November 18th, 2011
What hue are you?
By Brokaw copywriter, Erin Pollock (a.k.a. “Tiny”)
Someday I wouldn’t mind a pair of those gorgeous shoes with red soles. And I certainly wouldn’t mind a little gift in a pretty robin’s egg blue box. (Adam Pollock, darling husband of mine, are you reading this? Ahem.) Anyway, you probably know of which goods I speak. And you know what? Those brands know that you covet their colors—and they’re willing to protect them.
In an ongoing lawsuit, Christian Louboutin (shoe designer extraordinaire) is trying to overturn a judgment that stated Yves St. Laurent could sell (oh, the horror) shoes with red soles. And you know who sided with the Loubs? Tiffany and Co. of course.
Well, think quick—what soda comes in a red and white can? What coffee cup is white with a touch of green? And who has GOLDEN arches?? Obviously, color IS branding. However, the law doesn’t seem to be siding with color. Just as in the original Louboutin case (where the Loubs lost), Lifesavers lost a suit against Curtiss Candy Co. over a multi-striped package.
This begs two questions: Can you own your color? And how important is it? While the law may not be so agreeable, consumers are—so what does your brand’s color say about you? According to John Williams of Entrepreneur.com:
Yellow: In every society, yellow is associated with the sun. Thus, it communicates optimism, positivism, light and warmth. Certain shades seem to motivate and stimulate creative thought and energy. The eye sees bright yellows before any other color, making them great for point-of-purchase displays.
Purple: Purple is a color favored by creative types. With its blend of passionate red and tranquil blue, it evokes mystery, sophistication, spirituality and royalty. Lavender evokes nostalgia and sentimentality.
Pink: Pink’s message varies by intensity. Hot pinks convey energy, youthfulness, fun and excitement and are recommended for less expensive or trendy products for women or girls. Dusty pinks appear sentimental. Lighter pinks are more romantic.
Orange: Cheerful orange evokes exuberance, fun and vitality. With the drama of red plus the cheer of yellow, orange is viewed as gregarious and often childlike. Research indicates its lighter shades appeal to an upscale market. Peach tones work well with health care, restaurants and beauty salons.
Brown: This earthy color conveys simplicity, durability and stability. It can also elicit a negative response from consumers who relate to it as dirty. Certain shades of brown, like terracotta, can convey an upscale look. From a functional perspective, brown tends to hide dirt, making it a logical choice for some trucking and industrial companies.
Black: Black is serious, bold, powerful and classic. It creates drama and connotes sophistication. Black works well for expensive products, but can also make a product look heavy.
White: White connotes simplicity, cleanliness and purity. The human eye views white as a brilliant color, so it immediately catches the eye in signage. White is often used with infant and health-related products.
And what does Brokaw Gray mean—um, our hometown, duh!