business branding colour … meaning of orange

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

Colour of the year 2012 - orange business branding.What do you feel when you see a business using the colour orange. In the UK it has certainly has been given a bit of a bad rap.

Here are three very different brands all using orange from the cheap and cheerful EasyJet, the hip mobile phone company Orange and the luxury goods brand Hermès.

colour psychology
Positive qualities of orange are fun, playful and enjoying social interaction. Also physical comfort, food, warmth and abundance. On the negative side it can come across as frivolous and not taking things seriously, lacking as in deprivation.

No surprise a budget airline chooses a bright, lively orange. It plays into the positive feeling of abundance – where you can afford to fly away more often. Regardless of your view of the company’s service, orange communicates friendliness, helpfulness and being approachable. The message can easily get muddled and the negative effects of a brand’s colour can be felt if the service experienced doesn’t correspond with  the positive qualities of their brand colour.

Business Branding Colour - EasyJet. This opens a new browser window.

orange mobile
Perhaps the UK mobile phone company Orange simply chose its brand colour to represent its name. This is also an example of colour symbolism. Psychologically however, the effects of the  colour would still be felt. The bright, clear orange conveys they are an approachable, happy and fun company, attractive the youth market. They certainly don’t come across as old fashion and stuffy. “The future’s bright, the future’s Orange.”

Business Branding Colour - Orange Mobile. This opens a new browser window.

Orange is not a colour you would associate with a luxury brand. Allegedly, the only paperboard available during the Second World War which Hermès could make their boxes from was orange in colour. And it has remained their brand colour ever since. The black in this orange communicates tradition, quality and gravitas. The women who buy their orange handbags and accessories know orange is bold and highly visible. They are not afraid to stand out in a crowd.

Colour of the year 2012 - orange business branding - Hermes. This opens a new browser window.

brand analysis
I’ve found when working on a brand colour analysis for my business clients, orange isn’t a colour that comes up often. But when it does, they really get how it represents their brand’s personality and how the right tone will increase brand recognition, attracting their target clientele and lead to increased sales.

How do you respond to a brand that uses orange as their primary brand colour? How does it make you feel?

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1 Comment

  1. David Ramsay on October 26, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Well its interesting what you say about the colour orange because our company aims to be all those things. Orange is the colour of liquid magma from the core of the earth, we figured this would be quite exciting for our company colours, hence Magmadive.

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