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Brad VanAuken Brand Identity Branding and Colors

Color & Brand Identity


Color is one of the most important components in creating brand identity. The purpose of a brand identity system is to encode a brand in people’s memory and retrieve it from their memory. In a visual system, the two most powerful components are the consistent recognizable shapes and colors. (Scents and sounds are more powerful than visuals as understood by Cinnebons and Harley-Davidson.) It is best if these shapes and colors are distinctive (at least within the product category). Color can have a significant affect on people’s perception of a product or brand. For instance, burgundy and forest green are perceived to be upscale while an orange label or package indicates an inexpensive item.

Third, colors can actually have an affect on a person’s state of mind and cognitive ability as demonstrated by numerous research studies. For instance, pink has been shown to increase a person’s appetite and calm prison inmates. Additionally, if your brand is sold outside of North America, be aware that colors can have different symbolic meanings (not all positive) in different countries and cultures.

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