Any Hue, So Long as it’s… Blue

Brand’s choose their corporate colours with care and precision, so should extend that approach to merchandise, says Phil Morgan.

Anybody who has worked in the promotional market for any time at all will know that blue is hugely popular when it comes to corporate branding.Looking through our sales data of one of our most popular products, when you strip out black and white, 54% of sales are in shades of blue.

So why is this the case? When faced with such a huge spectrum of colour, combined with the desire to make a brand or promotion stand out from the crowd, what makes blue the number one choice?

It all comes down to choosing the best colour for a brand when it is created, or even rebranded. Different colours have differed meanings and different perceptions with customers. According to research, It takes 90 seconds for someone to form an opinion of a brand*, 85% of consumers cite colour as the primary reason for buying a product, and 80% believe colour increases brand recognition**. And they have a point – who doesn’t know the brand colours for Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s, Starbucks or Google?

Blue is a colour that represents trust, calmness and stability. So it makes perfect sense that the majority of brands would want to represent these values. Brands such as Dell, IBM, HP and Ford opted for blue logos, and no doubt spent time analysing the values their brand stands for, before choosing a colour.

It’s important to think how you want your brand to be perceived by potential customers. The biggest brands are doing this extremely well, and are great examples to follow, as the examples show.

  • Red stands for immediacy, passion, hunger and is championed by Coca-Cola, CNN and KFC.
  • Green is a soothing, natural colour associated with balance and championed by Starbucks and Spotify.
  • Yellow brings freshness, cheer and energy, ideal for brands such as Subway, Ikea and Schweppes.
  • Purple exudes luxury, royalty and sophistication, making it a great choice for Cadbury and Hallmark.

Selecting a colour for your brand is more than just a ‘I like this colour’ decision. You need to think about the personalities reflected by a colour, and whether they match how you want to be perceived. You also need to consider competition and whether you want to match them or stand out.

For promotional products companies, we reflect such a huge range of colour and personalities. From the luxury corporate gift to the cheap and cheerful giveaway. What a great opportunity to explore all the opportunities colour can offer your brand. And hey, if all else fails, have you considered blue?

Phil Morgan is managing director of SPS.

*Color Communications

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