Color may be the single most important element in designing your identity. In some industries it is precisely how companies differentiate themselves.
Think about the telecommunications industry, specifically in cel phones. Verizon is red and black, Sprint is yellow and black, ATT&T has traditionally been blue, but has taken on orange with its acquisition of Cingular. Each company has its own distinct bright color to quickly and easily identify it.
In the motorcycle industry, color goes beyond advertising and sales collateral when it comes to its identity. Color is applied directly to products (motorcycles, apparel, etc.), and is even extended to their racing teams. Ducati red, Kawasaki green, Harley Davidson’s distinctive orange black.
There are two approaches to choosing color when creating your company’s identity: You can choose something that aligns itself with what’s traditional within your business’ industry. Or you can choose something that sets you apart.
The first works best with more traditional industries, in which looking like you’ve been around for a long time is a huge benefit. The second for when you’re in a new and/or cutting edge industry.
Of course, there are no hard and fast rules. Perhaps you’re applying cutting edge technology to a traditional industry… either approach might work.
Of course market research is key. Knowing who your target customer is, and what they respond to will be most helpful in choosing your palette.