The Power of Brand Colors on the Consumer

The Power of Brand Colors on the Consumer

Color builds meaning and instantly conveys brand personality and brand attributes. Your ultimate goal is to own a color that conveys your core brand essence, a color that customers will ultimately come to associate with your brand. Color contributes to brand equity, and color consistency over the long haul can help burn a brand into the customer’s mind.

In the soft drink market, Coke owns red. In the courier market, UPS decided to own brown (dependable/reliable) to differentiate itself from FedEx, who already owned innovation and friendliness with purple and orange. FedEx also chose the two most shocking colors it could find so that its packages would stand out on the recipient’s desk.

Kodak is yellow.

Fuji is green.

Hertz is yellow. Avis is red. National is green.

When brands become leaders, the colors they choose come to symbolize or even personify them. We subliminally translate colors to symbols because we associate color with meanings.

Colors have different connotations in different cultures, so it is important to research your target market and determine how your color choices will resonate with them. For example, in the U.S., white symbolizes weddings and purity, but in some Eastern cultures, white symbolizes mourning. In the U.S., black is the color of mourning. But it is also the color of luxury (e.g., Johnnie Walker Black Label). Blue is the color of leadership (e.g., a blue ribbon award). Purple is the color of royalty (as in the expression “born to the color of purple). Green is the color of the environment and health (e.g., Greenpeace, Healthy Choice).

Color can actually evoke physiological responses. For example, red has been shown to increase blood pressure rate, while cool blues and greens have been shown to decrease blood pressure rate.

Color has incredible psychological power and can provoke different sensory perceptions. McDonald’s, for example, uses orange to stimulate customer appetites. Red is an in-your-face color that appears to move toward your eyes. Blue appears to move away from you.

When choosing a color for a brand or a logo, do not simply choose your favorite color. Use color to support your brand’s message and personality. You may want to first focus on the mood you want to evoke, but other factors might override a choice based only on mood or tone. (For example, do not do it if it means copying your top competitor’s color.)

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