It’s the political season. The conventions have just ended and we finally (<——sarcasm) know who our candidates will be this fall in the United States. In fact, I wonder how much money would have been saved if both parties just told us in June it would be Romney vs. Obama and didn’t even hold those big, hot-air parties.

But, I digress. This isn’t a political post, it’s one about branding and how important it is to think about customer, client and media perceptions of the colors being used in any campaign. For the purposes of this example, let’s stay with politics.

In a Presidential election year, if you choose blue or red as your branding color of choice, you may have inadvertently lumped yourself in with the politicos of the party that shares your colors. So strongly are colors and parties tied together, that most people vote by party and not by candidate.

This can easily — because of timing and coincidence — derail your own branding campaign if you’re not careful. So let’s look at a few things you need to be aware of…especially in an election year…when painting yourself or your firm with certain colors.

1 – Visual imagery is strong. So strong in fact that lawyers now try to use colored and color-enhanced photos as part of their cases to sway jurors after studies found that black & white images were not strong enough to motivate jurors. So, when thinking about your brand, be sure to choose a strong color for your campaign and branding.

2 – When choosing colors, be sure you know what emotions they evoke. As with our political commentary above on the Democratic and Republican parties, you might want to stay away from strong reds and blues during an election year depending on where your firm is located. Here are a few color meanings…

“Carl Jung, a renowned psychiatrist and proponent of art therapy, encouraged his patients to use color because he felt this would help them express some of the deeper parts of their psyche…the color choices you make reflect a deeper meaning about your personality…e.g. introverts and extroverts are likely to choose different colors – blue and red respectively.”

Taken from here.

In this article, the author provides comprehensive charts that show colors and their respective meanings. Red equaling power, communism, aggression and more. Blue equaling harmony, freedom, protection and more. Take a look to see what fits your words

3 – Don’t take all of this too seriously. While the election season seems to run on forever, it’s short-lived when compared to your business and brand. Think about your messaging and imagery for the long haul. Don’t make snap decisions about your colors, your look or your logo. These things are going to represent the core of who you are and what you can provide your audiences. So, give them the attention and care they deserve.

4 – Finally, even the worst logo or brand color or corporate design doesn’t immediately ruin a company. Look at Procter & Gamble and their alleged connection to the Church of Satan. Widely believed to be true (it’s not — see this), it didn’t do much to deter folks from keeping the company profitable and growing.

Ultimately, perception can drive business, affect marketing and sometimes even the bottom line. And we all know that people are increasingly voting with their wallets. But if you’re careful and think like your audience, then you’ll be better prepared to put your best foot…and color…forward when sharing your brand and message with the world.