B2B International
B2B International

May 16, 2008

Director Nick Hague’s second Thursday Night Insight post takes a look at what the colours we adopt in both our personal and business lives really say about us.

If you want to get ahead, wear red.

Well I would say that wouldn’t I, being an avid Manchester United supporter, especially in the aftermath of their winning the English Premier League last weekend. However, it appears it might not be all down to the tantalizing skills of Ronaldo and Rooney but have something to do with the colour of United’s home kit. So say academics anyway who have analysed all the English Football League results since 1945. It seems that red is a testosterone-fuelled colour that exudes strength, aggressiveness and passion.

It must be said that my view might be slightly biased, but has the colour chosen for Manchester United’s home kit played a significant part in the club’s success; especially when viewed against their city rivals, Manchester City? And can the same be said when looking at other derby rivals? What about Liverpool and Everton or even Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur – has colour influenced the historical path that these clubs have trodden? Even when looking further afield to the USA, attempting to determine who the best all-time NBA basketball team isn’t easy, but surely the 1995 Chicago Bulls team would come close, especially if viewed on the most games won in a single season.

Of course, there isn’t one deciding factor in success but colour does play a part and the same should be said within business. Branding is all about communicating the essence of your company, your products and your services to your own personnel and to the wider world. It is about letting existing and potential customers, and your staff, know what sort of company you are and what they can expect from you. It is an intricate process of combining visual communication with behaviour to create an image in the public’s mind of who you are.

Far too often, companies approach their marketing and logo creation in a very simplistic way. Many companies spend so much time focusing on second guessing their target market and don’t put enough resource behind market research to find out the market’s view on a brand, what it stands for and the brand personality. Branding research can deliver a wide range of colours that can be used differently to deliver consistency and powerful positioning in logos, corporate marketing, packaging and even uniforms. Take a look at the colours below and what they stand for:

  • Red – strength, aggressive, passion, boldness
  • Blue – regal, authority, dignity, security, faithful
  • Orange – fun, cheeriness, warmth, positivity but can also look cheap if used on its own
  • Green environment, tranquility, health, freshness
  • Pink – femininity, innocence, softness, health
  • Yellow – optimism, motivated, energy, cheerful
  • Purple – sophistication, spirituality, royalty, mystery
  • Brown – earthiness and subtle richness
  • White – purity, truthfulness, contemporary, refined
  • Black – somber, serious, distinctive, bold, classic
  • Grey – authority, practical, conservative

What does your corporate brand say to you and your market?

For more information about how B2B International and market research can help you and your company please visit our pages on branding and corportate positioning, or take a look at our white papers for information on branding in b2b markets.