Colour in branding isn’t just about jumping on the latest trends and making a bold statement. The shades you use to identify yourself are just as important as the big hitters like brand name, logo, tone of voice, company values and even sound in branding. A carefully chosen colour palette has the power to make your brand instantly recognisable, and the most successful brands are distinctive without even a hint of a logo. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of colour in your brand strategy.

Colour in branding isn’t just about jumping on the latest trends and making a bold statement. The shades you use to identify yourself are just as important as the big hitters like brand name, logo, tone of voice, company values and even sound in branding. A carefully chosen colour palette has the power to make your brand instantly recognisable, and the most successful brands are distinctive without even a hint of a logo. Let’s take a closer look at the importance of colour in your brand strategy.

The psychology of colours

When it comes to branding, your selection of colour will be largely based on the image you want to portray to your target audience.

We’re all familiar with some basic elements of colour psychology. From seeing red and feeling blue to being green with envy, colours have distinct associations with our daily lives and emotions. However, it’s important to remember that different cultures perceive colours in different ways.

For instance, in western cultures, red has the power to spark emotions such as excitement, love and anger. This makes it a popular choice for brands promoting thrill-seeking experiences like iFly, or romantic Valentine’s Day. In some eastern cultures, however, red has connotations of luck and happiness, subtly changing the image your brand portrays.

White is a little more polarising. For western audiences, purity, simplicity, elegance and coldness might spring to mind. This makes it a popular choice for the minimalists amongst us. However, in China, white can be associated with bad luck or death, similar to the western perception of the colour black.

The importance of colour in branding

Learn from the best

Some brands have used colour so effectively that a particular hue, even out of context and with no supporting ‘traditional’ branding, can trigger thoughts and emotions associated with that brand.

Here are a couple of great examples of colour in branding.


Starbucks Green is perhaps one of the most iconic branding colours today.

Carefully selected to be unique while being synonymous with their desired image of calmness and dependability, this particular shade of green is recognised all over the world.

The branding experts at Starbucks are careful with their overall colour palette, which shows little deviation from subtly different shades of green and coffee-coloured browns. This creates a distinctive look that ties together nicely across their in-store signage and branded product range.

The importance of colour in branding


Successful brands don’t have to be locked to one colour to be a hit. Luxury chocolatier Lindt is a wonderful example of how different products can be seamlessly blended within the same brand.

While many of their chocolates have a dominant colour to distinguish the flavours, the masters at Lindt always work in their favoured golds, whites and blacks. These colours ooze sophistication, elegance and unparalleled luxury to back up their message of excellence in chocolate. Even their product-based hues offer richness and luxury through careful colour selection and great graphic design.

Tips for using colour in your branding strategy

Here are some important things to consider when deciding on the colours for your brand strategy.

The right colours for your brand

A colour selection that’s relevant to your brand identity is key. Sometimes the most obvious choice is the right one, and subverting expectations can cause confusion.

For example, cruises are dominated by the blues of professionalism, serenity and the soothing ocean, along with the whites of purity and luxury. Equally, the boldness of oranges and purples is unlikely to feature where seriousness is desired.

It’s also worth considering if your selection today has the potential to be the next avocado green bathroom of the future. Careful colour selections with flexibility are one of the keys to a lasting brand. As we’ve previously discussed, it’s important not to overthrow your existing brand in favour of the latest trend.

Consistency is key

Brands need to be recognisable, with colour being an integral part of that recognition.

Your choice of palette needs to be applicable to everything that sits under the umbrella of your brand and should be liberally applied throughout. A brand without any colour consistency, even when considering different products, is going to cause confusion and lessen its overall impact.

What does your audience want?

Whether or not you believe that the customer is always right, you need to at least consider what they actually want.

If your customer is looking for an eco-friendly product, consider muted greens or browns. If they’re seeking professionalism, deep blues and clean whites could be the way to go.

Whatever you choose, your audience must always be at the forefront of your decision-making process. If you don’t cater to their expectations of your brand, you might find a difficult road ahead.

Need help choosing the perfect colours?

With literally millions to choose from, selecting the perfect combination of colours for your brand can be tough.

If you need help, DWH is here for you. Contact us today and we’ll help you to tackle everything from colour selection to defining your entire brand identity.