Color Magic: Why Colors Matter in Business and How They Can Help You Build a Strong Brand

colors and their effect

Do you remember why you picked your business colors? Or are you just getting started and still have this decision to make? While it may be tempting to just go with your fave, you need to resist that first urge to base this very important decision on your personal likes or dislikes. Your choice of color has a huge impact on brand perception. It can make or break your image, so don’t underestimate it. Do you know what different colors tell your clients about your business? Do you know for example what blue stands for or what people subconsciously associate with yellow? Fear not, we’ve cracked the code for you.

The right color = business success?

If colors play such a huge role, does that mean picking the right ones is your ticket to business success? Although things are not that simple, there are some things that most successful companies have in common when it comes to their corporate color schemes. This has been evidenced by many studies, including an analysis of the logos used by the 100 largest companies in the Forbes ranking that revealed some amazing results.

Colors used by the world’s largest companies in their logos:

Blue 28%
Red 24%
Black 24%
Multi-colored 6%
Yellow 5%
Green 4%
Orange 4%
Grey 4%
Purple 1%

The big companies clearly favor blue, red, and black. Just a coincidence? Or is there more to it? When it comes to your business colors, you shouldn’t leave things to chance or just pick your favorite color without giving it a second thought. There’s a reason why so much research is being done on color psychology. And the results all point in the same direction. One study for example shows that colors can increase brand awareness by 80%. Think of all the companies or brands you instantly recognize by just looking at their colors. And as another study found out, up to 90% of purchasing decisions are based on certain colors alone.

The impact of colors: Shades of grey or big blue?

Before choosing your business colors, you should ask yourself a few questions:

  • Which emotions do you want to elicit?
  • Which values do you want to communicate?
  • What do you want to express?

Once you’re clear about what you want to communicate, have a look at this practical color guide to find out which colors you should focus on for your business.

infografic meaning of colours

External influences on color meaning

Colors undoubtedly have a powerful effect, but there’s no universal truth about what kind of emotions they evoke. There are three important factors that impact how colors are perceived:

  • Personal experience and the theory of colors
  • Symbolism derived from oral tradition, idiomatic expressions, etc.
  • Culture

The last point is particularly powerful. The same color can have very different meanings depending on the country you’re from. For example, while in the Western world black is commonly associated with grief, in India or China the color of mourning is white.

Show your true colors

Maybe you’re thinking: “If choosing a color is such a delicate issue, can’t I just use all of them? Or change my mind a couple of months from now?” If you want to build a successful company with a strong brand, the answer is a clear “no”. Colors are a vital part of your corporate design. They should be consistent between your logo, website, business cards and other marketing material. You’ll be able to build a strong brand identity on them only if you choose specific colors for good reasons. Your customers will ideally pick up your flyer and know just by looking at the design that it’s yours. Now it’s your turn: Do your homework and pick your colors – the smart way!

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