business branding colour … meaning of orange
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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?