Choosing the right colours & branding for your website might seem like a daunting task – and it certainly can be. There’s so much information out there and often the information can be hypocritical. We’re here to tell you why it can be hard to choose your colours – but also why it doesn’t have to be!
Deciding what’s important to your business
Before you dive into finding out which colour suits your brands personality, it’s a good idea to take a step back and think about why you’re choosing what you’re choosing. What’s your goal with your brand? This is a step that is often overlooked – and can lead to your brand falling flat on it’s face.
Branding isn’t about your colours, fonts or logo. It’s about the feeling your customers are left with when they interact with you. It’s about the feeling they get when your company is mentioned. Building the right feeling comes from more than just a logo or colour – but as it is a first impression, it is still an important thing to consider. When you’re deciding on what you want your brand to be, the best place to start is to think about what feeling you want your customers to be left with after they interact with your website. Is your brand helpful, honest, cheap, expensive, luxury, friendly, funny, serious, knowledgeable, exciting, fierce, laid back, family orientated? Write down 3-4 descriptive words that you want your customers to feel when they ‘experience your brand’ – and it’ll make your decision process so much easier!
Finding inspiration for your branding
So you’ve decided on your brand’s goals – now what? Choosing colours, fonts and logos might be easier than you think. We found some fool proof ways of coming up with inspiration for your branding below.
1. Find brands that have similar goals to yours
You’ve come up with the feelings you want your brand to provoke. Now it’s time to see what successful brands are already doing to provoke those feelings! If you have a luxury brand for example, think about which companies in the past have made you consider them luxury. Look at their logos, fonts and colours – and check out their social media to see what kind of following they have. Whichever seem most successful and closely matched to how you want your audience to feel about your brand – use their branding for inspiration. When you’re choosing a similar brand, we certainly don’t suggest just looking for competitors – look for brands in other industries, maybe hotels you’ve visited or clothes you buy that provoke the right ‘brand feelings’ in you.
2. Stalk your target customers
Take a look at similar brands pages on Facebook and Twitter and see which customers are most interactive with them. These could be potential brand advocates of yours one day, so it’s really important to see what they like and dislike. If you can, take a look at which brands they like and dislike overall – it can give you a good overview of what is really important to them. Often it can throw up new brands you might not have thought of previously – and also branding you might want to avoid!
3. Study what’s already working
Once you’re looked up all the brands that are hitting the mark already, collect their logos, colours and fonts and look for similarities. This can be really simple to do; we like to simply use the ‘snippet’ tool and create a large paint file with all of the logos beside each other. Seeing all of the design work together can seriously speed up your decision making because you can visualise quite quickly what you like and dislike, even if you can’t yet verbalise it!
Getting a good design
Now you know what’s important for your brand – how do you go about making it happen?
You have a few options, and it depends on your brand goal as to what will work best for you:
1. Do it yourself
If you have a little design knowledge and your brand doesn’t have to be fancy – there’s nothing wrong in doing it yourself. Some of the most professional & effective branding out there is just a nice font and a good choice of colours (we took inspiration from confident brands like coca cola and emirates and chose a confident red, but also wanted the look of approachability so didn’t go with an overly fancy font). Sometimes this is best left with a professional – simply because not everyone’s talents lie in visual branding – but if you’re strapped for cash, don’t be scared. A super important thing to remember – you care a lot more than anyone else; the job of your brand marketing is to get people to care and although your logo and fonts will have an effect, it won’t have anywhere near as much effect as the content you put out to your customers and the relationships you build with them. So although it’s important – don’t waste too much time worrying. Get something up there; after all, it’s not written in stone and you can always change it later!
2. Hire a professional graphic designer
Hiring a designer is the most expensive option; but it allows you a lot of control. If you’re looking for a designer, the best thing to do is to make sure you see a portfolio of what they’ve done in the past – if it looks like they’ve done logos and branding that you like and especially if they’ve done things in line with what your inspirational brands are like, go for it. Get some quotes and don’t forget to negotiate in case you can get a better deal!
3. Crowd source
There are many design ‘crowd source’ companies out there now that can help you get a brand or logo design done by multiple graphic designers – and you only have to pay for the designs you choose. It’s a very cost effective way of getting a professional design; and if you’ve used the tips above, you should be able to send your designers a clear design brief which always helps make sure you get the best quality designs to choose from. A lot of the websites also allow for you to choose to not pay if you don’t get a design that you like; so if nothing good comes up, you can still back out without losing cash. Check out 99designs and designcrowd for more information.
Don’t forget to build your brand
Building your brand is the hard part – but the most profitable when you do it right! When you’re deciding on your brand colours, fonts and logo, the most important thing to remember is – it’s not that important. Once you get something up online, there’s always going to be a breaking in period where you see what people like and what they don’t. Don’t be a perfectionist when it comes to the visuals, it’s much more important that you get out there and start building your brand through creating better relationships with your clients. After all, you could have the worst looking logo in the world – but if your products and services provide loads of value to your customers, there’ll still going to love your brand.