Originally appeared on Xerox Small Business Solutions.
By Rieva Lesonsky
Are you taking full advantage of the power of color to effectively brand your business? Because color has such a strong impact, the way you use it in branding your company can make or break your image.
Color can attract attention, arouse emotions and even cause physical reactions like a rush of adrenalin. For a small business owner, using color in your marketing materials, sales collateral and customer communications can help your company differentiate its brand from the competition. Consider these “colorful” stats:
- Color has been shown to increase brand recognition by up to 80 percent.
- Color can increase attention spans and recall by more than 82 percent.
- 55 percent of recipients are more likely to pick up a full-color direct mail piece first, which is important because the average person spends just 2.5 seconds deciding whether to read a direct mail piece or toss it aside.
Some small business owners worry that printing documents in color is too expensive. But given all the benefits above, can you really afford not to use color in your marketing and sales materials?
In fact for many small and mid-sized businesses, if you use your own in-house color printer, you can actually save money compared to outsourcing color printing to a print shop. You’ll also save time, since you don’t have to wait for the vendor to complete the job or accommodate their business hours and deadlines. The Xerox WorkCentre 6505 is an affordable color printer that gives even the smallest businesses the flexibility to print professional-quality color pieces on demand, quickly and cost-effectively.
Even a small amount of color can make a big difference. For example, using color to highlight key information on a brochure or flyer will help direct reader’ eyes to the benefits you want them to absorb or the calls to action you want them to follow. (Did you know your business is 44 percent more likely to get phone calls when you print your phone number in color?) Sending out a sales letter? Instead of using costly letterhead, just print the letter on plain paper using a Xerox color printer so your logo is crisp and in color. You’ll save money and still make a great impression. Don’t forget to use color on your direct-mail envelopes, too, since it makes recipients more likely to open your piece.
The colors you choose matter, too. It’s important to select colors that convey the right message for your brand. Here’s a quick overview of what different colors convey:
- Seeing red actually increases a person’s heart rate. This color is great for attracting attention and generating a sense of excitement and urgency.
- Orange has similar qualities to red, but is less intense. It’s often used at fast-food restaurants because it stimulates the appetite.
- Yellow conveys optimism, energy and freshness; it also stimulates alertness.
- Many businesses use blue because it’s the most popular color in Western countries. Darker blues denote security and stability, while lighter, brighter hues convey friendliness (think Facebook or Twitter).
- Green creates a sense of calm and relaxation, making it a good choice for any business related to nature or the environment.
- The color of royalty, purple denotes femininity, wealth and uniqueness.
- Because it’s associated with gentleness and femininity, pink is often used to market products where soft, pastel colors are an advantage.
- Black represents luxury and power. It’s often used in marketing expensive goods or services. Too much black can be overwhelming, so it’s best used as an accent color.
- White denotes purity and cleanliness (think cosmetics or healthcare) and is frequently used for tech products as well.
Want to really make a colorful impression? Add glistening gold and silver to your color palette. Xerox Metallic Dry Inks are a cost-effective way to add eye-catching sparkle to your print materials without the expense of foil stamping or metallic paper. You can use gold or silver ink to highlight text or graphic elements of your print materials, and even use metallic image overlays to enhance photos. No matter what colors you choose for your print marketing materials, Xerox Clear Dry Ink can create stunning special effects. For instance, use a spot application to create high shine and make specific colors “pop,” or flood an entire page with Clear Dry Ink for breathtaking colors that gleam.
A local printer is an ideal cost conscious option for small businesses that want to take the quality of printed documents to a higher level without investing in a new printer. However, if printing is your core, consider purchasing the Xerox Color 800i/1000i printer as a solid investment to grow your business.
Once you’ve selected the colors for your business brand, be sure to use them consistently. It takes repetition to build awareness of your brand, so it’s important for prospects to see your logo, signage and marketing collateral in the same colors every time. Printing elements like your logo or tagline in black-and-white diminishes their effectiveness as brand-builders. Consistent use of color, however, increases brand recognition—and that leads to increased sales.