Color can transport a brand from bland to Boom!
A great example is Sherwin-Williams, a brand that generated about as much excitement as watching paint dry. Now it's colorful TV ads have injected freshness and vitality into its paint products. Watching them is like looking through a kaleidoscope.
Airing on stations such as HGTV, where people are watching and imagining how to spruce up their tired kitchens or bedrooms, Sherwin-Williams ads feature expressive use of color and design. Their TV ads qualify as visual art and they have the same purpose as art – to fire the imagination of viewers.
There are differences in paint quality, which matter. But the real puzzle consumers want to solve is what colors to choose to warm up rooms that are cold and stale. Sherwin-Williams turns its ads into invitations to plunge into its world of color and leave inhibition behind.
Sherwin-Williams isn't the first or last company that spins the color wheel to separate itself from its competition in a commodity market. Target staged a major turnaround, going from a disdained discount store to an attractive go-to shopping center by emphasizing color – on its walls and in its products.
The explosion of color, it seems, is everywhere. Go to a sporting goods store and look at the wide spectrum of colors for T-shirts and yoga pants. Once the preserve of black, white and gray, sports apparel now comes in colors once reserved for neon signs.
Want a desk lamp? For college students, the lighting capacity is almost secondary to the color of the lamp.
Perhaps the sharp advance in color resolution of televisions, computer screens, tablets and smartphones has reminded marketers and product manufacturers that we live in a colorful world. We don't have to settle for 50 shades of gray or trade black for just orange. The rainbow is just waiting to be captured.
Sherwin-Williams has shown that paint chips can come to life to breathe new vigor into a brand. You should explore to see where color can take your brand.
CFM Logo: Using Color to Communicate
In 2010, CFM made the decision to simplify. We made the decision to drop our longer, law-firm sounding name and instead use just the three letters. We also wanted a way to communicate our five unique, yet interconnected business lines: Research, Marketing PR, Public Affairs, Federal Lobbying and State Lobbying.
Color seemed a natural way to distinguish each business line. We originally thought we would need both a new logo and a graphic to describe these business lines. However, our talented graphic designer integrated five colors into our logo, each representing a different business line.
We then leveraged these colors for each business line's website landing page and corresponding blog. Not only was the new logo bold and vibrant, we were able to use our business card and website to communicate all of our different services in a fresh, attention-grabbing way.
Click on the graphic below to see a larger version.