I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Karen Haller, an internationally renowned business colour and branding expert. Karen has helped clients from across the globe transform the branding image of their business. She has worked with a number of prestigious brands including Dulux, Orange Mobile, Logitech and The Peggy Porschen Cake Academy. She is also a co-author of the leading industry book Colour design: Theories and Applications.
During our interview I took the opportunity to pick Karen’s brains about the power of colour in business. One of the things we talked about was the strong associations people have with colour and the difference between being drawn to a colour because we like it and using colour effectively in business branding.
As Karen points out, the colours we use in our business brand need to be consistent with the values expressed by our brand. It is worth checking that there is this consistency across all our materials and, if we are running a bricks and mortar business, our physical environment. If you have a beauty salon, for example, you can look at your decor, packaging, staff uniforms and booking cards to see if there is consistency in your use of colour across all these materials.
We also talked about colour symbolism – which is all about how colours are perceived in different cultures. It strikes me that an awareness of cultural association becomes really important in our business when we are trading internationally and for anyone who knows that their website is being viewed by visitors from other countries. Karen gave the really interesting example of the colour purple and its association in this country with luxury.
Here’s a replay of the interview:
You can find out more about Karen here:
By Sonia Thomas