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To Re-color or Not to Re-color

Back in March we talked about the highly-criticized update to the Cleveland Browns team brand colors. We asked: Does color matter? And yes, it does…to an extent.

Here’s the deal—brand color change can have a huge impact on your company, but like any other marketing tool, you need to weigh its importance out while comparing it with your other marketing and identity efforts.

Some things you should ask when deciding whether or not to change your brand colors:

What is my industry?
Color tends to matter more depending on your industry. For example, fashion and design will obviously be more sensitive to color and the changing trends. Conversely, if you are a counseling group, as long as you don’t go for a color that is pungent, you can pretty much run the gamut and be OK.

What is my reputation?
Honestly. Your color can be a terrific asset to your marketing, but if your company is having a hard time keeping customers because of poor service, your color couldn’t matter less. Throwing money into the cost of a color change without focusing on your identity and reputation will simply be a waste and will send a big red flag up to customers when they don’t see the internal change to mirror the external. However, once you’re on your way to a repaired image, a color change could be a great idea to help launch a sense of renewal to your identity.

Is my color more important than keeping a tight budget?
A brand color change can be more costly if you find yourself in the following situations:

  • If you choose a color that can only be printed in special Pantone ink. Usually if you choose a color, you can get pretty close to it with the standard CMYK printing process, but occasionally you will come across a color (specifically very bright ones) that can’t be matched this way. Over time this can be more costly.
  • If you have a large amount of collateral to update. Depending on how you decide to go about it (all at once, or as the pieces need replenished), this can become a little more costly.

Now let’s say you’ve decided to change it.
Move forward carefully, as there are many potential pitfalls. For example, avoid choosing a color scheme that feels holiday-oriented, one that is inappropriate for your industry, or even choosing a color for your international business based on your own culture’s perspective of color.

There are a lot of “what-ifs”, “waits”, and “don’ts” in moving forward with a brand color change. It fits into the much larger picture of your identity and company as a whole, and should never be examined as its own living and breathing thing. So take your time, do your research, and find its balance with all of your company’s marketing efforts. And as always, we’re here to help.

Happy coloring!