It is the color of champions; the color that 198 of the world’s best cyclists race for every July in the Tour de France. It is the color of the ‘maillot jaune’ - the ‘yellow jersey‘ – the ultimate prize in professional cycling. Cyclists dream of wearing this color and dread the prospect of losing it. It symbolizes power, tenacity, honor, and pride. It unites a team, a country, and even the world.
The yellow jersey is an excellent example of the psychological and emotional impact of color. Companies use color in many different ways to evoke a reaction and to solidify a brand in people’s minds. Whether it is Tiffany’s robin’s-egg blue box, UPS’ brown trucks, Coke’s red cans, or the Tour de France’s yellow jersey, we immediately identify with these brands by their color.
What’s Your Personal Brand’s Color?
Just as companies brand themselves with color, your personal brand needs its own color. Your brand colors become part of the visual vocabulary that makes an immediate and lasting impression on those around you.
Selecting your brand colors can take some time to ensure that the emotional reaction associated with the colors you choice actually represents your personal brand attributes. Perhaps your brand is all about action, excitement, and energy. Blue, therefore, may not be the best color to reflect this. Likewise, if your brand is natural, calming, and healing then red may not best reflect these attributes.
Sonia Tracy has 5 excellent questions to help you narrow down the right colors for your personal brand.
- Which colors are you naturally drawn towards?
- Are there certain colors that represent your niche best?
- Which colors would you prefer to avoid and why?
- What do you want your identity to say to your clients?
- What is your mission?
Interestingly the yellow color for the Tour de France winner’s jersey was not selected by answering such questions. In 1919 it become the color simply because it was the color of a newspaper company sponsoring the race known for printing on yellow paper. Rumor has it that cyclists did not like the color at first as it made them look like a ‘canary’. Yet, now it is the color of champions.
One of the best ways to understand brand color is by watching Reach’s video, “What Color is Your Brand?”
‘Wear’ Your Personal Brand Colors with Pride
Once you have identified your personal brand colors, you want to consistently and constantly ‘wear’ these color. Wearing does not necessarily mean your clothing, although accenting your attire with a splash of your brand colors can be a very effective element of your brand identity. Wear your colors as well in your logo, website, business card, and marketing materials.
A great way to wear your brand colors is by creating a ‘brand identity’ page on your website. This page outlines how your brand’s attributes and strengths translate into your brand imagery, color palette, logo, tag-line, and font selection – all critical elements of your visual vocabulary. Here is an example of my brand identity page and why I selected red, white, blue, and taupe as my brand colors.
Color is a personal branding tool that many people tend to overlook, yet it can attract or even detract business. Ensure the colors you use represent you in such a way to attract, not detract. Be wary of colors that could have a negative impact in different cultures and always wear the colors that truly represent the authentic you.