Can Color Choice Tank Your Pitch to Investors?
When you’re establishing your company's brand identity, the colors you select can make a huge difference. Both anecdotal and empirical evidence suggest that colors are capable of evoking strong reactions. While some colors are perceived differently among various cultures, there’s one color - if used incorrectly - that can actually hurt your brand and scare away investors: red.
Red can have a profound effect on our emotions. It inflames passions, clouds the mind, and generates anxiety. It’s the color of danger and aggression, of intense feeling good and bad. If that’s not your intent with your brand, then stick to other colors. Here’s a few other things we know about red:
Red triggers avoidance behaviors: it "guides the implicit evaluation of food items."
Red enhances perceived aggression, dominance, and aggression.
Red can negatively affect performance on "web-based general knowledge tests.
But it’s not all bad news for red; there are plenty of major brands that rely on red. Just look at Coca-Cola. It’s the biggest and longest lasting soft drink brand, and it’s (mostly) red. Red can enhance attraction to both people and food.
It can help stimulate attention to tasks that require immediate responses, but not necessarily deep thought. Men are more easily swayed by red sale tags than women. They "use heuristic processing to evaluate ads [and are] more likely to base their decision around the red price and the red price alone..."
Color perception can vary by culture; color choice may be influenced by other factors. For example, Facebook's iconic blue wasn't chosen because of its association with peace and wisdom, but because founder Mark Zuckerberg is red-green colorblind. "Blue is Facebook’s dominant color, because, as he said, “blue is the richest color for me—I can see all of blue.”
If you’re creating a brand that relies on excitement, passion, or food, red might be your color! If, however, stability and trust are key to your brand identity, red could make your investors nervous.
Here are some better options:
Green - Implies nature, health, prosperity and tranquility.
Blue - Conveys reliability, wisdom and trust.
Yellow - Elicits happiness and optimism, but can also cause anxiety.
Purple - The color of royalty, indulgence and luxury.
Some colors work better for some industries. Financial institutions should avoid bright colors and project an image of competence and reliability. Conversely, use bright, vibrant colors if you’re trying to establish an edgier, contemporary brand.
Strategic color choice is one essential part of an effective branding campaign.