Defining Brand Through Color
Jul 15, 2015 Posted by Matthew Markiewicz in Branding and Identity Design
As Jess touched on in a previous post, even a subtle shift in your brand’s color can have a far-reaching impact on how that brand is perceived by the public. As marketers, we understand this intuitively, but many of our clients don’t fully realize the importance of not only establishing, but applying, maintaining and protecting their brand’s signature color palette. It can be hard to explain in words why it’s worthwhile to pick Pantone 299C over “light blue,” but with a little help from some of the world’s best brands, it becomes clear that picking a signature color (and sticking to it) can boost your brand’s recognition. Let’s look at three examples.
Red can be a difficult color. It’s associated with anger and intensity, but also love and passion. If there’s one brand that’s been able to successfully own the color red, it’s Coca-Cola. The company’s signature bright hue is plastered across every can, bottle, magazine ad, television spot and billboard. The association between the color and the brand is so strong that Coke is even releasing a limited run of cans without any labeling whatsoever. They have also reported some backlash when they’ve introduced varieties of Coke with cans that don’t use the signature red.
For decades, young women have dreamed of opening a box wrapped in this particular shade of blue. This trademarked shade of robin’s egg blue epitomizes the luxury and class of Tiffany & Co.; their diligent use and careful protection of this signature color has helped the company become one of the US’s most successful retailers, averaging over $3000 per square foot of store space (second only to Apple).
“What can brown do for you?” This famous tagline says everything that needs to be said about the strength of brand color. UPS embraced their unique shade (“Pullman Brown”) so completely that they started referring to themselves as “brown” in their own advertising. Are you brave enough to stop using your company’s name?
This type of brand-color association can be hard to establish, but it certainly isn’t reserved for top-tier, globe-trotting brands. One of our clients has put brand color recognition into action, painting all of their equipment a distinct shade of blue.
Along with corresponding print materials and the website, E-Tank has established this particular shade of blue as uniquely theirs and defined their identity by it. Those familiar with the industry can recognize “E-Tank Blue” equipment from a distance, reinforcing the brand’s strength even without the presence of their name.
So how strong is your brand’s color? Is it a defining trait or an afterthought?