Adam Gartenberg's Blog

Business Analytics and Optimization, IBM and Social Marketing

Feeling yellow? Or maybe blue? What color says about your brand

I caught the tail end of a piece on NPR this morning (OMG, you're still using AOL for e-mail?) on what your e-mail address says about your personal brand - how people will perceive you differently if you give them a hotmail address instead of gmail, for example.  (My favorite line was from the man justifying keeping his AOL address because "I have one of the original addresses with no numbers so it's easier for you to type.")  [What the piece didn't mention is that we're almost at the point where any e-mail address dates you, compared to TXT, twitter, facebook and the like.  Ah, progress.]

Anyway, the story made me think about other indirect elements that can play a role in branding, and specifically the implications that color can have on how your corporate brand is perceived.

A great site named Cymbolism set up a nice little interactive tool that shows you a word and lets you pick the color that you think best represents that color.  In addition to providing your own input, you can browse through the color associations, and I find it fascinating to see the colors people pick.

The UsabilityPost blog took that work one step further by lining up the primary associations for popular colors against major brands that highlight that color in their logos.

Which brings us to the marketing thought for the day - what do the colors you highlight in your logo, Web site, or product UI say about you?  Is it what you expected, or even what you want?  And of course, this works both ways - you can be proactive by heading on over to Cymbolism when coming up with new products or marketing material and see what color might best represent the associations you want to put in your viewers' minds.