When you think of Starbucks, you see green. Your eyes are already adjusting, preparing for those BOLD red letters before your Netflix screen even appears. Victoria Secret has you feeling all PINKALICIOUS and beautiful inside. You don't even have to spin the red, white and blue can in the back of the fridge to know that you're about to drink a Pepsi.
Your brand's palette is about so much more than your "flavor of the season" or your daughter's favorite crayon color. They need to be a combination of what speaks to you AND what will attract your target audience. The colors you choose, and how to combine them, can inspire a powerful and effective response from your potential clients OR it can be the reason they go with "the other guy." So, where is an entrepreneur to begin?
These 5 Simple Steps will help you select the perfect color palette for your brand!
01. IDENTIFY YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
If you're working on branding, chances are you've already done quite a bit of research on the industry you're about to dive into. Now, it's time to go back and really take a look at who your target audience is. Understanding who you want to draw in with your visuals is the first step in selecting the perfect colors to showcase your brand. Are you trying to attract men, women or both? How old are they? Are you after a more professional crowd or an audience that is more fun-loving and family friendly?
02. CREATE YOUR BRAND PERSONA
Once you have determined the demographics of your future clientele base, it's time to begin thinking about how you would describe the group's persona. Begin working through adjectives you would use to describe your audience. For example, a jewelry designer may describe her audience as feminine, lavish and sentimental while a car detailer describes his audience as orderly, fashionable and charismatic.
PRO TIP: Selecting personalities for your brand is not just a great way to choose a color palette, but will also prepare you for curating content.
03. MATCH YOUR BRAND PERSONA TO THE APPROPRIATE COLOR
Every graphic designer learns early on that every color can inspire some type of an emotional response in humans. It's also true that different types of people are attracted to different colors for different reasons. So, now that you have decided on a persona for your brand it becomes simple to navigate the colors below and settle on the perfect, primary color.
04. EXPLORE DIFFERENT SHADES OF YOUR PRIMARY COLOR AND CHOOSE THE WINNER
Selecting a primary color isn't enough. The tone of that color can change everything. The color red can be manipulated into red hot, fire engine shades or it can become a deep and luxurious maroon. If you have trouble, go back to your target audience and think about what they would feel most attracted to. Whatever color you choose, don't forget to write down the color code! Once you reveal your brand colors, you will want to make sure you always use the same shade.
05. SELECT COMPLIMENTARY COLORS TO CREATE THE PERFECT COLOR PALETTE FOR YOUR BRAND
Once you have selected the perfect color, it's time to complete your palette with additional, complimentary colors. Share your new palette with friends and family and listen to their feedback. Try it out on a few digital marketing materials to see how it looks. Once you release your brand's official color palette, changing it is not optimal. Your brand's identity will now be associated with these colors, so be sure you are 100% happy!