Colorful Choices: Selecting Brand Colors That Will Perform the Best

September 16, 2021
Jeremy Wells

When creating a brand for any business, one of the most important elements to be consistent with is color. Color palettes and systems give businesses a cohesive brand identity which is important for guests to be aware of and trust in your business.

For many hotels, branding and interior design go hand in hand. A cohesive brand identity establishes your hotel as a destination that can deliver on the customer’s wishes while infusing it with an emotional connection. Think about how you would feel walking into an unfamiliar building and looking around at all the different aspects of the design: the color scheme, the style, the furniture, the interior decorations, and so on. How would that impression change if the building’s interior design and color choices were consistent with your high expectations?

The Strategy of Color Selection

The interesting thing about color is that it often originates in the mind, and it’s hard to describe why a color “feels right”. You may not be able to change the quality of your product by changing its color, but you could change your guests’ perceptions of the value you offer. In the early days of consumerism, colors were associated with simple ideas — red was associated with fires, anger, and chaos, blue with sophistication, calmness, and professionalism — but over time these associations have become somewhat diluted. Today color theory seems to be leaning a little more liberal with its interpretations and applications.

Your color palette shouldn’t just be a matter of consistency. Consistency serves as a first step toward improving your brand and making it more memorable to your customers. Your color choices shouldn’t be based on what’s popular or trendy, but rather on what will make your brand stand out in a crowd.

For many, color psychology is a fascination. We, humans, are visual creatures, and colors can help us form an opinion about a product or person very quickly. In addition to the use of color in branding, a well-defined color palette helps the designer establish his or her style. This helps everyone else follow what you’re doing as well and gets the design out there for others to enjoy or critique too!

So, here are three tips to help you select the perfect brand colors.

1. Guide Your Brand with Consistency

Color palettes are extremely important for brand standards. There’s a reason why the majority of retailers have a consistent color scheme — it helps consumers quickly and easily identify a product from another. It also helps establish a brand identity for each product.  Consistency is achieved by using a single color throughout your entire product line instead of mixing and matching different shades together. Mixing and matching different shades can create visual inconsistencies where the consumer may not be able to tell the difference between two products or faces.

2. Let Your Personality Come Through

It’s not enough just to have a good design aesthetic — you also have to adopt the attitude that your business must be a reflection of the real you. The guest knows themselves, so if you offer a product, service, and experience that reflects your own thinking and values, you will find travelers flock to you because it matches their own sense of worth. What’s more, it adds personal value – something that makes you feel good inside. So if you are hiring a hotel design agency to help you create brand awareness for your new hotel, for example, make sure the people who are working on the project are having fun while they’re doing it. The design work will speak louder than the work put into refurbishing an existing building or rebranding an existing brand.

3. Balance it with Black and White

Sometimes it’s hard to decide on a color palette for your brand. Your guests will notice the difference. Likewise, your marketing team will notice if your brand colors become monotone. That’s why it’s important to balance your color palette with black and white.

Think of black and white as the perfect balance or contrast to other colors. It not only paints a picture, but it offers a stark contrast to bright lights and vibrant surroundings creating a mood or feeling.  The same goes for color pallets. Selecting a color that lacks saturation or contrast can lead to cluttered and muddy designs. On the other hand, selecting a color that is vibrant and fresh will help create contrast between objects emphasizing their lines.


Consistent use of thoughtful color palettes gives a hotel a cohesive brand identity which is important for travelers to be aware of and trust in your business.

Color psychology is an important part of every brand. It has an effect on people’s emotions and helps them make decisions that align with their character, values, needs, and motivations – this certainly applies to hotels as well. When selecting the right colors, hotels need to consider not only what others are doing in the same color category, but also what color will match the overall brand image.

Jeremy Wells

Partner at Longitude°

Jeremy is the author of Future Hospitality and Brand Strategist at Longitude°. As a member of the Education Committee for The Boutique & Lifestyle Leaders Association (BLLA) and a content contributor to Cornell University’s Hospitality Vision and Concept Design graduate program, he is a committed thought leader in hotel branding, concepting, and experience strategy.