Understanding Color

Tiffany, Pepsi, and Microsoft. Three brands with very separate plans, but something big in common. All use various shades of blue as their signature color—their brand. And, according to a recent study by international research and marketing firms, Global Market Bias: Part 1 – Color, the “time and money invested in brand identity is well spent…. Pay attention to the brand’s color to attract global consumers.”

Not looking to attract global consumers? The study’s findings apply to consumers across town as well as across the world. To choose a color for a branding strategy, consider the appeal of the color. It’s no coincidence that marketing powerhouses like Tiffany chose blue: It is the favorite color of not only the United States but also every country polled in North America, Asia, Europe, and South America, as well as Australia. Rounding out the list of favorites in the United States are, in order, purple, green, red, black, yellow, orange, and white.

The poll paid special attention to purple, a favorite in the fashion world this year. Interestingly, Global Market Bias: Part 1 – Color revealed that mature women, more than younger women or men, prefer purple. Many associate it with royalty, quality, prestige, excitement, and friendliness. Even better for retailers—especially jewelers looking to attract that elusive self-purchasing female—is that no brand owns purple the way Coke owns red, the study reports.

“If you’re trying to reach women, especially women in English-speaking regions, and you want to create powerful positive associations with your product or service, purple may be the best alternative to that overused favorite, blue,” the report concludes.

Global Market Bias: Part 1 – Color is based on 12,929 interviews conducted in summer 2004 in 17 countries by MSI-ITM, Cheskin, and CMCD Visual Symbols Library.