Monthly Archives: May 2012

Colors and Brand Identity

Consumers identify a brand with several key visual elements; logo, design, name, and color, but often Logo and Identity are used interchangeably. However, logo is only the tip of the iceberg when comes to Brand Identity, color must be an important consideration while developing the brand identity.

Research shows why and how color plays a major role in our visual experiences.

Research conducted by the secretariat of the Seoul International Color Expo 2004 documented the following relationships between color and marketing:

92.6 percent said that they put most importance on visual factors when purchasing products. Only 5.6 percent said that the physical feel via the sense of touch was most important. Hearing and smell each drew 0.9 percent.

When asked to approximate the importance of color when buying products, 84.7 percent of the total respondents think that color accounts for more than half among the various factors important for choosing products.

Research revealed that people make subconscious judgment about a person, environment, or product within 90 seconds of initial viewing and that between 62% and 90% of that assessment is based on color alone.

Brand Identity is important for companies selling and marketing products and services and here are a few reasons why color is important in identifying a Brand.

Color increases brand recognition!

Apple brought color into a marketplace by introducing the colorful iMacs. The iMacs reinvigorated a brand that had suffered $1.8 billion of losses in two years. Then the rest is all history …

Color makes memorable impact!

If a picture is worth thousand words, a picture with natural colors may be worth a million, memory-wise. Psychologists have documented that “living color” does more than appeal to the senses. By hanging an extra “tag” of data on visual scenes, color helps us to process and store images more efficiently than colorless scenes, and as a result stays longer in mind.

Color Engages and Increases Participation!

Ads in color are read up to 42% more often than the same ads in black and white (as shown in study on phone directory ads). Tests indicate that a black and white image may sustain interest for less than two-thirds a second, whereas a colored image may hold the attention for two seconds or more. People cannot process every object within view at one time. Therefore, color can be used as a tool to emphasize or de-emphasize areas.

A Midwestern insurance company used color to highlight key information on their invoices. As a result, they began receiving customer payments an average of 14 days earlier.

Color and Senses!

Although the senses was human being’s most important source of input in the pre-historic era, sight became the most important means of survival. Furthermore, as hunters and gatherers in the early days of evolution, we experienced a variety of colors and forms in the landscape.

In our current state of evolution, vision is the primary source for all our experiences. Current marketing research has reported that approximately 80% of what we assimilate through the senses, is visual.

On the basis of the above research and facts, we now know the importance of color in Brand Identity. Therefore, it’s extremely important for companies that their brand colors are well defined and managed in order to ensure proper Brand recognition by consumers.

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Community branding has a much more deeper meaning

In today’s world companies are hungry to connect and in troubled economic times, every company needs new ways to do more with what it already has. Although many firms aspire to the customer loyalty, marketing efficiency and brand authenticity that strong communities deliver, only few understand what it takes to achieve such benefits. Many fall into serious misconceptions about what brand communities are and how they actually function.

For companies considering a community strategy, we offer cautionary tales and design principles. For those with existing brand communities, we provide new approaches for increasing their impact. Here the approach is not about whether a community is right for the brand but its about the willingness to do what’s needed to get a brand community right. A brand community is a business strategy, too often companies isolate their community building efforts within the marketing function, not a brilliant idea. For a brand community to maximize benefit, it must be planned on a much higher level involving business goals.

Lets take an example of Harley-Davidson here. Following the 1985 buyback that saved the company, management completely reformulated the competitive strategy and business model around a brand community philosophy. Beyond just changing its marketing programs, Harley-Davidson retooled every aspect of its organization from work culture to operations and governance structure to drive its community strategy. Harley management recognized that the brand had developed as a community-based phenomenon. The “brotherhood” of riders, united by a shared ethos, offered Harley the basis for a strategic repositioning as the one motorcycle manufacturer that understood bikers on their own terms. To reinforce this community-centric positioning and solidify the connection between the company and its customers, Harley staffed all community-outreach events with employees rather than hired hands. Executives were required to spend time in the field with customers and bring their insights. This close-to-the-customer strategy was codified in Harley Davidson’s operating philosophy. Decisions at all levels were directed by community perspective.

Thus, it is very clear that brands need a reason and strategy to interact with people, just like people need a reason to interact with brands. Sociologically, shopping gives people a sense of belonging to a community and allows them to communicate with others. This gives brands an opportunity to build communities of interest with people around their products and so form relationships with their customers and fans after the transaction is complete.

Brands need to understand how to connect with their fans and build relationships. An effective strategy requires brands to carefully consider what their customers are looking for and what role a community should play. The Communities in real terms are representation of the broader interest of members.

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