How to choose the best colors for your small business brand

Are you considering launching your own business or project? This is a bold move and we know it can be a bit difficult at the beginning. But, don’t worry! We’re here to help you pursue and achieve this wonderful dream.

Now, carefully think about the next question — what made you choose a brand instead of a different one? Research shows that up to 90% of customers judge and pick a particular product only based on color. Do we need more to convince you about the huge importance color has to building a successful business?

In this post, you’ll learn how to pick a color palette for your brand, making it irresistible to consumers. This brand color guide will help you learn all the tricks to create an astonishing brand. Let’s dive in!

Brand Color Theory — What do Colors Mean?

We all know nothing is arbitrary these days. There’s a purpose behind everything we do, being the marketing and sales areas the ones that are most familiar with this. Every strategy or product needs to find a purpose and make it attractive to the consumers’ eyes.

It’s all the same when it comes to colors, and color psychology is in charge of studying and determining the meaning and symbolism of each color. As a result, we also speak about brand color theory, or how to build a brand by making it recognizable from the beginning with the help of color.

First of all, let’s understand what are the meanings of the main colors and see which one fits better the message you want to share with your audience:

  • Red: energy, excitement, strength, power, determination, passion, love, and desire. This is one of the most eye-catching colors. 
  • Yellow: is associated with energy, optimism, joy, and happiness, this is a very cheerful color that stimulates mental activity and can be easily seen during the night. Yellow is also related to honor and loyalty.
  • Blue: peace, serenity, uniqueness, and trustworthiness are the words that describe this shade. This color is normally used on brands that need to communicate and be associated with a calming effect.
  • Orange: a fresh and vibrant color, full of vitality, usually connected with enthusiastic, young, and creative brands.
  • Green: often associated with nature and the sense of sustainability. Green is also a reliable shade, sometimes connected to wealth and prestige.
  • Purple: the royal color, symbolizes luxury, ambition, and power. It can also be associated with spirituality, magic, and wisdom.
  • Black: it perfectly represents an elegant and sophisticated style. This is a highly versatile color, perfect to create powerful and clean brands.
  • White: this color provides a minimalistic and simple feel, often also connected with light and cleanliness. It has a positive connotation and can be connected to elegant and flawless brands.
Infographic showcasing the meaning of the different colors: red, yellow, blue, orange, green, purple, black, white
Infographic on the meaning of the main 8 colors

Choosing your Brand Color Scheme: Step-by-Step Guide

Picking the right brand color scheme for your business might be a difficult, tedious and long process. There’s no universal truth about this, so this is all about thinking about your business type and what message you want to send to your customers.

With the following steps, we aim to show you how to pick a color scheme for your brand. Asking the right questions and understanding the foundation of your business are the best tools to pick the perfect fit for your visual identity.

1. Define your Brand Values

We’ve seen each color has a different meaning and they have an essential role in the way clients consume information and products. We are also on the same page and know the huge impact colors can have on brands, it’s time to address the essential questions around your business.

  • What does your business do? What is your main goal — sharing information, selling products, offering services? It’s key to establish the activities or products you’re going to provide, and also to have in mind what makes you different from your competitors. Why should someone choose you over another company?
  • Who are you selling to? Not everybody is your target market, and this is the first mistake you should avoid. Define an age range; if your business is for men, women, or both; their main activities. In the end, create your Buyer Persona.
  • What is your main message? Ensure you can send a unified and consolidated message to your audience, so they don’t receive mixed communications.
  • What’s your brand’s personality? Is it a young brand? Or maybe a more sophisticated and elegant one? This is one of the most important issues to have in mind when picking the right color palette for your company. Many of the colors’ meanings are directly related to a way of being. Make sure you fit them perfectly.

2. Get Inspiration from your Competitors’ Brand Colors

Especially from those that are successful. There are a lot of little details that should be taken into consideration when it comes to a brand’s success. One of them is the color palette they are using — your competition is wise, don’t take them for granted.

Your competitors and you have a lot of things in common, so it’s a great idea to take note of what they are using to send a proper message and reach their audience. Make sure not to copy them, just find some inspiration and create your own unique color palette.

3. Pick your Primary and Secondary Colors

Now that you have done your market research, know what message you want to send to your audience, and already know the meaning of the main colors, it’s time to make a choice. To achieve a nice brand, selecting a primary and secondary tone is important, and they must be complementary. This way, people will instantly love what they are seeing.

When choosing your colors, you’re going to see some words that are used by designers in the digital world. Let us explain to you a bit better how this works:

  • RGB (Red, Green, Blue) – This is a code made to design anything that is going to be displayed on a computer, a TV, or any kind of screen. The colors are illuminated, making them brighter, which is a great format for digital designs.
  • HEX (Hexadecimal) – This is also the perfect choice for digital assets, primarily when it comes to designing websites.
  • CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black) – This code is the king in terms of printed media. Have this in mind when you design any printed format, such as flyers, business cards, posters, or brochures. Using this color code, you’ll get the perfect result, even if you’re printing them in a glossy or matt style.

Knowing what code to use will be very useful for you to get perfect and professional final results. So make sure you know what your colors are in each of them. There are plenty of online tools to do so, such as this color wheel.

At Wepik, we’ve already thought about this and we offer you a HEX and RGB way to work with your colors in each template. Just to make design a little easier for you!

4. Create your Brand Color Palette Guideline

We know you’re probably not thinking about having a marketing team right now. But, if your business keeps growing, you’re going to hire them. So make sure you leave some guidelines for your future employees and make their job easier. A good document should contain:

5. Test your New Branded Color Palette

Once you have the final, it’s time to make some tests and see how it looks in different formats. Feel free to go to the Brand Kit section on Wepik, and upload your color palette and fonts. Now you can go to any template and start experimenting with your brand tones, just to make sure they work together on screen, on printed materials, and on any kind of shareable. Trust us, this is the fun part!

Translator business card template with a simple design and a purple and blue color palette

Get Translator Business Card Template

Color Psychology in Branding: How does it Impact Consumers?

The color or range of colors a brand has impacted directly the way a consumer perceives your company. As seen above, colors have different meanings and psychological effects that vary across different cultures or ages. It’s important to make this your priority and make sure to hit the nail on the head with this choice.

Why is Color Important in Branding?

Having the correct color palette can help your brand in many different aspects and increase your sales. Here are the main benefits:

  • Unified brand: on your website, social media, printed marketing… Your impact on consumers is going to be consolidated by the same image and first visual impact.
  • Unique brand: even though you’re going to have similar colors to some of the competitors, your shades are exclusive and tailored for you.
  • Colors are a universal language: so it’s easy to expand your brand all over the world and send the right message to your audience.
  • Colors engage: and make people feel part of a community. When thinking of a rainbow, what brand pops into your mind?
Collection of different famous brands that had a huge color impact on their growth
Some of the most famous color palettes on brands

Where your Brand Colors Should be Displayed?

We need to address this question depending on what our business is. An online consultant won’t probably have the same needs as a realtor or as a spa owner. A great way to detect what your needs are is to list what your business needs on a daily basis, together with your marketing and promotional items.

Online formats:

Printable formats:

Printable and online formats:

Find all of them on Wepik!

Collection of templates showing off the importance of having a common color palette for a brand
Example of a color palette applied to a brand’s marketing

Wrapping Up!

The world of colors and branding is a fascinating one, and we know how overwhelming this can get. So we truly hope this guide helps you find and make the right decisions for your business. Let’s recap what you need to know.

  1. Dive into brand color theory and the meaning behind
  2. Outline your business vision, mission, and message
  3. Get inspiration from others — there’s no shame in that!
  4. Create a color palette with primary and secondary colors
  5. Test your color palette and make sure it works on different formats and platforms
  6. Define your brand guidelines

And, of course, enjoy the process! Rome was not built in a day, so remember it takes time to create something great. Your success depends on persistence and exploration. Good luck!