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  • Writer's pictureTom Lewis

How To Find Your Branding Color Palette

You know your brand’s story, mission statement, and you even have a marketing plan. But you’re still stuck on your branding color palette.

We feel for you. Finding the right color palette is way harder than you’d think. After all, you can choose thousands of colors, so how do you go about picking the right ones?

Is there even such a thing as the “right” company color?

Why Your Business Needs a Branding Color Palette

Before we get into the how’s, we must discuss the why’s.

Color choices play a big part in marketing. Your color palette can help your visual storytelling be stronger, but it can also make you more memorable among consumers. In fact, according to Reboot, sticking to a signature palette can increase brand recognition by 80%.

While this doesn’t mean a consumer will automatically buy from you, it means you can distinguish yourself from the competition, which already gives you an advantage.

How To Choose a Branding Color Palette

The best advice for creating a color palette is to keep it simple. A branding color palette shouldn’t have more than 5 colors. The fewer colors you have, the easier it will be for your customers to remember your brand.

If you don’t know how to choose brand colors, an easy way to start is by following 99Designs’ formula:

1. Choose a base color

2. Choose an accent color

3. Choose a neutral color

This will give you an idea of how many you really want to use.

Option 1: Use Color Psychology

What do you think of when you picture red? What about blue?

Research shows that the different colors we see have different meanings. For example, yellow evokes happiness, but purple often symbolizes royalty. If you’re curious to know more about brand color theory, here’s a complete list of color meanings.

When you’re coming up with a color palette, think of what your brand stands for rather than your favorite colors. What are your values? What message do you want to communicate?

When you’ve answered these questions, find a color whose meaning links nicely to your brand’s story.

Option 2: Use Your Environment

Another way to think about your branding color palette is to think about your environment or the things you want your products to have.

For example, in a 2018 article, Australian advertising executive Paul Findlay argued McDonald’s logo reminds consumers of ketchup and mustard. By picturing these ingredients, people can quickly think about eating a Big Mac.

Likewise, you can think about a place that encapsulates your brand’s aesthetic. Is your product closely linked to the beach? You can use colors such as blue, white, and tan.

A cool trick a company can use is to take a picture of a place they hope to emulate.

For example, a tech company that wants to appeal to city dwellers might take a picture of a city skyline and pick colors from that picture for their brand. A retirement home in Florida might take a picture of a beach and use colors from that setting to appeal to retirees who want to move to Florida.

Option 3: Choose a Branding Color Palette Based on Competitors

You might’ve read this heading and thought, “Isn’t that cheating?

The answer is no.

The truth is that competitor research is a good approach when you’re thinking of choosing brand colors. In fact, you should always study your competition to understand how and why they stand out.

Again, you can choose to copy your competitors, so customers know what industry you’re in (for example, red and yellow are popular colors for fast food restaurants). Or you can choose completely different colors to stand out.

There are pros and cons to each. This is why hiring a creative company to strategically form your brand’s identity using color psychology might be your greatest investment yet.

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