Pick a College by Its Colors

My oldest son is in the midst of researching and applying to colleges. One thing has become clear: You can’t go to a college whose colors are brown and yellow.

A criteria in choosing a college should be presentable collegiate colors and preferably an adorable animal mascot. I’m just kidding. Kind of. But there are lessons to be learned by the visual first impressions of a university. Or a product. Or a logo. Or any marketing materials for that matter.

I am a label reader, a payer-attention-to of advertising and logos and I’m a sucker for good branding. I think we all are. A well-branded product or business gets an automatic foot-in-the-door with a potential client or customer. Then, it becomes up to the quality of the product or services that secures and retains that customer.

But we all need that creative edge to catch the attention of our target audience. Consider the counter-intuitive-genius of Chipotle’s marketing: they serve one of the most colorful cuisines, but opt for a black and white photo…of a burrito…wrapped in foil. Done. Feed me a fajita.

I once did a market research experiment on myself. Two zero calorie, carbonated, grapefruit flavored beverages. Same shaped bottle and pricing. The brand I usually bought had cool labeling. Refreshing looking ice cubes and bubbles, clean modern font, appealing grapefruity colors. I always picked this brand because I was more drawn to it. (Read up on psychology’s “beautiful is good theory” – it’s a real thing.)

The other bottle had boring labeling. Not sad and pathetic. Just uninspired. Nothing to spark my interest. Nevertheless, I bought one of each brand and performed my own little taste test. You know the outcome, right? The boring bottle contained the much tastier product. But I had never previously given it a chance before. The inferior product was wearing the prettier outfit.

So! Step back and consider whether your logo, branding, marketing materials, packaging, labels could benefit from a little tweak, or even a total overhaul. Are your colors outdated? Is your font run-of-the-mill? Does your marketing still speak to your base?

If not, consider a refresh. You’ll be amazed at the doors that will open and the new audience whose attention you’ll grab. Sign me up! How can I refresh my branding?? (Hint: call Black Rhino Marketing Group. Super cool branding is our favorite!)