Brand Color Strategy?

By: Liz Goodgold
Posted: 02/20/2013

I was having a cup of coffee 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?  

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.

Be Bold - Golf-club maker Taylor Made credits painting its R11 drivers white as the key to boosting its market share to 8%. What can you do?

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. 

Consider Utility - Although brown is not my favorite color, it works for the UPS guys and gals who are schlepping packages. White shirts certainly wouldn't work.

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.  

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