Three Ways to Consider Color in Your Marketing Campaign
Could the way to your prospects’ wallets be through their stomachs? Well, perhaps not literally, but when it comes to deciding which color combinations will resonate with an audience, John H. Bredenfoerder—president-elect of Color Marketing Group (CMG), a nonprofit organization for design professionals, and design director for Cincinnati-based brand consultancy Landor Associates—likens the process to the delicate balance of seasonings a chef uses to create a palate-pleasing dish. “I like to refer to color as the ‘Spice of Design.’ It lets us customize our designs to our target’s specific wants and needs,” he says.
Here, Bredenfoerder offers three ways to think of color as a means to wow your customer and communicate your brand message.
1) Set the mood. Bredenfoerder maintains it’s best to try and parallel the overall feel of more serious pieces using special-effect colors. “Imagine a direct mail piece for a cemetery or mausoleum—bright reds, oranges and even bright blues and greens would not be appropriate,” he warns, adding, “but a special finish of silver, bronze, pearl or iridescent could catch attention in a more appropriate manner that is consistent with the brand message.”
2) Find inspiration everywhere. Because the retail industry (fashion and home décor, most notably) often act as barometers for upcoming color trends, it’s wise to look outside your comfort zone for inspiration, Bredenfoerder says. “At CMG … what we find interesting is how one industry can be the inspiration color source of a completely different industry.” He cites trends in home design being reinterpreted for automotive interiors and fashion trends reincarnated in the beauty industry as examples of what he refers to as “cross-pollenation.”
3) Connect on a deeper level. It’s often said specific shades can have psychological overtones, e.g., red equals passion. Because of this, Bredenfoerder recommends using color to forge an emotional connection with customers. He maintains every marketer should ask themselves two important questions: “Does the color speak to the essence of the brand? Does it differentiate the brand in a relevant and exciting new way?”