The first question I typically ask a new client is, “What are you REALLY selling?”
A few look at me as if I’m crazy — but soon learn I have method in my madness. We’re not selling windmills, whistling lessons or wonder-bras — we’re selling the RELIEF or FEELING our customer receives from making the purchase. We want them to feel good about doing business with us.
Quite often, as with APPLE or TIFFANY or DISNEY, we are simply selling our brand essence — our brand experience — how great it makes a consumer feel to be associated with our product or service. How can you develop your Brand Essence? . . .
- BE-Lieve. Believe in your product/service and others will too. Love what you do and don’t be afraid to let it show.
- BE Giving. Be of service by offering more than your customers and staff expect.
- BE Integrated. Create brand standards and use them. Identify colors, fonts and messaging unique to your business. Again, USE them.
- BE Seen. Have a great logo? Use it. Need a new one or an update? Hire a professional to fix that for you.
- BE Heard. Know your key messaging and share with your employees and around your community. Let people know WHY you love what you do.
- BE Bold. Boldly share your visual, verbal and virtual message every chance you get. Find your niche, fill a void.
- BE Valuable. Bring value to the table. Value propositions have no value if they fall short of expectations.
- BE Committed. Follow through on your commitments to your clients, your community, and to yourself.
- BE Trusted. Establish relationships based upon trust, honesty and integrity. Trust your gut, follow your instincts.
- BE Consistent. Deliver on your brand promise. Play your strengths. Reframe your weaknesses. Respond proactively.
“Painting” said Pooh, “is like humming in color”
Handing someone a generic business card or marketing piece tells them your company is . . . well, generic.
Offering well-thought-out marketing materials (from business cards to website banners) tells your audience you are excited about and proud of what you do, and want to share what you know. It doesn’t matter whether you are a financial planner or a tattoo artist, utilizing color or black-and-white — how you “paint the picture” of your business creates your visual brand.
You become memorable.
Choosing color to represent your business is much more than picking your favorite color. Different colors evoke different subliminal psychological responses. That’s why hospitals traditionally don’t use orange, yet Home Depot does.
What message does your business “hum”?
The Dichotomy of Contrast
Pantone’s Spring 2012 Color Forecast
- This dichotomy of contrast shows that you can pair vibrant jewel tones with softer “butter-mint candy” hues for an attention-grabbing marketing statement.
- For a high-volume “SHOUT”, pair two or more neons for a more youthful, trendy presentation of your marketing palette.
- For a more sophisticated, refined “whisper”, pair two or more of the softer tones to give personality to your brand.
Own Your Own Color & Help Save a Child’s Life.
What color will YOU choose?
The process is fun and very easy – and quite affordable – starting at $1.58 (they convert from British pounds to the American dollar for you).
Check it out . . . as a gift, or in memory of your loved one . . . or simply as a clever way to help children in third-world countries.
What color are YOU?
LOGOS & COLOR
As Leatrice Eiseman executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, explains in her book Color Messages and Meanings, “While it is a given that a successful brand logo is a happy marriage of shapes, symbols and colors, it is truly the colors that evoke the emotional message.”
Many leading brands are so linked to specific hues that they are primarily recognized by their color or colors.
Think Tiffany blue, Coke red, American Express blue, Kodak yellow and red, or DeWalt black and yellow. “Tiffany Blue” is the colloquial name for the blue color associated with Tiffany & Co., the New York City jewelry company. Tiffany Blue is a specific shade of light blue; it is very similar to the blue of a robin’s egg. The color is produced as a private custom color by Pantone, with PMS number 1837. As a trademarked color, it is not publicly available and is not printed in the Pantone Matching System swatch books.
When a color and design “signature” is established, it becomes the brand identifier that reinforces the image in the marketplace. This includes print and collateral materials, websites, packaging, point-of-purchase displays, signage, as well as the product itself, creating what is termed a “total brand experience”.
To your customer, when joining your “tribe”, color becomes a subliminal part of the brand experience. Whenever they shop or seek information about your brand, color serves to reinforce your brand and helps to establish that they will receive the same quality and service across many platforms.
Conscious Color Choices.
Ultimately, when developing a new brand for our clients, we have the “color” talk. Whether designing a new logo, website graphics, store signage or collateral marketing materials, we find ourselves in the role of “Color Psychologist”. The colors you choose to represent you and your business are vital in crafting the response you want from your consumer.
Color Defines Us.
What does color say about your business?
The success of your brand logo lies in a cohesive combination of fonts, shapes, symbols and colors.
Color helps to define the ultimate emotional message and long-term recognition of your brand.
- Think “Coca-Cola”, and you see RED.
- Think “AT&T”, and you see BLUE.
- Think “John Deere” and you see GREEN.
- Think “Home Depot” and you see ORANGE.
4 Steps for Choosing Your Color Identity:
Appropriate color choices serve to reinforce and embed your brand image in the marketplace.
Just because you love the color red does not necessarily mean that it is the best choice for your business identity. Consider these four essential elements of choosing colors for your business identity:
- Research your competition. Differentiating your brand is vital to creating an independent, successful identity.
- Reflect your purpose. Know your company’s mission, vision and values and let that come through in your visual, verbal and virtual message.
- Consider your audience. Consumers react subliminally to line, shape and color – be aware of what you want your brand to say about your business.
- Know your color psychology. Let color define the emotional connection between your business and your consumer.
Emotional vs. Rational Purchasing.
As consumers, we make most purchases based upon perception, not logic.
As much as 95% of our shopping decisions are dictated by our subconscious. Conversely, only 5% of decision-making is rational. If most decision-making is intuitive and emotional, the appropriateness and first impression of color is critical.