Colors really matter when it comes to marketing. According to a Reboot survey, signature colors can increase brand recognition by 80 percent. Any business can use colors to express its brand in the most effective way possible, but you need to be innovative to truly stand out.

How to Use Your Brand Colors Effectively

While concepts like color psychology will help customers build an emotional connection with your brand, you’ll need to be consistent across your marketing material to become recognizable.

1. Replace Colors in the Stock Photos

Your logo, brand fonts, and icons will likely include your brand colors, but don’t forget about your stock images. While you can just download a stock image and call it a day, your marketing materials will resonate more with your audience if you include one or more of your brand colors.

For example, you should change a person’s shirt or the niknaks on their desk. You could even make the rest of the photo black and white to make your colors stand out more. If you aren’t a designer, use photo editing apps like BeFunky to change colors in pictures with a single click.

2. Use Your Core Color for Hyperlinks

Most brands will use one or two neutrals in their color scheme, but they’ll always have a core color that isn’t black, white, or gray. For example, Cadbury uses purple, while Starbucks uses green. Core colors are more effective if they’re noticeable on a white or black background.

As your website will likely use a white background with black text, you can use your core color to highlight important information in your content. Hyperlinks default to blue, but if you were Starbucks, you change them to green or change bolded, italicized, or underlined text to green.

3. Only Use Your Main Color for Accents

Companies like Mcdonald’s have two core colors: yellow and red. If you go to their website, you’ll notice that their buttons are yellow and some of their headlines are red. When scrolling through their homepage, your eyes immediately focus on them because they’re so pronounced.

On your marketing materials, only use your main color (or colors) to highlight key features. Or, you could use one main color for headlines, borders, or icons. Either way, you’re using these colors to break up the monotony of a page or flier to make the information easier to read.

4. Create a Mascot With Your Colors

CyberGhost VPN would be your typical VPN company if it weren’t for their mascot. Their yellow ghost with dark purple eyes is noticeable against white or dark purple backgrounds, two of the brand’s other colors. He’s also expressive, which makes him lovable to adults and children.

Mascots are valuable marketing tools for many reasons. They’re entertaining and engaging, and they give brands a distinct personality. That personality can come from the brand’s colors or in how they appeal to their customers. Ideally, your mascot will solidify your brand’s identity.

5. Change Your Colors Based on the Mood

Let’s say one of your core colors is true orange (#FFA500), and you’re planning on writing about a serious topic. You may feel that true orange is too bright and may devalue what you’re about to write. In these cases, you can darken your true orange color to burnt orange (#CC5500).

It’s uncommon for brands to use color gradients to promote a specific feeling because they’re worried about brand recognition, but your customers aren’t likely to notice. If you’re still worried, only use a different shade for specific marketing material, like memos, whitepapers, or PR.