As a Solopreneur, the thought of creating a visual branding palette might be overwhelming. You may have even attended branding webinars or ventured down the rabbit hole of Pinterest for inspiration, only to find yourself drowning in a sea of colour charts, diagrams, and theories about colour psychology.
Even I get overwhelmed when doing research on this.
Are you within the first two years of solopreneurship?
If so, you’ve likely been focusing on mastering your skill set and landing new clients, with less attention given to the colours that should represent your brand.
That sounds funny as I read that back. When I was in this position, branding was all I thought about.
But don’t worry, this is a hurdle many Solopreneurs face and one that can be overcome with a little creativity and thoughtfulness but the key is focusing on SIMPLICITY.
Finding brand inspiration can come from the most unexpected places. I’ve been there and today, I’m sharing my own experience to help you navigate the branding journey.
The Role of Personal Preferences vs Ideal Customer Preferences
In my journey, I realized that my own colour preferences, while personally satisfying, didn’t necessarily reflect the brand identity I wanted to communicate. I was drawn to turquoise and coral colours, reflecting my love for Grand Bahama island, where life paces at only two speeds: slow and reverse. The calm, relaxed lifestyle with pops of coral, turquoise and mint green and the vibrant blues and greens of the ocean.
But here’s the catch, your branding colours are less about your preferences and more about your ideal customer.
But what if your visual branding colours are part of what you create? and IS part of your identity?
Today’s Study is a Visual Artist
Here’s a scenario for you: you are a visual artist that specializes in large format paintings of classic actors. Your artistic style is bold and vibrant and your website, logo and social media represents these bold colours.
Your ideal customer is an interior designer in her mid 30’s who specializes in styling cottages and lake houses.
What colours would resonate with her? She may be living in a light and airy home filled with minimalistic artwork, sleek furniture and hardwood floors. Her preferred colours may be in the warm grey tones.
Now, let’s say your interior designer has a new client that is a 30 year old man who’s a computer programmer specializing in Virtual Reality games and is a fan of horror movies. He’s inherited a cottage from his Grandfather. The cottage desperately needs some loving and he’s going to invest in modernizing it.
Looking at these two very different people, how would they react to your bold and vibrant visual branding palette? If the interior designer specialized in modern homes, it might be a different story, but she’s not the one looking for art for her home, HER client is.
Can you imagine a bold painting capturing a character similar to Wednesday Addams, standing at the edge of a desolate boat dock? The painting gives a subtle yet eerie hint of a spooky story set by the lake.
Let’s work with another scenario.
As a visual artist, your ideal customer is a young mom who has a recipe blog about vegan cooking for kids. So she may prefer the colour palette of fruits and vegetables, while another young mom, who has a recipe blog about making your own sushi and focuses on presentation, may prefer bold minimalistic colours such as black and red.
Naturally, since your personal style is reflected in your artwork, the 2nd DIY’er would likely be a better fit.
It’s like playing matchmaker. You want to make sure your brand and your ideal customer are the perfect pair. The first impression matters! So, what feeling do you hope to stir in them when they discover your brand?
For this scenario, they would feel energized and connected to the modern take on old classic art.
This is where what you create and what’s part of your identity helps influence your visual branding colours. It’s authentic because it’s naturally who you are.
The Paint Store Experiment
Visualize your ideal customer standing next to you at the paint store. What colours do you think she would be drawn to? How would they make her feel?
I mention this visualization because recently, I was preparing a significant pivot in my business and my “old” branding colours weren’t appropriate anymore. I found myself standing before a wall of paint swatches at Lowe’s, frozen with indecision.
But then I asked myself: What colours would my ideal customer like to see if we were on a video call or if she was looking at photos of my workspace? Do these colours represent me as a brand? The answers helped me make a choice.
Wrapping it Up
While choosing your branding colours, always remember that it’s not just about you. Think about the emotional journey your customer takes when they engage with your brand for the very first time.
How do you want them to feel during that crucial, first handshake?
These colours should resonate with their preferences, their lifestyle, and their desires. Nothing is set in stone. As your ideal customer changes, so can your visual branding colours.
By putting yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes and understanding their lifestyle, you can choose colours that truly represent your brand and resonate with your audience.
If you’re a creative, and what you create is linked directly to your identity, let that guide you into choosing your colours.
Until next time, stay inspired.