Working the Professional Rainbow

With the popularity of social media and networking websites people really have become their own brand like never before.  Color increases brand recognition by 80 percent (KISS metrics), so how can people use this for their personal brand in their avatars, websites, profiles, and business interactions?  Below we’ve outlined the basic colors and their psychological connotations.

Red is a bold, intense, emotional color.  Red is the most attention grabbing color, hence it’s use for stop-signs and red lights.  The meanings vary from culture to culture and one should take this into consideration when developing their brand.  For example, in China red is the color of good luck, so one who does a lot of business with the Chinese market may want to consider incorporating red into their image.  Red is stimulating and often used in restaurants due to its ability to stimulate appetite and gamblers are more likely to place high bets under red lights than blue.

Positive Connotations:  Power, passion, confidence, leadership, driven, bold, desire, energy, courage, assertiveness, sex, and ambition.

Negative Connotations:  Aggression, danger, anger, irritation, and temper.

Definitely avoid red when:

  • You’re late for work!
  • Anticipating/avoiding confrontation
  • You are not looking to be the focus of attention.
  • Like black, white acts as a great canvass for other colors.  White is the easiest background to stare at for long periods on the web.  It’s great as a background in an avatar as it doesn’t steal the attention from you. White is a great color to wear when in doubt or going to first meetings/events.  It is the color of cleanliness because any mark or stain will show up. Wearing all-white is largely unpopular because it makes one look larger and it is easy to ruin, however those who are bold enough can use this to their advantage and wear all white to show attention to detail and immaculate attire- just pass on the red wine!Positive Connotations:  Purity, cleanliness, simplicity, innocence, and openness.

    Negative Connotations:  Sterile, clinical, conservative and plain.

    When choosing colors for yourself or your brand we recommend making a list of what attributes you want to project and then determining which colors best represent that.  You should also think about your target market and any cultural factors you should be aware of.

    Here are some additional tips:

    • Choose colors that look good on you and make you feel good too.
    • As a general rule, it’s best to choose one or two colors to feature paired with black, grey, and/or white- this helps prevent the color from overpowering you.
    • Try to keep your colors consistent across different platforms.  For example, if you’re using black, white, and red on Twitter try to carry that over to your LinkedIn, personal website, etc.  This doesn’t mean you have to wear black and red everyday, simply that you should try to find a signature look for yourself that you can build around, particularly with your online presence.