energy, action oriented colour, while blue is more conservative and safe. Also consider gender (men tend to prefer blue and orange while women prefer red and yellow), age (younger children go for primary colours, teenagers for strong secondary and tertiary colours, adults for more subdued colours, and older people for fresh colours with little grey in them), geographical and cultural influences to create a colour scheme that appeals to your target market.
2. Consider which areas of your workspace are customer-facing, from store front or reception to conference rooms and parking spaces. Although you might bring corporate colours into back office and staff areas to create a sense of belonging and pride, the décor there should be focused on creating a supporting and conductive workspace.
3. Design your interior with the customer experience in mind. Consider the mood you want to create, the emotions you want to stimulate, and the path your visitors take through your space.
4. Consider the placement of your brand colours within this space. You might want to use stronger or brighter colours to help customers navigate the space with way finding signs.
5. Concentrate on getting the right colour balance. Avoid overuse of strong colours which can be over-stimulating or depressing in large blocks. Instead use lighter shades to have a more calming effect, or use the strong colour as an accent colour.
Even if you run a small business from home or from shared office space, you can use colours to brand your workspace to match your website. A discreet sign on or above your door, soffits facias and drainpipes painted in your brand colours can help visitors identify your business premises. Carry this into your office with plant pots, photo frames, file folders and desk furniture in your colour scheme and you can create a cohesive image even in the smallest space. Subconsciously, your visitors will recognise your commitment to your brand and treat you more professionally. Of course, you still have to live up to the image.
Dean Williams is a social and business commentator working for Print-Print Limited, promoting business and building your brand through quality printing. If you’re passionate about small business marketing then please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org