Using the Power of Color to Build a Brand
Posted by Steve Kleber on Mar 22, 2007
What can happen when a product is differentiated solely on its color? Owens Corning produced its now famous fiberglass insulation in 1956 with the idea of making it a very visible color, red. They had trouble getting the red color they wanted in the dying process, so they had to settle on pink. They followed this up with their â€œThink Pinkâ€ marketing, which was brilliantly conveyed by their use of the cartoon celebrity, the Pink Panther. They were successful getting a trademark for the term PINK â„¢ which made OC, a household name and according to their research, made their fiberglass insulation the preferred brand 7 to 1 over their competitors.
One company has an opportunity to successfully emulate OCâ€™s color marketing success strategy but they had a big problem right from the beginning. Based in Boca RatonFla., WoodSmart Solutions, Inc. has a proprietary two-product technology called â€œThe Perfect Barrier Systemâ€ that protects housing wood products from rot, fungal, and termite damage. They call this trademarked product BLUEWOOD â„¢.
If you want to get the neighbors talking, build that new addition on your house using this treated lumber – itâ€™s dyed a non-toxic teal blue color. They could have used any color, but according to the company, blue readily associated with water, making it an easy connection for consumers. The dye serves as visible proof that the manufacturer has successfully treated every square inch of the product, making it very visible when viewed from a distance. Since this color is unique, it helps consumers easily make the connection between the color and the company.
Why is this important? Consumers buy the brand not the company. However, company name recognition in relation to its brand creates the companyâ€™s brand equity. Woodsmart Solutions, Inc. has a problem though. WoodSmart â„¢.has been trademarked by mega stain, paint and varnish company, Behr. The best thing Woodsmart Solutions, Inc. can do at this point is to change their company name to BLUEWOOD, Inc. to alleviate consumer confusion and ensure that any market success with BLUEWOOD builds company equity.
Color can be a strong product differentiator in the market, but youâ€™ve got to have the other branding bases covered if you want your products, and therefore your company to succeed. This is something that must be considered before you bring your product to market.