Did you know that color increases brand recognition by up to 80 percent? It does, based on a University of Loyola, Maryland study.

Color plays a larger role for your company than you may think — through your customers and memory recall. Colors stimulate all the senses, instantly conveying a message like no other form of communication.

Take these brands for example:

  • Coca-Cola is known for its signature red can.
  • Tiffany & Co. has its Tiffany blue boxes and uses its signature color throughout the store.
  • McDonald's incorporates its golden arches.

"We find ourselves instinctively drawn to a certain color or combination. The colors we choose to surround ourselves with in our personal life shows how we are feeling about ourselves and how we want others to perceive us. In business, color can be used to elicit specific customer responses," Karen Haller, a color and design consultant from the United Kingdom, said.

So how do you choose the right color for your business?

Making sure you have the right color for your brand is critical. Whichever color you choose, it needs to be included through your entire business model — including promotional materials, logo, product packaging, websites, etc. Colors can mean different things, so it's good to know the difference.

In the U.S., colors have represented themselves — from advertising — to have universal meanings. All colors are based on the warm and cold theory. In general, warm colors send energetic messages while cold colors are calmer.

  • Green, which varies by hue, mainly means health, money, cleanliness and serenity.
  • Blue represents trust, integrity and communication.
  • Yellow shows optimism, positivity, light and warmth.
  • Purple evokes sophistication, spirituality and royalty.
  • Pink — also varying by hue — energy, romantic, youthfulness, fun and excitement.
  • Orange shows enthusiasm, fun and strength.
  • Brown conveys simplicity, durability and stability. With that said, it can also have a negative meaning of dirtiness.
  • Black is powerful, bold, serious and classic.
  • White shows purity, cleanliness and simplicity.

The color you choose as a company conveys how trustworthy you are to customers and the quality of your products and services, among others. A study of the world's top 100 brands analyzed brand logos and found that 29 percent use red, 33 percent use blue, 28 percent use black or grayscale, and 13 percent use yellow.

"When asked to approximate the importance of color when buying products, 84.7 percent of the total respondents think that color accounts for more than half among the various factors important for choosing products," according to a study by the Seoul International Color Expo.

Although these colors have these general meanings, remember that they can fluctuate with time. Make sure to stay up-to-date with the current trends.

Now, this doesn’t mean you have to change the color of your branding materials each time trends change, but use the popular colors of the time within marketing materials. For example, some companies use the colors of the month for materials to gain more attention during holidays and seasons.

Color shouldn't be an afterthought when it comes to branding your business. Take your time to understand the meaning of the colors and how it conveys your business model. Once you find your perfect match, the reward will increase customer loyalty and — possibly — sales.