You might not realize it, but the colors you choose for your brand affect how people think of your business. From fire engine red to blue-violet or goldenrod yellow to dark magenta, color influences customers, creating perceptions of passion, trust, cheerfulness, and creativity. Color is often the first thing draws customers to your brand. It’s an instinctive reaction and an important one. Your business needs to make the right first impression even if it’s a subconscious one. If choosing colors for your brand is so important, then how do you go about doing it? Here are four tips to get you started: #1. Figure out what message you want to portray What values are most important to you and your customers? For some, such as a financial advising company, the color blue might be preferred because it conveys trust. A cutting-edge tech start-up, on the other hand, might choose red to show their energy and excitement. Here is a great infographic from Marketo that goes into further detail about the meaning of different colors. You should also think about the cultural meanings of your color. Red is considered lucky in many cultures, but might be too stimulating in others. White symbolizes purity and peace in many countries, but in some Asian cultures it represents death. #2. You aren’t just limited to one color Just think about Google or eBay. The array of colors they chose shows the variety of services and their playful personalities. You don’t have to go for a rainbow, but you might want to pair few colors together. UPS’s gold and brown logo, for example, portrays warmth and dependability. Subway’s yellow and green brand colors demonstrate the restaurant’s cheery personality and fresh, healthy foods. #3. See what your competitors are doing Similar to attending prom with the same dress as another girl, you don’t want to settle on the same shade as the other businesses in your industry. This doesn’t mean that you need to give up on your chosen color. Instead, go for a twist. For example, if a competitor has chosen a professional navy blue as their brand’s color, then you might want to go with a brighter blue for a fresh take on the color. #4. Go with a color that fits your brand, not your favorite color We all have colors that we love, but you shouldn’t let your personal tastes get in the way of choosing your brand’s color. You need to think about the context of the color. You might dislike the color orange, but it might be the right color for your brand to portray the fresh excitement of your business. Don’t forget that the meaning of a color can change over time. The color brown, for example, is traditionally associated with the earth and wood, but with the rise of Starbucks, it’s become a more luxurious, sophisticated color associated with enjoying a cappuccino. There’s no doubt about it – color matters and choosing the right colors is a big decision. The next time you’re choosing a color for your business or a new product, remember these tips and you’ll be golden. Images: ”Rainbow of colorful boxes/ Shutterstock.com“ __________________________________________________________________________________ Connect with Tweak Your Biz: Would you like to write for Tweak Your Biz? Tweak Your Biz is an international, business advice community and online publication. Today it is read by over 140,000 business people each month (unique visitors, Google Analytics, December, 2013). See our review of 2013 for more information. An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator. Want to get your business featured on Tweak Your Biz? Check out #TYBspotlight.