What emotions are your brand linked to?

October 3, 2013

Source: ESOMAR 2013, Istanbul


A major part of the ESOMAR conference has been an exploration of emotions in brand development.

We have talked about everything from how emotions influence the effectiveness of communications, to how they actually work physiologically.

In one of the workshops we attended, we debated which was the most important of the five senses for life in general. You could argue this in many different directions, and based around many different premises.

The same goes for which sense is most important in marketing. Is it the touch and feel of a clothing brand? Perhaps taste for food brands? Sounds for music brands? What about for service brands? What might you go for?

One thing that was not argued was the power of the sense of sight. It seems to have an impact on so many dimensions of our lives. Everything from our moods, to the choices we make in purchasing.

One of the key reasons for this is the associations that colour can evoke. This was a chart (that mostly works) which links brands with different colours, and the associated emotions.

In our worlds, we often look to uncover the meaning behind a brand and the category it operates in.  We love this emotions and colour chart, as it is a great short-cut to what a brand may be creating subsconsciously..

The chart has been compiled in Europe so some of the brands look slightly different to what we would normally see, however of the world’s biggest brands make sense within the framework – for example McDonalds, Lego and JP Morgan - yellow, red and blue respectively.

Purely based on a survey of one, I think Facebook bucks the theme behind blue to an extent, as I see it fitting different values as a brand in general.

The chart also seem to have taken some liberty in the grey section, adding in brands that have identities led by the colour black.. Further interrogation into black sees it more closely aligned to the sentiment of power, strength and mystique/ mystery. It obviously also has a negative side, as do all other colours.

Next time you are exploring what message you want to convey to people, and you are thinking about your visual style or your brand identity, don’t forget to explore the colour chart. There is so much said about a brand without saying anything!


Paul