Tuesday September 2, 2014
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Branding : how to build customer trust through colour

Branding : how to build customer trust through colour

If people don’t trust you they won’t buy from you.

Using the same colour consistently throughout all aspects of your business builds customer trust and loyalty.

We know when we consistently show up in person at (say) a networking event, people get to know us. Over time, if we keep showing up consistently, we build trust. It’s exactly the same with your business brand colours. Using the same brand colours consistently in all areas of your business, builds the all-important recognition clues, that build customer trust and loyalty.

Every successful business knows building a consistent brand will:

BUILD brand trust

CREATE long-term customer loyalty

GENERATE repeat sales 

Consistent Brand Colour = Trust = Customer Loyalty = Repeat Sales

Major brands use colour to their advantage. For example, Tiffany & Co., McDonald’s, Harrods, all use their same core brand colour tone, year in year out, instilling customer recognition, trust and loyalty.

Imagine if every time you saw Twitter’s logo they used a different blue. Unconsciously this could set up an expectation they are flaky and unreliable. As trust is so important in today’s online world, Twitter would be damaging the perception of their brand, without even realising it.

3 top colour tips to consider when building your trusted brand

1. Having a consistent core colour palette will create long-lasting brand colour recognition clues that impact your customers on an unconscious level

2. Build trust with your clients and customers by using colour tones that express the true, authentic personality and values of your business.

3. Apply these core brand colours consistently in all your branding literature. These colours need to extend way beyond the logo into everything that your customers see.

Being even slightly inconsistent with your brand colours is a mistake and could potentially lose you sales. You could even inadvertently find you are projecting a completely different set of brand values from those you want potential customers to associate with your business.

Colour consistency, in your business, will make it easy for your target customer to recognise your brand. This consistency will attract new customers and retain loyalty with your existing customers.

Colour is registered by the brain before either images or typography. Colour increases brand recognition by up to 80%.”  

Source: University of Loyla, Maryland study

Colour is only one part of trusting a brand but given it’s the first thing our brain registers; we are already starting to formulate our thoughts as to whether this brand is right for us. By using the right tone of colours (as mentioned in point 2 above) when a customer or client comes to you, they will trust you because they will see your business is expressing itself authentically in everything it does i.e. customer service, quality and other attributes will be in alignment.

I know this sounds simple and a no-brainer, but think back to when you used a service or a product and it wasn’t what you thought it would be.

When you see Chanel, a product at the luxury end of the market, you trust you are going to get a top quality, well-made product. You would lose trust in the brand very quickly if the quality of their products did not live up to their brand values and personality, which is expertly shown through their brand colour and mark.

British Airways at one stage were seen as cold, uncaring and aloof when it came to customer service, which just happen to be some of the negative psychological qualities of blue. They lost the trust of the UK public. They have worked very hard to regain this by improving their customer care and service training. Now they are more understanding; they are listening and communicating. They are demonstrating the more positive psychological qualities of blue.

Up to 85% of a first impression – the initial perception of your business that your customer has – is based on colour alone.”

Source: CCICOLOR- Institute for Color Research.

Finally…

1. Colour is one of the quickest ways to build trust. Your potential customers will be basing up to 85% of their initial perception of your business on the colours of your brand.

2. Trust your ideal clients will be attracted to your business brand instead of worrying who you might be missing out on. By using the right tone and combination of colours, your ideal clients will subconsciously know your business brand is right for them.

3. If your brand tries to be something it’s not or fails to deliver on its promise, this will become evident over time. Similarly you will want to make sure anyone representing your business upholds the values of the brand. It is very easy to lose all the trust and good-will your business has built up.

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.

Do you think colour is important in branding? What colours have  you chosen for your brand and why did you choose them? Most importantly, do your customers engage with them? We’d love to hear your comments…

Share this article if you found it useful! And leave a comment in the box below. We hope to connect with you soon.

About 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.

4 comments

  1. Colour was one of the big factors I took into consideration when deciding the new theme for my website. A lot of themes didn’t feel right because the colour was wrong. I decided to go for one which had a darkish red and grey – serious and professional with a energy edge because of the red.

    That’ll be my psychology degree coming out again – think about how people process first!

    • Hi Rosie,

      Psychology is such a wonderful study, bringing the unconscious to the conscious level.

      Great you used colours that felt right for your business. It will be interesting to see the feedback you get from your prospects and clients.

  2. Hi Karen – really interesting article – thank you.

    I find choosing colours really hard. Initially I went for a sludgy olive green which my graphic designer recommended – I liked the colour but the more my business grew the more I thought about colour and realised that a burt orange (I’m sure there is better name for it) actually was one of my favourite colours and although I can’t wear the colour because basically it just makes me look ill – I just love it’s energy it invokes in me when I see it. This played on my mind more and more and then eventually I just changed my colour. Now I don’t think about it any more and feel I must have arrived at an harmonious place.

    • Hi Carole,

      You’re welcome. It sounds like you are trusting your intuition realising the olive green didn’t feel right. You’re touched on a really important point – colour tones that express the personality and values of your business may not be colours you would wear personally. That means your business brand has a different personality to your own. Working with businesses on their brand colours I have found this to be quite common.

      Great you feel you have arrived at an harmonious place.

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