A brand color strategy? Really?

Branding by Color

Do you have a brand color strategy?

I was having a cuppa java in a restaurant last week and noticed that the sugar dispenser had pink, blue, yellow and for the first time ever – green packets! Well, I know that the pink is Sweet N’ Low, the blue is Equal, the yellow is Splenda, but what was the green? Turns out it is Equal with stevia.

Clearly, then, Equal has a color coding strategy. In fact, we determine color in less than 3 seconds and we often remember the color before the brand name. I’ve heard many consumers tell me that they take a blue or orange pill or that they buy the blue oatmeal, but don’t remember the flavor name.

SO, how can you brand by color?

  1. Deploy Consistently – Don’t change your logo, your envelope color, or even your signature wardrobe color willy nilly. If your colors are red and black, stick with it! Even though the Starbucks logo has morphed, it’s remained with the forest green color. It’s brilliant the way publicity photos of author Sachi Parker are in pink – just like her new tell-all book cover of her mom, Shirley MacLaine.
  2. Be Bold – Golf-club maker TaylorMade credits painting its R11 drivers white as the key to boosting its market share to 8%. What can you do
  3. Look at the Psychology of Color – Color communicates emotion. Red and orange are high energy, frenetic colors which is why they adorn virtually ever fast feeder from Taco Bell to Wendy’s to McDonald’s. If you’re looking to instill a calming feeling, head over to the soothing world of blue. BTW, red and brown houses are the least likely to sell. (Pssst. Look below to see an easy-to-reference chart on color)
  4. Consider Utility – Although brown is not my fave color, it works for the UPS guys and gals who are schlepping packages. White shirts certainly wouldn’t work.
  5. Review Your Competitors – If all of the competitors in your space are projecting the same colors, it’s time to shake up the market and stand out. When it comes to bottled water, for example, it’s an ocean of blue from Dasani to Aquafina. But, then there’s Evian – a dose of pink and it stands out.

How are you branding by color? Need help? Contact me about coaching to see how we can work together to boost your business.

 

The Psychology of Color

Color

Symbolizes

Example

Pink

Femininity, babies, soft

Mary Kay, Susan G. Komen, Barbie, Johnson & Johnson

Red

Strength, vitality, rescue, danger

Target, Red Cross, Swiss Army

Orange

High energy, construction, movement

Target, Red Cross, Swiss Army

Yellow

Light, future, philosophy

National Geographic, Yellow Tail

Green

Money, growth, environment, nature

Whole Foods, Starbucks, John Deere

Blue

Trust, authority, security

IBM, Microsoft, American Express

Purple

Royalty, spirituality, new age

Nexium, Barney, Massage Envy

Please share your stories with me in the comments below.

Image courtesy of posterize / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
6 Comments
  1. Good informative post Liz! What would you say about the color Black?

  2. Black is considered modern, stark, and high tech. Think MAC cosmetics, Lenovo, Chanel, Playboy, Prada, etc.

  3. Our purple theme has worked well for us as wills and trusts lawyers. We use it as often as we can, including painting accent walls a deep, royal purple. We get comments on it all the time, and the color even becomes an icebreaker topic for clients. Not sure I’m looking to compare to dinosaur Barney, however…

  4. No, but purple remains a regal color and agree that it works well for your law firm.

  5. Yellow Smiley Faces, as in Wal-Marts dropping prices sign. Hmmm… then again, yellow is supposed to mean caution (as in traffic lights). Oh wait, never mind–I was getting that confused with “Speed Up!!!” Ha!

  6. Hi Liz. We’re getting ready to expand our two large print shops into one extra-large print shop. I’m already considering colors even though the building has not yet started. Our logo colors are magenta and black with a touch of yellow (you can see it on our website). We are the premiere print shop in our town and need to maintain our “cutting edge” feel. We would like to use the two colors of purple (magenta is probably too much) and green, not sure which shades yet, with a high gloss white. What are your feelings about this choice for the inside of a new building with established clientele? Or, do you recommend that the inside colors should be associated with the logo colors? Or, do you have another color combination you would recommend altogether? Curious…

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