“What’s your favourite colour?”

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“What’s your favourite colour?”

Apparently, the use of colour is the strongest visual element of a brand, more so than the slogan, typeface or shape of the logo. That’s not true of all brands – Frostie’s “You’re Great!” or how about the trademark shape of a product itself, like Absolut vodka?. But this came from a survey from Withers & Rogers, the patent and trademark attorneys, so who am I to argue…?

I set myself the rainbow test for brand association, results just in:

Red – Coca Cola
Orange – Orange
Yellow – Yellow Pages
Green – Heineken
Blue – Peroni (but maybe because I was already thinking green and beer)
Purple – Cadbury’s

And then asked my little helper:

Red – Puma
Orange – EasyJet
Yellow – CAT
Green – EuropCar
Blue – Facebook
Purple – …er…nothing…

So… completely different.

Maybe there used to be a bigger brand fight to ‘own’ a colour. Coca Cola have always been all over Red, but within individual markets, like mobile telecoms, then Red is undisputedly Vodafone.

Google is one of those wonderful, flexible, playful brands, and even its standard logo is a mixture of blue, red, yellow and green – Google isn’t colour shy. Would you remember that from memory or associate those colours to Google? Probably not. But if they were lined up as colour blocks in the respective order of letters, then you’d get it in an instant.

Colour is useful to a brand and consumers. It’s a beacon and identifier. It’s reassuring recognisable – we’re drawn to it when selecting a specific brand from a sea of the same product.

Graphic Design Blog’s “Colour Bar” (which includes a very nice brand colour spectrum) states that colour dictates a brand’s charisma, and is key in affecting consumers.

Sure, colour isn’t just an identifier; it can bring so much more meaning for brands –emotions, states of mind, memories, music: the decadent, luxuriousness of purple, the cool relaxing sky and sea of blue.

In fact, as claimed by ColourLovers on that very matter, blue is the dominant colour of the web, in particularly of social media sites. Is that because one brand copies another, jumping on their bandwagon? Well, when the writer of said article asked Mark Zukkerberg about his colour choice, the response was: “I’m colour blind, it’s the only colour I can see.”

So… brands can do a tonne of market research and affect their consumers deeply, psychologically, emotionally with their choice of colour or… they can just pick their favourite one.

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