How to Find Branding Inspiration at the Paint Store

by | Sep 23, 2020 | Solopreneurship

You’ve started your own business and haven’t got a clue about branding.  You may be thinking of hiring someone for this step, but I bet the quotes you’ve received are more than you can handle at the moment.

Or you’ve signed up for a ton of branding webinars, purchased worksheets that didn’t really tell you what to do step-by-step or maybe you’ve checked out Pinterest for branding ideas, but with all the information out there, you may be feeling overwhelmed with it all.  Hundreds of colour charts, diagrams and talk about colour psychology…how are you supposed to make the right decision?

Don’t feel bad…this was me many years ago and I’d like to share how I got through it without costing a dime and without the overwhelm or frustration.

How to Find Branding Inspiration

Do you remember the last time you walked into a paint store and were mesmerized by all paint swatch cards available?  I remember thinking to myself “I didn’t know there were so many versions of white”.

Do you keep leaning towards certain colours?  Such as soft blue-grey or a subtle peach colour?

When choosing your visual branding colours, you may be tempted to choose colours that you like, but unfortunately, it’s not about what you like.  It’s about what your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) likes.

Here is a Scenario

brown and neutral branding colours

You love nature, you’re eco-friendly and love to spend time outdoors. You’re single, in your mid 50’s and like to take things nice and easy.  You don’t meditate, but you can sit outside and look out over the lake for hours. Your home decor has an industrial/country feel to it.   You have lots of plants around your home and it’s full of comfortable furniture with a fireplace on your feature wall.

Your personal colours are likely to be in the greens and browns that are neutral and not intense.

light airy and pink branding colours

Next scenario: Your Ideal Customer is a new Mom who’s married and in her mid 20’s who loves to DIY everything.  She’s always experimenting with ways to be more productive, get more rest, spend quality time with her new baby, but still have time for herself to create things.  Her home decor is very light and airy.  Her home is being overtaken with colourful toys all over the place and she’s ok with that.

Branding colours that would likely connect with her are pale pinks, yellows and rose gold.


If your ICP loves to DIY everything, what colours come to mind?  Or better yet, what colours would a crafty DIYer not like?  The answer to this one is “it depends”.

If your ICP is a bubbly and perky person, who is very feminine on what she DIY’s, her colours will likely be more into the pinks or yellows.  The colours will be softer and more subdued. But if your ICP is outspoken and bold, the colours may be more saturated and intense.  Neither of these ICP’s would relate to natural greens and browns and you like.

See where I’m going here?

Now picture yourself at the paint store and your ICP is standing next to you.  Looking at all the paint swatch cards, what colours do you think “she’ll” be drawn to?

Tip:  this exercise is best done at the paint store

This is why it’s so important to know who your ICP is?  But even if you do, you still may be a bit overwhelmed with all these colours.

2 weeks before writing this post, I was at Lowes looking for my office paint colours.  I was frozen in front of the Sico section for 10 minutes before the associate asked if I was ok.  I shook it off, thought of what my ICP might like to see if I was on a video call with her, or seeing photos of my workspace.  But since this was MY workspace, I had to make sure that I loved the colours I chose.

choosing your branding colours

So I have a fun exercise you can do which will narrow down your two main colours and it will be based on how your ICP wants to feel when engaging with your brand.

You’ll only have to invest 5-10 minutes with the worksheets I’ll be giving you (get them below) and you can feel confident that you’ve made the right choice, but know that you can always tweak the colours down the road if your ICP changes.

Nothing is carved in stone.

Until next time, stay inspired.

Gisèle Grenier


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