Red Haired Woman

Branding & Colour

Some brands own one outright: a colour, shade or hue that smacks of ‘I know exactly who that is!’. Coca-Cola is a great example. A few years ago now, there were a load of 48 sheets across the country, all in red, a subtle wave of white and the proportionately tiny word ‘Enjoy’ at the footer. Brilliant!

Was it total confidence? A reference or dig to the Pepsi shift to brand blue? Was it brand reinforcement or was it’s a lazy (or brilliant) creative?

Who cares? We love it; we identify with it; we want the real thing. You can’t beat it!

The power of colour with brands

Yes, some brands can indeed be identified by a single colour – or more technically a single Pantone reference – in its marketing campaigns and collateral. Everyone knew Orange’s particular orange, they know Cadbury’s exact purple, and they know that bright and bold companies like Virgin use an equally bright and bold red. And Apple has trumped them all with white: how simplistic and confident! Every brand shares their personality through its corporate identity colours, signifying who they are with both their audience and their competitors.

Let’s talk Red

It is an emotionally powerful colour: it reflects intensity, passion, danger. Apparently it can raise the heart rate of shoppers; create impulse and desire. It creates action and shouts loudly in retail environments. It’s about the ‘now’.

Looking at a few stalwart red brands, we can find affinity between the dominant colour of their brand, the personality that they exhibit and the products and services they offer.

Virgin Atlantic have made flying sexy rather than a necessity with their dominant red. With the addition of some purple and beautifully photography and cinematography, they have added affordable luxury and a little opulence to the brand too. You also cannot miss the red-clad cabin crew striding confidently across any departures lounge!

Brand persuasion

Red: they say it stimulates glands…appetite glands to be precise!

Think McDonalds, KFC, Walkers crisps, even Kelloggs. Red is synonymous with each of these and without us knowing why, could make us indulge our cravings for that impulse snack.

With our retail society becoming ever more impulsive, it stands to reason that over the next few years we could see even more red brand identities appearing across our shelves and into our inboxes.

Passion and brand sex appeal

Here’s another great brand that uses red in a very clever way.

There are jeans. And then there are Levis.

Levis put the sexy into what are effectively utility workwear trousers. Brilliant! They did for denim what Hoover did to vacuuming. People have shouted up the stairs for years ‘Have you seen my Levis?’ They are more than jeans: they are a connection to style, success and self awareness. People may feel more confident in their own skin, so to speak, knowing that their skin is wrapped in Levis denim. And where exactly do they put the small red Levis label? On the ass pocket!

You know that on a few occasions in your life, you’ve noticed it there. They definitely know what they are doing when it comes to branding.

Red demands your attention

So listen to your inner voice when it speaks. Are you looking for passion and flair? A little danger (if that’s your thing)? Ideas that are firmly in the ‘NOW’? Creative that will command an emotional response no matter what your current corporate or brand identity colours? Perhaps seek out a brand agency that looks that little bit deeper into the spectrum. Then act on your impulse.

Speak to you soon.