Why colour matters to the small business owner

If you are a small business owner, a micro-business owner, or a solopreneur, a strong, recognisable brand will help your business stand out from your competitors, create loyal customers and ultimately increase sales.

The single, most under-used marketing tool would have to be colour. This is because colour works on the unconscious level, and if, as a business owner, you are not consciously aware of the powerful role colour plays on your customers emotions, then it will remain just that – unconscious.

Shoppers place colour as a primary reason for when they buy a particular product (KISSmetrics)

This means, that although the effort you put into choosing the right logo/mark, font, strap line, content and working on your after sales service are all important, the effort is potentially wasted if on a subconscious level your business brand colours are giving a completely different message.

Customers will feel this on a subconscious level and think either you aren’t for them or that you don’t get them. This is one of the quickest ways to repel your ideal customers.

Colour in Marketing (colour psychology)

I’m sure some of you are wondering why you haven’t heard of this before. Well, colour in marketing (colour psychology) has been around as long as man has traded. It’s just that we somehow lost our conscious awareness of how colour could affect our emotions and behaviour. We are now becoming more conscious of its presence. You only have to look at how some marketers blatantly use pink to attract little girls.

Colour psychology has been around since cave man times. However as a science, it’s relatively new. There is an incredible amount of research being carried out by eminent colour psychology professors and scientists all over the world, which is of significant importance.

I often refer to colour in marketing as the “big brands best kept secret”. It’s my aim to bring colour psychology to the consciousness of the small to medium size business owner and get them to see they can use this too. All of these amazing research findings, enable me to further develop my work as a specialist and help businesses apply them successfully.

Choosing the right colours for your business brand

Every colour has positive and negative psychology qualities, so there isn’t any particular colour that is most appropriate. It’s about picking the right tones, the right combinations and the right proportions that reflect your business brand’s authentic personality and values.

When you consistently use the same branding colours way beyond your logo into everything your customers see, you are not only building brand recognition, but trust with your customers.

Every single item relates to your brand, from your business stationery, marketing materials, website and social media through to your retail premises. Major brands never miss an opportunity to reinforce brand awareness. When you walk through the doors of any major business, you will notice that they use brand colours to full effect so there is no mistake on the consumer’s part as to where they are.

Colour transformation

The right colours sell your product or service. There is no doubt about it.

Never underestimate the psychological impact of your business brand colours on your bottom line

Your distinctive brand colours will:

  • Grab attention – attracting your ideal customers
  • Work directly on your prospective customer’s feelings and emotions
  • Stand out from the crowd – differentiating your brand from your competitors and making your brand memorable
  • Build trust – using the same colour tones consistently in all your branding literature and products increases brand recognition.

By choosing the wrong colours, that is, using colours that don’t express your business brands personality and values, you risk repelling your ideal customers and prospects. Getting the colours right distinguishes your brand from one that expands instead of one that just fades away.

When to rebrand?

Consider rebranding whenever you feel your core brand colours, logo design, font, strap line, or content no longer reflect your business brand’s personality, identity and values.

Customers will get very quickly confused on a subconscious level, if your business brand colours are giving a completely different message to that on the conscious level. Confused customers will almost certainly result in a no-sale scenario.

Communicating through colour

As a business owner how much thought have you put into the tone and combination of colours that represent your business brand? Do you know what they are actually saying? Surprisingly, most business owners use colour as decoration or as an afterthought. Instead, think of colour as a subliminal language, another way to communicate and to attract your ideal clients. Used to its full effect, your branding colours will give you the competitive edge, elicit the right emotional response from your prospects, and significantly increase your sales.

Let me know how you apply colour in your business in the comments below!

Karen Haller

Karen Haller is one of the leading authorities in the field of applied colour psychology. She is an internationally renowned business colour and brand personality expert, helping clients from across the globe transform the branding image of their business. She has consulted, trained and worked on campaigns for a number of prestigious brands including 3M Post-it, Thomas Pink, Humanscale, Dulux, Orange Mobile, Logitech and The Peggy Porschen Cake Academy. Karen is regularly featured in the UK’s leading magazines, newspapers and on radio. She is a published author, consultant, tutor and speaker on the subject of colour psychology, Colour Intuition™, colour association and colour in culture. Karen Haller runs her own colour and design consultancy specialising in the science and psychology of colour and how that is applied to business branding and interiors. When it comes to the design process Karen believes it starts with understanding the authentic personality whether that is of an individual or a business, revealing the colours and design that expresses their true identity. Karen is a co-author of the leading industry book Colour design: Theories and applications, the first of its kind bringing the arts, science and applications together. Karen was commissioned to write chapter 20 - Colour in interior design, discussing the use of colour in both residential and commercial interiors. Karen speaks regularly to businesses and industry professionals on the importance of colour. She has given talks at Grand Designs LIVE on her Colour Intuition™ system and spoke at the prestigious industry Clerkenwell Design week on the importance of colour and how architects and interior designers have an incredible social responsibility with the colour choices they make. Karen is also a trustee of the Colour Group of Great Britain and on the advisory board of the charity Color Cares. Visit www.karenhaller.co.uk for your free e-book on ‘7 Mistakes Most Business Owners Make with Their Branding Colours’. You can connect with Karen by clicking on the icons below.

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