Turquoise and brown are the signature colors at Amy's Bread in New York City.

There are many key factors involved in branding, and one that may get overlooked is color. “Color is a really important communicator as you brand your business,” says Ann Burgunder, who is chief financial officer for Amy’s Bread in New York City. “As you create the identity of your bakery, you need to communicate that to your customers.”

Speaking at the Bread Bakers Guild of America’s Wheatstalk conference in Chicago, speakers shared profitable ideas for making your business and mission stand out.

Express the goals for your business through the look you create. For your color palette, try to stick with a maximum of three colors, along with hues and tones.

Turquoise and brown are signature colors at Amy’s Bread, which was founded by owner Amy Scherber in 1992. These colors evoke a sense of natural beauty, consistent with the mission of the acclaimed bakery.

The two colors appear throughout the décor of Amy’s retail stores, as well as on T-shirts and shopping bags. It’s a great idea to offer your own shopping bags (with your company logo on it, of course) because “the bag goes everywhere,” Burgunder points out.

Another effective idea is making sure that your T-shirts have writing on both the front and back, so that customers can see it either way. “It’s another way to communicate with your customers,” she says.

Make sure you are offering a consistent look and color scheme throughout all materials, including business cards, stationery, menus, posters, postcards and especially your website.

Online marketing

Clear Flour Bread in Brookline, MA  promotes its bakery's culture through Facebook.

Social media presents another valuable tool, and highly cost-effective, to bring the messages that you want to convey to your loyal customers.

Use social media to update your shoppers about upcoming sales, introduce new products and share the history of your bakery.

Abe Faber, co-owner of Clear Flour Bread in Brookline, MA, says he has learned that Facebook is a wonderful tool to just have fun. And that does wonders for the popularity of your bakery.

“I can push out a sense of the culture of what our bakery is all about through Facebook in lots of fun ways,” he says.

Use Facebook to interact with customers in words and photos. Ask them to send photos of your products at a picnic, or any other festive occasion. Ask them questions, and solicit feedback. Then you begin to get to know your customers on a more personal level and create longtime loyalty.

Finally, use online services like Mail Chimp or Constant Contact to market products, classes and introduce new products. The effective use of social media requires that you build followers and a customer contact database.