Sunday, March 2, 2014

the importance of color

Since I have decided to pause my blog life and blog about things to effect me, here it goes, these first ones might be a little rough. 

Color is everywhere around us and is one of the most important things to consider when branding your product.  Take for instance Big Blue and, depending on where you are from, you immediately think of schools like Duke or Kentucky.  Maybe you see Green and Yellow and immediately think of the Green Bay Packers or Oregon (probably not going to think Baylor - but maybe…).  It's important when branding that you consider a specific color - a specific shade.  North Carolina isn't just blue - they are Tar Heel Blue (or a sky blue to general public).  

One of the most used sports colors is RED.  Think about some poplar teams - Cardinals, Braves, Redsocks, Redskins, and Bucs - just to name a few… But then think about the SEC alone and all of the shades of red. Alabama is Crimson, but is it that much different then the Razorback, Ole Miss, or Georgia Red and even the South Carolina "Garnet"?  Then you have the maroon shades in Texas A&M and Mississippi State.  Just take a look at all of the colors:

Brands communicate meanings with the language of color.  It is comparable to say "A color is worth a thousand words."  A single color can convey a lot of information in just a first glance.  Depending on what state you are from Red could be Texas A&M (or Texas Tech - but lets stay with the SEC thing), Arkansas, Georgia, Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State… 
But why have so many schools chosen red?  Think about it what is the SEC known for?  WINNING. a POWER house, IMPORTANCE, RELEVANCE… and what does the RED color convey in general? All of those things.  It is a natural way to associate with the SEC Culture.  

In the News: Arkansas has announced they are changing their color from PMS 200 to PMS 202.  Look above in the chart… Texas A&M uses PMS 281 which is a much more purple red than its counterparts.  Much to my surprise Mississippi State (which looks Maroon everywhere but the branding guide) uses PMS 202 - which is the same as the South Carolina Garnet and the new Arkansas Red.  Interesting Right?  Because they call it Maroon (Commonly thought as PMS 281).  
I mean these colors are basically the same right?  Needless to say it is important to think about your color when creating a brand because the color will supersede anything you can do as a sports biz professional.  Half of why you change your color (over time) is that your uniforms might not specifically match you "official" color.  Just think about about it.  There are no longer 7 different types of red in the SEC.  There are basically 3 - the Maroon, the Garnet (Arkansas, South Carolina, and Miss St), and then the Red (Georgia, Alabama, and Ole Miss).  Interesting thought that schools are changing colors to match uniforms.  What does that tell you about the power of the apparel companies and the power of the schools?  Under Armour, Adidas, and Nike have decided to cut costs and create only a few uniform colors, and it is the schools that are now adapting to what the companies give them to work with.  This fascinates me! I love color because it is so essential to everything marketing is.  I hope you found this just half as interesting.  

It's not just about ordering a uniform in a specific color or saying it is Razorback Red.  There is a lot more that goes into it - and it must look the same on every publication that is produced, because in marketing your brand. is. everything. 

How this effects you:
You are your brand.  Which means just like the color must stay the same and be consistent to convey the brand, we must strive for the same consistency in our life to convey the correct brand.  It doesn't help if at work sometimes I use Razorback Red and sometimes I use Carolina Garnet.  People will become confused and look at our publications as unreliable and unprofessional.  We must remain consistent.  Sometimes life is hard and sometimes we don't always put our best foot forward, but we need to STRIVE to always remember that people are watching us and that we are our own brand every second of every day - whether we are at the Oscars or in the grocery store.  Think about it. 

Hope you enjoyed my NEW post - let me know what you think!

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