Business branding colours… meaning of green

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

This month I’m looking at how the colour green is used by major brands to attract their ideal customers and get them into the ‘buying mood’.

In positive colour psychology terms, green is the colour that represents universal peace and universal love that of mother earth and the environment, making green a very popular colour with brands whose represents these values.

I look at two brands that use very different tones of green with two very different meanings, to great success.

The first is Garnier.
You can see from the logo, brand name and strap line three greens were chosen to represent their brand, from the refreshing, restorative yellow green, and the harmony, reassuring, balancing psychological feelings of mid-green and a dark forest green.

When it came to packaging their products they decided to use their bright green brand colour. This particular tone plays three very important roles.

1. Psychologically the tone of the colour communicates freshness and vitality with the high amount of yellow communicating fun and happiness.

2. Yellow is the most visible colour in daylight. With the high amount of yellow in the bright green allows the products to stand out amongst the many other skin care company products.

3. It attracts their target market – the youth market, those who are sporty, active, those who enjoy life.

The second is McDonald’s.

You may have noticed that McDonald’s are changing a lot of their store colours to green.  Notice the different feeling this gives.  Green elicits the feelings of nature, natural and environmentally friendly.  It’s no longer about rushing in for a quick bite to eat.

You can relax, get comfortable, and linger over a coffee. Are they trying to target a more mature clientele, perhaps they are after a slice of the Starbucks market?  Maybe they want to improve their ‘green’ credentials?

It would be interesting to know if this has attracted a new ‘green’ customer base, one that is more environmentally aware…?

Branding - McDonalds using green.

Branding - McDonald's using green to portray a natural, earthly, wholesome feel.

colour balance
Do you have another colour or colours making up your brand identity? Take care when selecting other colours and their tones as they will also have their own psychological properties. You could, inadvertently being sending out a completely different message to the one you intended.
It’s not surprising big brands understand the importance of colour, some going so far as to trademark their brand colours. Branding colours can be that strong, only the colour is needed for the brand to be identified.

brand analysis
If you would like to know if green is the right colour for your business brand and just as important the exact tone of green, then why not see if a brand colour analysis is right for you. My clients find when they get their branding colours right, 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.

To find out more about the effects colour has on your brand download my free e-book 7 mistakes most business owners make with their branding colours.

If you enjoyed reading this article you may also be interested in other articles relating to colour in business branding.

Images: Garnier and Garnier Fructis.

Share the knowledge

Leave a Comment