Every color combination offers a different cocktail of subliminal messages. We must be careful to not unconsciously project the wrong impression. We have to pay close attention to what our online footprint is implying. It is reported that “84.7% of consumers cite COLOR as the primary reason they buy a particular product.” My advice is that the colors you choose to represent your online branding--images, videos, infographics, call-to-actions, or quotes--need to be in alignment with your brand’s mission and goals. This is always a good rule of thumb to inspire the right kind of emotions in your target audience.
If you are redesigning your website, or, building your own from scratch, you should ask yourself these three questions:
1.- Do I want my website to follow the existing colors of my brand? If you are a business or an entrepreneur, your answer should be yes. Why? Because it is all about positioning. It is important to show your audience a cohesive color scheme for recognition across channels. This will help your audience identify your brand name better, easier and faster. This is especially important if you are a startup or in the process of expanding your online advocacy. Although there is not a hard and fast rule, the more colors you use, the harder it becomes to establish a unified design. Borrowing a trick from interior and fashion design, the 60-30-10 rule states that three colors should be used in varying degrees (60%, 30%, 10%) to create the perfect harmony.
- The primary color should cover about 60% of the space and create the overall unifying theme of the design.
- The 30% should contrast with the 60% to create a visually striking effect.
- The 10% is an "accent color," which should complement either your primary or secondary color.
2.- What’s the purpose of the website? Is it in alignment with my brand’s mission and goals? Colors can be used to elicit an action in someone. Use psychology legally, ethically, and respectfully to attract and engage consumers, and compel them to buy. The small details are usually the ones that make a difference between having a visitor buying your highest product price point or bouncing from your page. It's been tested before. In a study by Naomi Mandel and Eric J. Johnson, researchers manipulated the background design of a website to see if it would affect consumers' product choices. Participants were asked to choose between two products in one category (like a Mercedes vs. a Lexus). According to Psychology Today, they found that “visitors who had been primed on money (the website’s background was green with pennies on it) looked at price information longer than those who had been primed on safety. Similarly, consumers who had been primed on comfort looked at comfort information longer than those primed on money."
3.- What kind of visuals, photos, graphics and videos, should I incorporate into the site? Colorful visuals are eye candy for your web visitors and the most immediate way of creating a good first impression, as color communicates with your audience at an emotional level. Without your visitors being aware, the type of visuals you choose for your web design stir up different moods in them. #Colorfulvisuals become an ideal advertising tool at no cost, especially if you use attractive, inspirational and educational visuals. Through these choices you are unconsciously inviting your audience to share your images/videos across social media. The challenge is to combine colors and visuals while giving the website a unified and polished look. Coordinate colors with the images and the layout. This will help you create a cohesive design that is still lively and engaging.
Last week I hosted a workshop for a brand where I had to teach my audience how to efficiently utilize their branding colors online to boost sales and engagement. The group was made up of web designers, community managers, content curators, online marketers, and sales folks. All of them already knew a bit, picked up from here and there, but most struggled to efficiently work in alignment to maximize their efforts, and as a result they were wasting too much time making decisions. Truth be told, when content is created, normally it needs to be approved by different people/departments--making it tough to agree on details. I always like to assist my clients with easy tools that can be used across departments. This time the apps and softwares they picked as their favorite tools to create color palettes and designs from scratch were:
After you respond to the three questions presented above, you could create a site map brand style guide based on your website. Aligning every section/page of your site with the type of color that resonates best with its content. This brand style guide will act as your guideline on promotional efforts, especially if you have multiple people on your team – if you never created a brand style guide before, let me know and I will post an article on how to create a brand style guide in the following weeks. If you have an e-commerce site, the site map brand style guide will become your best tool to align and engage your sales and PR efforts with your audience psychological tripper points. Remember, once you have someone’s attention, you can leave the rest to content.