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February 25, 2008

What color is your company?

Posted in: Uncategorized

In Sneads Ferry, there are 6 or 7 major real estate offices and one of them has done a great job branding the color yellow. Locals know when you see a yellow sign in front of a house that it’s listed by this particular agency.

And yet, in every issue of the local “Homes” magazine, at least one other real estate agency has decided to use lots of yellow in their ad. Sure, it’s a beach community and they want their ads to look bright and sunny.

But when I see yellow, I’m thinking of the real estate company that’s already got it branded.

Your newsletter is your chance to really brand your company. It’s repeated, invited exposure to your company. Whether your newsletter is print or electronic, each issue should emphasize your company’s color. Whether that color is orange or aquamarine.

Where should you put the color? Of course, that depends on the color itself and your overall design, but here are the four most likely spots:

  • The nameplate
  • Headlines
  • Pull quotes
  • Borders

Today take a look at your newsletter and consider it in light of your company colors (and your competitor’s colors). If I were to take a look at it, would I think of you or your competition?

If you and your competition use a similar color (blues are popular with consultants, for example) you can either change your company color (a good idea if your color was selected without a lot of thought), or stake your claim to the color.

If you want to stake your claim on a color that’s popular in your industry, here are some ways to do it:

  • Get Super Bold. Use the color at its full strength on everything. Use it as the background color on your business cards, use it as a backdrop when you have photos taken, paint your company’s building in your color, etc. If you’re using a color that’s already popular with your competition, you have to use it in high-impact ways that are sure to stand out.
  • Make it Pop. You’ll find killer tips for maximizing your color scheme in How to Give Your Newsletter a Face Lift; one way to make a color really pop is to use it against its compliment. By using the color that’s opposite your color on the color wheel (blue and orange, for instance), your company’s color will stand out more.
  • Make it Punny. If you use a color or color scheme that’s already common (like our black and white and red color scheme), consider ways to tie it in to your brand with something memorable, like a pun or joke. In our case, we use the tagline, “Newsletters that are black and white and *read* all over” after the popular joke with a million punch lines. We use it in our marketing, on our business cards, on our website, and more, and all of that exposure makes the color scheme really memorable for us.

Your Turn:
Take a look at your newsletter and count how many colors you use–might any of them be associated with your competition? And which of those colors is most strongly “yours”?

Don’t know? Take some time today to decide what color your company is–and apply that to your newsletter.

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