Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Effect of Color on Your Brand and Brand Message

Color is a powerful thing.  In this short and sweet post by Michael G. DiFrisco my go-to-guy for DIY Branding advice, brands and their colors live on in the customer's mind.

I pulled this little quiz from his recent post:
Here’s a quick quiz to demonstrate the power of color when it comes to brand recall. Without showing you a logo, a name, or even the initials of these three companies, see if you can guess the brand name. The category is shipping:

color, branding

Easy, wasn’t it? Let’s try it again. This time, we’ll make it a little harder. The category is lawn tractors.

Color, branding

When color becomes a nickname—either co-opted by the brand owner or simply used in a colloquial context (“What can Brown do for you?” IBM is “Big Blue”) the brand-to-color connection further supports marketplace differentiation.

Colors Have Meaning

While you may not be choosing brand colors daily - you're probably choosing colors on the web or on other materials and products.  The idea is to just be aware that colors have meaning and symbolism and be sure to pick a color that communicates exactly what you want to communicate.

Here's a color symbolism chart to help you out:

Red: Excitement, energy, passion, desire, speed, strength, power, heat, love, aggression, danger, fire, blood, war, violence, aggression, all things intense and passionate.

Yellow: Joy, happiness, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, sunshine, summer, gold, philosophy, dishonesty, cowardice, betrayal, jealousy, covetousness, deceit, illness, hazard.

Blue: Peace, tranquility, calm, stability, harmony, unity, trust, truth, confidence, conservatism, security, cleanliness, order, loyalty, sky, water, cold, technology, depression, appetite suppressant.

Orange: Energy, balance, warmth, enthusiasm, vibrant, expansive, flamboyant, demanding of attention.

Green: Nature, environment, healthy, good luck, renewal, youth, vigor, spring, generosity, fertility, jealousy, inexperience, envy, misfortune.

Purple: Royalty, spirituality, nobility, spirituality, ceremony, mysterious, transformation, wisdom, enlightenment, cruelty, arrogance, mourning.

Gray: Security, reliability, intelligence, staid, modesty, dignity, maturity, solid, conservative, practical, old age, sadness, boring

Brown: Earth, hearth, home, outdoors, reliability, comfort, endurance, stability, simplicity, and comfort.

White: Reverence, purity, simplicity, cleanliness, peace, humility, precision, innocence, youth, birth, winter, snow, good, sterility, marriage (Western cultures), death (Eastern cultures), cold, clinical, sterile.

Black: Power, sexuality, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth, mystery, fear, evil, anonymity, unhappiness, depth, style, evil, sadness, remorse, anger, underground, good technical color, mourning, death (Western cultures).

Don't just pick colors you like - focus on the objective of your communications piece and on the customer experience you'd like to create.

Have you done any surveys testing color?  Tell us all about it here!
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