The branding color palette we see again and again in the sustainability industry are green and brown. And why not? These colors represent nature, they feel grounded, and they go very well together. It makes sense to lean towards them when you are designing your brand and gathering brand inspiration.
But by using a brown and green color scheme and your branding inspiration, you might actually be hurting your brand more than helping it grow. Let me show you why.
My Creative Branding Color Palette Process
When working on your brand design and branding inspiration, there are 2 important things you should do:
- look at your direct competitors
- look at the brands your audience buys from.
In my branding process, I check the websites, social media accounts and brand kits if available from all these companies. I take screenshots of the different platforms and put them all on a dedicated Pinterest board. This gives me a fantastic visual overview of the industry, and the best brand colors in that industry.
One thing that jumps at me for every eco-friendly business I work with is that these boards are oceans of green and brown! Like I said, on a representation point of view, that makes sense.
When Green and Brown Make the Best Brand Colors
I would even say that they are perfect if your brand is going to be placed in a big supermarket, or anywhere non eco-friendly brands are going to hang out next to yours. There, customers know what type of product they want to buy (gluten free, white-labeled, organic, etc) and there are so many options that they have to navigate at first glance otherwise they would have to spend hours in there.
In the supermarket, a customer sees green and brown, and they immediately think it is the healthier, safer option. (Some brands actually use this at their advantage by using these colors even though they are not healthier or safer, that’s a form of greenwashing.) In this instance it is very helpful to use green and brown to distinguish yourself from others and be more recognizable.
The Problem with the Green and Brown Branding Color Palette
If you specialize in a niche where people are already educated about sustainability, if you are super local or if you are a small company, the brands gravitating around you (and around your ideal clients) are going to use a lot of green and brown.
The problem is that you won’t stand out! Your sustainable brand will be less distinguishable from others at first sight. In a world of first impressions, this is a big missed-opportunity.
You will have to work extra hard to position yourself in different ways to stand out. It will take more time to build brand loyalty and trust. And that’s a big deal because being an eco-friendly company, we need you. We need your positive impact to be seen.
Potential clients won’t notice you as they scroll. If your color scheme isn’t unique enough, they will just lump you in with all the other brands they see.
And, the worst missed connection of all: they won’t be able to find you again if they don’t remember your name. Your ideal client is busy, they typically won’t search very hard. They will scroll right past your page when they’re looking for YOU. That’s a warm lead lost, all because of the sea of green and brown.
Some Great Branding Inspiration for You
Here are 3 eco-friendly product-based brands not using green and brown to inspire you.
If you have any questions, about your visual branding, reach out to Jeanne at sparkandbloomstudio.com!