Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Color's Role in Brand Marketing

When creating a marketing plan for a product or service, there are key priorities to consider ranging from competitive strengths, positioning statement, tagline, logo, and comparison with the competition. So, even though research has shown that color increases memory, how high is color on the list?

While color allows for a product’s or service’s brand to stand out from the competition, how do you decide what color is the best choice? Sure, you may prefer blue or red, but if the product is orange juice, clearly orange, yellow, or green might be a better choice. You need to decide which color best expresses the attributes of the brand as well as which color best reflects your brand’s message.

The color of blue relays integrity, responsibility, intelligence, reliability, truth, and honesty. Light hues of blue convey peace, softness, and healing. Dark hues of blue convey stability, security, and expertise. Blue often communicates feelings of respect, honesty, and confidence. Some well-known logos featuring blue include: IBM, Ford, Citibank, VISA, Tiffany, Skype, General Motors, jetBlue, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Walmart, Nokia, Facebook, Twitter, and BlueCross/BlueShield.

The color of green brings to mind environment, growth, re-birth, spring, and luck. Green often communicates feelings of relaxation, renewal, revival, freshness, and optimism. Some well-known logos featuring green include: Garnier Fructis hair care products, American Express, Starbucks, Green Giant vegetables, Whole Foods Market, Subway, Aer Lingus, L.L. Bean, Tropicana Orange Juice, and National Car Rental.

The color of red brings to mind love, action, courage, determination and can also represent danger. Red often communicates feelings of boldness, passion, energy – and grabs attention. Some well-known logos featuring red include: Coca-Cola, Red Cross, Bank of America, Target, Verizon, Toyota, YouTube, McAfee, Marriott Hotels, Boston Red Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Lego, and Levi’s.

The color of purple brings to mind royalty, luxury, magic, mysticism, and inspiration. Purple often communicates feelings of luxury, spirituality, and authority. Some well-known logos featuring purple include: Yahoo!, FedEx, FedEx Ground, Los Angeles Lakers, WeddingChannel.com, Cadbury Chocolates, and Hawaiian Airlines.

The color of pink brings to mind youthful exuberance, fun, excitement. Pink often communicates feelings of vibrancy and friendship. Some well-known logos featuring pink include: Victoria’s Secret, Flirt dresses by Maggie Sottero, Pepto-Bismol, Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, and Mary Kay Cosmetics.

The color of orange brings to mind heat, competition, and productivity. Orange often communicates feelings of strength, determination, vitality, and energy. Some well-known logos featuring orange include: Simply Orange Juice Company, Nickelodeon, Harley-Davidson Motorcycles, Mozilla Firefox Internet browser, Amazon.com, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Tide laundry detergent, and The Home Depot.

The color of yellow brings to mind energy, sunshine, warmth, light, happiness, creativity, vision, and warning. Yellow often communicates feelings of creativity, optimism, warmth, vision, and happiness. Some well-known logos featuring yellow include: Hertz, Goodyear tires, Pennzoil, National Geographic, Ikea, Best Buy, Ferrari, Shell Oil, Yellow Pages, McDonald’s, Subway, Denny’s Restaurants, and In-N-Out Burger – as well as thousands of taxi cabs on streets throughout New York City. Since the eye sees yellow before any other color, there is no question why those cabs are yellow.

The color of brown brings to mind rustic, earthy, and warm. Brown often communicates feelings of romanticism and durability. Some well-known logos featuring brown include: UPS, Gloria Jean’s Coffees, and Louis Vuitton handbags/attire/jewelry.

Black brings to mind expensive products and has been known as “the absence of color” or “all colors.” It communicates feelings of power, drama, and sophistication.

White brings to mind simplicity, cleanliness, and purity – and often catches the eye when it is used to highlight words or image outlines. It is used in hospitals and for health-related items and also for bridal gowns.

Research conducted by Xerox Corporation and International Communications Research from February to March 2003, found:
  • 92% = Believe color presents an image of impressive quality.
  • 90% = Believe color can assist in attracting new customers.
  • 90% = Believe customers remember ads better when color is used.
  • 81% = Believe color gives them a competitive edge.

So when selecting your brand’s color or colors, ask these key questions:
  1. What color truly represents your brand’s personality?
  2. What color suits the characteristics of your product or service?
  3. What colors do your competitors use?

1 comment:

  1. Debbie,

    The color of purple brings to mind royalty, luxury, magic, mysticism, and inspiration. Purple often communicates feelings of luxury, spirituality, and authority.

    So...My branding reflects luxury, magic, and authority. I should insert that into my messaging somehow.

    Idea Girl Media didn't qualify for the brands list?? (kidding)

    Helpful and inspirational post!



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