Color Brand. Why is it so important?
Recently I visited a Lowe’s store for some paint. As I approached the inside to retrieve a cart I noticed something very odd. It felt almost as if I was in the wrong store. In fact, it felt like Home Depot and Lowe’s had merged. Why? Because this is what I saw! Lowe’s had mixed their color brand with the competition!
While I was excited to see that Lowe’s represented the University of Florida colors, (my alma mater) with their array of blue and orange carts, something didn’t feel right. The orange carts. Take a closer look and you can see all the orange branded carts on the right side of the room. Branded yes, with the Lowe’s logo printed on the side of the orange carts.
It stuck out like a sore-thumb, not because the color orange gets your attention quicker than blue, it was more than that. Confused? I was! Why? Because from what I can tell, Lowe’s brands itself with a blue color not orange. That’s the “other guy’s” color. Do you see any orange here on their website?
Why is this important? I wrote an article called, What Color Is Your Personal Brand? It talks about the importance of knowing what your personal coloring is as it relates to developing your personal brand. It also discusses how color should be consistently used in communications, business cards or a signature on emails. The same holds true for organizations.
Here are a few brands we have worked with over the years (I did not pick logos with red intentially) how you immediately identify them because of their brand colors. In fact, when I designed the wardrobe for GM I had the jackets dyed the same PMS (Pantone Matching System) color of the blue in their logo to have consistency in color as the team represented GM in the naitonal auto shows.
So why all the orange at Lowe’s? The “orange guy” is literally across the street. Are they trying to remind Lowe’s customers, “Hey customer, if we don’t have what you need here, our competition is right across the street, they might have it!” Were they low on carts and that’s all Amazon had in stock? Are they subtly trying to tell everyone they are going to buy Home Depot and they are starting the merge from the backdoor?
Whatever the reason, if I am thinking these things, and maybe more consciously as it is my line of work, others are too, but probably more on a subconscious level. But make no mistake, it does impact Lowe’s customers in some way.
I am very curious to know if this is a local or a corporate decision. I can’t say for certain, but I do recall noticing this in other stores as best as I can recall. So, my question to Lowe’s is, “Why mix your color brand with the competition’s color?”
For my readers, I ask you. What are you doing to your personal brand that might leave others in doubt of who you are and what you stand for? Are you sending mixed messages to those in your world? Or are you being consistently consistent to align with all your personal marketing efforts? I hope the latter.