This article was originally published on 9/04/2020
I am excited to share the details of the article I’m sharing this week's Reader's Corner series, but first, allow me to venture down a personal, yet relevant tangent. (Skip to the end to get to the meat of the article)
Last year I was at a local conference dedicated to growing, educating, and inspiring sales leaders and marketing professionals in the Southeast. During our lunch break, I initiated a conversation with Stan Phelps, a well-known keynote speaker in the local marketing community whose presentations typically revolve around customer experience, technology, differentiation, and brand purpose.
He began telling me about the latest book in his popular “Goldfish” Series. Each book in the series is a joint effort between him and other contributors, where they share their expertise on various subjects; such as identifying brand differentiation, motivating sales, driving employee engagement, leveraging technology, and many more.
The title of each book in the Goldfish series begins with a color (i.e. “Pink Goldfish). The varying colors in his Goldfish series include Pink, Purple, Green, Blue, Golden, Red, Yellow, Gray, Diamond, and Silver.
I asked him if the colors were chosen based on the content included in each book. I cannot recall his official answer, but it was probably... “yes”. That led us into a fun conversation around the emotional meanings behind different colors, and if we ourselves were a brand, which color would we be and why?
Many of us associate colors consciously or subconsciously with different emotions and meanings. If I go back and review his books and their topics, I get the sense that the colors chosen for at least some of them were intentional. Here are the books in his series with descriptions, and my personal interpretation behind why each color was chosen for each book:
- Pink Goldfish – Differentiating your brand to stand out from the rest: Pink is not (or at least was not) a common color in the business world for some time, it dares to be different – perhaps that was the intent behind choosing that color? It is also playful in nature and easily attracts attention.
- Purple Goldfish – Differentiating your brand via added value: Perhaps this color is an unironically "deeper" take on the color pink, as it adds a bit more value (and the color blue) to the original concept. Purple is also associated with many other things. Historically it was viewed as a valuable color that only royalty could afford to purchase ( purple-dyed clothing was a rarity at the time due to the color's limited existence in the natural world).
- Green Goldfish – Creating happy employees and driving employee engagement in the workplace: Apart from “money”, green is a color often related to sustainability. Sustainability does not limit itself to proving that your corporation is eco-friendly. “Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony”, or in other words, sustainability can refer to investing in your employees to make sure their needs are met and they lead a healthy work/life balance.
- Blue Goldfish – Leveraging technology to improve customer experience: Now this one is pretty easy. Blue is commonly associated with a “futuristic” feel. Perhaps this is due to the blue-light on our computer screens, or maybe we are just socially conditioned to feel this way as a result of all the visual ways “futuristic” cities have been presented to us. With all their blue LED lights and steel structures reflecting the sky’s blue light, I can’t think of any other color more suited to represent technology.
- Golden Goldfish – All customers and employees are not created equal: The color gold is associated with kingliness, royalty, and riches. The existence of kingdoms often begets a power imbalance, which aligns with the "not all people created equal" theme.
- Red Goldfish – How businesses can embrace purpose, which in turn will drive employee engagement and loyalty: Well, the color red = passion. And what is passion if not the purest ingredient in finding one’s real “purpose” and driving emotional loyalty?
- Yellow Goldfish – Ways to increase happiness in business to drive growth, productivity, and prosperity: I mean, it is pretty common knowledge that the color yellow, the color of sunshine, is a warming color that often evokes feelings of happiness.
- Gray Goldfish – Navigating the gray areas to successfully lead the five generations in today’s workforce: This one is interesting, I mean he basically spells out his idea behind choosing gray in the description, which is pretty on the nose as well. Successfully leading all five generations (Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z) in today's workforce is no easy feat. Having to connect and inspire so many different types of people who possess varying skill sets and worldviews is certainly a gray area in the modern-day.
- Diamond Goldfish: – How to excel under pressure and thrive in the game of business): This is another one that is pretty much spelled out in the description. Although you won’t find “diamond” on the color spectrum, the visualization does have a nice shine to it, and the physical structure of the diamond is only formed under intense pressure.
- And lastly, Silver Goldfish – How to deliver memorable business presentations: Silver is a very corporate, modern, and sophisticated color. If we think of associated phrases, the “silver screen” refers to Hollywood movies (akin to presentations with a screen), to be “silver-tongued” means that you are a witty and eloquent speaker. A “silver bullet” is any action that cuts through complexity and fixes a problem fast. Also, silver is reflective in nature, and a good business presentation would end with the audience deeply reflecting on the key points. So, in a highly metaphoric sense, I could see how silver would be an appropriate color for this topic.
I guess I will have to reconnect with Stan to see if my interpretations were correct, but I’m mostly confident in my answers.
So, now that my memory is out of the way, this brings me to the article I chose to share today.
I recently came across an article written by Dawn Matthews, an employee at Avasam (a dropshipping platform), which provided a more structured account of my ramblings above. Her article, “Colour psychology, how colour meanings affect your brand”, provided some neat insight into the unique emotions and connotations of each color on the spectrum, as well as the different brands that use each color.
When developing your brand strategy, the color connotation of your logo should not be taken lightly. Colors possess a unique effect on our subconscious, so you want your brand colors to convey either a relation to your product offering, a reflection of your corporate values, or at least an emotion that your customers will respond positively to.
I suggest checking the original article out, as the author extrapolates on the colors I have listed above, covers some additional colors, and provides other considerations to take into account when rebranding your business.
Image Source: Unsplash
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