The Impact of Color

Today these questions were asked of me by Alissa Janiece, my online marketing consultant, who has been nudging me to get my new blog up and running. How do you determine a color scheme for a client or a project? What factors do you consider when deciding look and feel of branding and marketing for multi family residence? Are there different things to consider for different types of spaces – retail versus residential for example?

Good questions Alissa! (she knows me well enough to know I can go on and on about branding…). To start with, color is a huge factor in all branding and marketing. Surprisingly enough, the color choices you make have a crucial impact on the effectiveness of your project.

There is actually hard science now to support the concept that color actually ‘communicates’ and can influence, attract or repel. In fact, color has been called the “Silent Salesman’ because the color palette you choose can often help to make or break the sale. The right colors can stimulate or relax us, reflect how we feel about ourselves, the people we are interacting with, and our personal surroundings.

The choice of color palette I would make for a new identity and brand would depend on the message I am conveying for each particular project. Certain color combinations are known to feel ‘nourishing’ or ‘comforting’ to us, others are invigorating’ and ‘recharging’. If I wanted to evoke tranquility and relaxation, in say a spa or resort brand, I would use a ‘serene’ color palette, with blues, blue-greens or lavenders. If I wanted to invoke energy I would inject red into my palette, as red has been shown to actually stimulate the pituitary gland, increasing pulse rate and heartbeat.

Often in marketing for multifamily communities, I use color within the branding to reach the target demographics. The Millenials, a large rental market, would respond to different branding then the empty nesters. A downtown mixed-use project would respond to a more modern, urban look and feel, then say, a garden-style community set along a trail. A community set within an area heavily saturated with tech companies would require different branding and messaging from a community close to a military base, as both would attract different demos – one being heavily tech-savvy singles and the other being young families. Each example would need its own personal identity, marketing and message to reach its potential customers.

Although personal experience is a factor and colors can be subjective to some degree, cross-culturally there are some generalities that can be made about the human response to color, and that are universal. The same can be said for all the elements that comprise ‘brand’, whether it is the fonts, identity or design elements. I will go into fonts in a later post, they are a great subject also.

This is why I love branding and design. It is an exciting field, not only because of the creativity, but also because of the psychology involved. We are complex creatures, yet universally tied in many ways.

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