The power of brand colours: Cadbury’s High Court victory secures exclusive rights to Pantone 2685c purple. In the search for consistency, has Cadbury taken a step too far? By Yaiza GardnerFebruary 26, 2013 at 10:50 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Tags: Asda, branding, Cadbury, graphic design, Nestlé, Pantone
After a four year court battle between Cadbury and Nestlé, Cadbury now owns the rights to the purple Pantone colour 2685C and has the exclusive rights to use it on chocolate bars and drinks. At Quantum, 2685C is our brand colour, but if we wanted to brand a Quantum chocolate bar or drink in that colour we wouldn’t be allowed. The brand police would be out in force!
Having used the colour for more than 90 years, is Cadbury right to claim ownership? Or should the Pantone colour spectrum be free for all designers to play with, allowing them to apply it to any format? Will Asda follow suit with their green?? Or Virgin with their red?
This illustrates the importance of colour choice in design, and how it can influence your marketing campaign and the world we live in.
Colour is an essential part of how we experience the world (and marketing messages). For example, in the main a large expanse of blue sky evokes calm, so sky blue is considered calming while darker shades are considered intellectual. Green works well with environmental references and pink evokes femininity.
As designers, much time is allocated to finding just the right colour for your brand in order to make the appropriate connection with the consumer. What emotion do we associate with our company? Or which would we like to portray? Colour becomes part of the graphic language of a brand and therefore becomes a key influencer.
Regarding Cadbury, its colour ownership battle has simply highlighted the power of the graphic language of a brand which we as designers shape, refine and deliver to the masses in the form of a campaign, identity or product.
Next time you look at a company, look at the use of colour in their brand…it all has meaning and therefore has power.
Tags: branding, corporate image, logo, Nike
Logo for just $20! This is the outrageous claim made by some internet branding companies. My own opinion is that such logos are nothing more than a piece of clip art with text. The most literal translation of a name that you could see. There is no thought behind such logos, no meaning behind them. A logo should be much more than that, no matter how big or small the organisation behind it.
After all, a logo is the sole representation of your setup. It is the only piece of your branding that can stand alone or accompany artworks whilst portraying your company. More importantly, if from the foundation, you build belief and understanding in to your logo design, then you build belief and vision in to your brand. A logo should encapsulate your values, it should even display the personality of the organisation.
Take a look at the Nike logo, with the infamous Nike tick and the slogan ‘Just do it’. For me, the logo mark is excellent. It sums up everything that Nike want to say. It’s energetic, it’s positive, it’s eager. It’s ‘get stuck in’. This and the ‘just do it’ caption work in perfect harmony, compelling the viewer to do (or purchase) whatever ‘it’ may be. I believe it also displays Nike’s own attitude too, pushing the boundaries in sports technologies, looking for new methods of success and helping top level athletes towards their goals. They are constantly striving to be better, re-inventing their sciences each time. All this from one simple (yet complex) logo.
So next time you see a logo, take the time to look at it further, there’s probably more to it than a pretty picture – at least there should be!
Tags: branding, corporate personality, debate, election, politics
The decision by the major party leaders to agree to a debate during this year’s election is certainly significant for politics, but also has major lessons for business. Thousands of column inches will be devoted to which leader has most to gain, and lose, from a debate, how helpful it is to democracy, how it will re-energise the electoral process among first time voters, etc. There will be many cynical voices claiming it has only been agreed because each party leader believes they can benefit from it, but there is also a deeper rooted reason for this first for British politics.
Whether we like it or not, we are now living in a multimedia world, where celebrities (including politicians) are judged by their appearance, mannerisms, accent and body language more than the actual policies they are promoting. With the benefit of hindsight it seems slightly odd now to recall that in 1997 the Labour leader was referred to as ‘that nice Mr Blair’. The public was buying his personality as much as his policies and it swept him to power.
There’s an old adage that people do business with people, not with companies, and never has that been more relevant than today, especially in the service sector. With competition for new business as intense as it has been for years, buyers will be looking for the little differences between suppliers and developing a personal relationship can often tip the balance. PR is not press relations, it’s public relations and businesses that know, understand and interact with their publics will gain that competitive advantage. As the politicians have realised, personality sells so they have agreed to the beauty parade. It’s a process that, however uncomfortable it may feel to some, businesses need to embrace to ensure they promote their corporate personalities as well as their services and products.
Tags: advertising, branding, election, newspapers, politics
The Sun’s decision to abandon New Labour and start backing the Tories (again) has been seen by many commentators as the Sun using its power to influence who its readers will support at the next election. But, is the Sun leading, or actually just following, public opinion?
It’s very important for a newspaper, or any business for that matter, to be in tune with its customers. The Sun likes to see itself as a winner, and glorify in its power to shape elections – who can forget the famous ‘It’s the Sun Wot Won It’ front page following John Major’s election win in 1992? But the Sun doesn’t go against popular opinion. Every time it has changed its political allegiance over the past two decades it has been in the direction of overwhelming opinion polls that have been steady for many months. There has certainly never been an example of the Sun backing the clear underdog and then pulling them through to victory.
One aspect of the media that is often forgotten is that (except for the BBC) individual media outlets are businesses, with shareholders to satisfy, advertisers to attract and customers to keep. All of our media in the UK is branded, so the editorial interest is shaped in such a way to appeal to certain groups in society, reflecting different socio-economic groups. This branding helps the media to attract advertisers, as it’s able to clearly identify the types of people that purchase their news and ‘sell’ their customers to advertisers looking to target those types of people. For example, if a newspaper can say ‘more Volvo drivers read this paper than any other’ it’s an important way to attract the Volvo advertising spend.
So, the Sun’s decision isn’t completely down to its full belief in the policies of Cameron’s Conservatives. It is shifting its stance to reflect the shifting opinion of its customers, albeit in a very high profile way. In the current economic climate it is a lesson that all businesses could do with taking on board – with customers becoming harder to find make sure you keep the ones you have by tweaking your offering to appeal to them above your competitors.