Emerging data suggests that consumers shop and spend based on emotions far more than logic. Only after a purchase is made do we then logically, methodically justify our spending. It’s the reason you impulsively buy a pack of gum at the checkout counter and are drawn to books with gorgeous cover design. Our emotions are informed by sensory information around us, including things we can see, hear, touch, and smell. Since so much of today’s consumer base is online in the visual space, up to 90% of a sale can be credited to color theory (according to the study Impact of Color on Marketing).
Each color sends a different individualized association to your brain. Blues and cool tones are more calming, while yellows and warm tones are energizing. But there’s plenty more nuance to it as well, which is why it’s important to have a strategic approach to your color choices.
At Candor Wells, we use muted earth tones and neutrals for a grounded and comfortable feel that can easily mesh with our client’s work without clashing or stealing the spotlight. Try making a list of your favorite brands or industries, and then audit the most frequent color schemes that come up.
It’s important to also mention, color theory isn’t an exact science. There is a lot of leeway when choosing your palette, and everyone has different associations with different colors. Try looking at adjacent color themes to your top choice. Experiment with more or less saturation, more or less weight (or darkness/pastel level), more or less monochromatic.
You can reverse engineer the process by listing your brand values and key branding identity pieces, and then think about which colors remind you of those aspects. Here’s some simple examples, do any brands or industries come to mind?
Luxurious, soft, feminine, romantic branding: creams, pastels, pinks, gold
Sharp, straightforward, minimalist, cutting-edge branding: grayscale, low-saturation blues, white space
Reliable, confident, community-focused branding: browns and tans, soft green, monochromatic
Fun, bold, unique, exciting branding: bright colors, oranges, black and white, color blocking
Because we associate certain colors with certain emotions and attributes, we’re likely to seek out those colors when we want more of a given attribute in our lives. This applies even if it’s subconscious, and even if we’re shopping around within a particular industry already (maybe even more so). When shopping for a photographer, for instance, a customer looking to experience luxury and softness is going to pick a different photographer than a customer looking for fun and excitement.
Build your colors around the feelings you want your customers to have when they receive your offering.
As consumers, we spend money to fill a particular desire or need. How and where a person spends within a certain niche can tell us a lot about that customer. We buy from brands and people that make us feel valued, inspired, or supported.
Skip the overthinking and go with your gut. If you need more help, lean on your past clients and friends for reassurance on what colors feel aligned to your brand. An extra set of eyes will help ensure you stand out and don’t stick out.
Want a professional eye to take all the guesswork out of the equation? Check out our different Branding and Design packages. We love brand identity and playing with color theory in fresh and engaging ways.
An old soul, Rylin’s design sense blends passion with purpose for memorable visuals that mirror who you are.
Inspired by California’s Central Coast, centuries of architecture, and evolving interior design—Rylin offers classic style with an edge.
Experienced across a variety of design offerings, she serves both independent and corporate clients with a heart for helping others pursue their dreams.