Pet Brand Color.
Nic here, Color Psychology Consultant, Founder of Working with Dog, author of the ‘Million Dollar Dog Brand’ and expert in Marketing and the Psychology of what makes us buy.
Did you know that most people make an initial judgment on a product within 90 seconds of interaction with that product and 62%-90% of that judgment is based on color?
True story. There are a ton of other stats I can share with you about why color is so important to your pet brand… but I thought a few quick tips might be more useful since color is THE MOST important tool we have to make a powerfully positive first impression in our pet business.
Quick Color Tips for Pet Brands:
1. Know Your Brand Personality Type
Did you know that most people can be grouped into 4 different personality types – and what’s even cooler – is that each of those personality types has a distinct preference for one of the 4 colour groups?? It can be SUPER easy to know how to tweak your brand or colors once you know your personality type! Take my quiz then pop back over here to see palettes in your personality type (below).
2. Primary palettes are not for Premium businesses
Primary colors (bright red, grass green, royal blue and bright yellow) used together can look childish or cheap – avoid if you’re trying to build a premium brand. One on it’s own is OK – but don’t use all these tones together unless you’re trying to look like a brand for kids, or is super affordably priced.
3. Soften the blacks, Warm up the whites
When using a white background (think text on your website), try dark grey instead of black for the text – it’s softer on the eye and causes less fatigue to read. Makes us fell all ‘ahhhh’ when we read it, instead of anxious… BUT it’s possible you shouldn’t be using black or white at all (yes really) depending on your Brand Personality Type (take the quiz). Scroll down to see color palettes by personality type.
4. When in doubt, Earth Tones
The vast majority of pet brands (and pet parents) end up in the ‘Fireside’ Brand Personality type, where earth tones reign supreme. This doesn’t mean you can’t use bright colors (There are bright colors in Fireside – you might be in a different brand personality type and then so would your clients be) — but for big purchases like furniture & beds, people are going to go with what won’t look dirty or show hair, and that will match their furniture… so keep this in mind as you’re designing and developing.
5. Go Big Blue?
Blue is a great color for pet services like training and pet sitting – light blue is calming (mentally soothing) and dark blue is associated with authority, trust and learning because it’s mentally stimulating P.S. Fun fact: did you know Facebook’s logo is blue because Mark Zuckerberg is red-green color blind? — for services that need to convey happiness and fun think orange and yellow, and for all the cuddles, love and nurturing – like it or not- it’s light pink
6. Contrast Counts.
You can actually check if your colors are accessible and easy to read using tools like this one. You’ll need the hex codes for your the white, light, bright, medium, dark and black colors you have in you brand (and yes, you really should have 4-6 colors [not just 1-2] that you use consistently in different ways, for different reasons in your brand). Contrast is a REALLY important part of readability and DOES help your SEO – so this is really important!
Color Palettes for Pet Brands
So what does color have to do with the success of your pet business? More than you might think! In addition to our quick fact above about how color impacts decision-making, color is also a critical part of your ‘brand positioning’ – and how your customers and potential customers remember you.
Like it or not, pet parents probably aren’t reading your name, remembering your logo, or reading much of what’s on your website, however (much like how now thanks to color-coded parking lots we are more easily remembering where we parked), your customers probably ARE remembering the key color in your brand: your red van, your blue sign, or maybe those purple aprons your staff wear.
So color is impacting your customer’s experience already – and if you haven’t created that experience in a purposeful way, now might be the time to.
Color is also FAST!
Our brain processes visual information 60,000x faster than text – so your colors (and also your design and your images and YES – your images should match your colors!!) are the most powerful tools you have to make people think and FEEL a certain way, quickly. This is the ENTIRE game of marketing – influencing feelings. With color psychology – it’s easy (and it works on everybody all over the world!)
If you’re not ready for a full-on brand refresh you probably don’t want to change the key-color in your brand just for fun (for the recognition reasons mentioned above) but you can add some complimentary colors to enhance the sophistication, trust or other desireable feelings to your current main color.
We can help!
Inside Working with Dog I answer petpreneurs’ questions about their color palettes all the time – that’ just an added bonus of being a member of our done-for-you marketing membership.
What’s even cooler though – is color and branding overall are FAR from a ‘one-size-fits-all’ – so at Working with Dog all our done-for-you pet marketing templates are all provided in designs fitting ALL 4 of the brand personality types. So you don’t have to overthink it – once you know your brand personality type you just pick one from the right list and you’re good to go – knowing it will match and look great!
Want Help Putting this all into action?
Here, I’ll Show You…
Below I have created a handful of delicious color palettes specifically engineered for pet brands, organized by each brand personality type. I hope these will support you as you look for additional pet and pet parent friendly colors to include in your website and other marketing materials – which will add or enhance more of the right feelings.
What is a Pet Friendly Color Palette?
You are probably going to have photos of dogs and/or cats on your website and in your marketing materials… which means you’re going to want your brand colors to compliment with those lifestyle images (and YES you NEED lifestyle images – images shot in real life scenarios – not just product shots on a white background!)
Not all businesses are going to work well alongside those Weimaraner greys, calico browns, grass greens and blue skies. Maybe your brand has white-backgrounds studio shots, and a really modern aesthetic with black and white photos and a crisp pop color — or maybe like most pet brands you’ll be playing with earth tones. No matter what – you want to pick a lane and stick with it so you can create HARMONY.
If you can be consistent – you will have a better chance of building INSTANT trust and credibility – and connecting emotionally with your customer – in the way you actually intend.
Spoiler alert: this is your #1 goal in any marketing you do!
Example Pet Brand Color Palettes:
Feel free to grab, share, pin, post, or use these in whatever way you want. These palettes are meant to help or inspire and are yours for the taking (but please respect our copyright and the copyright of the Unsplash creators, and do not crop or alter in any way. The photos are not to be used on their own.)
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