The importance of color in brand storytelling


By: Alycia Gordan

What's in a brand's story?

For any brand to stand out and capture a distinctive niche for itself, it needs to tell a story: about its evolution, its products, and most importantly, its values. However, a brand's story isn't restricted to the salesy narratives spun in slogans, brochures or landing pages. It should also infuse your brand's products, packaging, color palettes, and even the people you hire. All of these elements mix together to develop a brand's story.

Related: The 7 key elements of brand identity design

The significance of a good story

So, you're marketing aggressively and generating leads with a flawless sales pipeline, but you still haven't generated the excitement you anticipated. What your brand is likely missing is a little personality.

To get people excited, you need to tell a good story—people love stories that engage emotions and tug at the heart. It helps them recall positive memories whenever they see your logo, product or newsletter. An inspirational story not only distinguishes you from the rest of the pack, it also builds loyalty and helps people connect with your brand on a personal level. As a consequence, people buy from you because they want to be part of your story.

As quoted in an article on successfully pitching startup businesses:

"It doesn't matter that you think your idea is the next big thing. If your pitch is dull, unattractive, only dry details, you'll fail to catch the investor's attention. He'll lose focus. Before you know it, another one's lost."

What makes your pitch moving and relatable is the motivational story behind its evolution. A good story can help you attract new audiences and secure important investors.

The importance of color

A brand's aesthetics are an essential part of its story, heightened by the fact that the brain processes visual stimuli faster than text. The design and color combination of a brand's logo, website, product packaging, etc. form a visual representation of its identity. These elements should give insight into a brand's personality, story and values.

Facebook, Samsung and American Express have all channeled the color blue to promote reliability and responsibility to their clientele. Despite providing vastly different services and products, they share a common goal: providing a sense of security to its customers, best depicted by their use of serene color.

Interactive Effects of Color establishes the importance of appropriate coherence between a brand's coloring and its products. For example, if a leather goods manufacturer presents a brand with vibrant hues, consumers will have a hard time registering the brand, as it will look odd and out of character. On the other hand, deep browns and rich burgundies are the colors which immediately indicate that the brand is associated with leather products.

Similarly, the color green is found in the logos of John Deere, Whole Foods and the Environmental Protection Agency, since it's associated with nature and the outdoors.

Even though consumers might not always be aware of this, many marketers use color psychology to invoke different emotions and responses. New brands should embrace hues that distinguish them from their competitors, so they have a better chance of standing out and making an impact.

Color branding & customer reactions

In general, each color can be aligned with a specific trait. For example, red embodies passion while yellow embodies optimism. However, each person experiences colors differently; red may symbolize love for one person while symbolizing rage for another. Consider this when selecting your brand palette, but always opt for the colors that best embody your product or service—not just the particular sentiment associated with a certain color.

According to Impact of Color on Marketing, up to 90% of customer's instant judgment about a brand or product is based solely on its color. The study further reveals that color can have a positive or negative influence on a person's mood or feelings.

As proved by Exciting Red and Competent Blue, color also has a marked influence on consumers' perceptions about the brand and can even affect their purchasing preferences.

Tiffany & Co., the jewelry brand, epitomizes luxury and sophistication. Its iconic color—robin's egg blue—has come to symbolize their high standards of quality, making their delicate jewelry boxes distinctive and instantly recognizable.

Christian Louboutin is a world-renowned shoe designer. Apart from their sleek design, his shoes are instantly recognizable due to a famous red coating on the soles, which has become a hallmark trait of designer footwear.

Key takeaway

A brand's story encompasses various parts: its products, values, evolution, and public perception. However, one of the most essential brand elements is visual design, which can have a tremendously positive or negative impact on the viewer. The colors you choose to represent your brand can carry various connotations, and if you choose them wisely, they will set you apart from your competitors and work to your advantage.

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Alycia Gordan

Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia

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