Color is one of the most important pieces of brand marketing. Before a potential customer reads anything about your business or views any of your products, they’ll make subconscious judgments based on your color scheme. A good marketing campaign will utilize only a few thematically chosen colors. But how do you decide which colors work best?
Aligning With Your Brand
You’ll want to align your color choice with the image that you’ve already established for your brand. Does your company logo have a particular color scheme? Have you already established certain colors on your website or previous marketing campaigns? You should consider using these colors as your baseline, even if you add other colors into the mix.
Using a Classic Color Scheme
Unlike other color schemes, neutral colors never go out of style. Grays, blacks, and whites are the muted way of conveying a new marketing campaign without being audacious. The potential drawback of a neutral color scheme is that your campaign won’t really “pop.” It’s a utilitarian scheme best used for imparting important information, not catching the eye.
Pale colors, sometimes called pastels, are another muted way of showcasing your campaign. Unlike neutral colors, though, pastels have a level of vibrancy that draws the eye. If you choose to use pastels, be aware that they go through popularity cycles. Pastels may not be popular in a few years, so you shouldn’t use them on marketing campaigns you want to stand the test of time.
They are good for soft marketing campaigns that introduce new products. They’re also good for creative businesses and for announcements of important sales.
Calming colors are different from pastels. They don’t necessarily need to be muted; you can choose bold colors that are still calming. Calming colors tend to be blues, greens, and purples. Any hue that you might find in a painting of a lake or mountainscape will likely count as a calming color.
Avoid warm colors like red and yellow if you want a calming marketing campaign. Blues, greens, and purples are good for the launch of a new product line. They’re also good for reassuring long-term customers and ensuring they return. Blues in particular very rarely go out of style.
Daring colors are the bold, bright colors that draw the eye. They’re called “daring” colors because they can evoke a strong reaction in the viewer. Here is where you’ll find the bold reds and oranges, along with deep purples and emphatic yellows. You might offset these fiery colors with black for an increased impact.
The biggest risk in a daring color palette is the chance of overdoing it. Sometimes a splash of daring color here and there can draw the eye to the right part of a marketing pamphlet — but if the entire campaign is done in the same bold red, the viewer might find the information hard to parse.
Combining Color Schemes
No one says you need to stick to just one of these types of color schemes. Indeed, you might pick one or two colors and then use a wide variation of them across your marketing campaign. You’ll find that the aforementioned color styles are good in the following situations:
- Classic colors: imparting detailed information, structuring information-heavy pamphlets and emails
- Pastel colors: framing new product announcements, heading coupons and deals
- Calming colors: reaching out to old customers, establishing a sense of trust in the brand
- Daring colors: announcing incredible deals, drawing the eye to important parts of a longer email or pamphlet
Regardless of the marketing campaign you’re doing, choosing the right color scheme could mean the difference between success and failure. If you’re not sure about your choices, it doesn’t hurt to consult a graphic designer. They’re trained to understand the ways that consumers interact with differently structured media.