Roses are red, violets are blue, sophisticated brands have a Tiffany Hue: the effect of iconic brand color priming on brand personality judgments
- 209 Downloads
Iconic brand color priming is introduced as a cue to consumer perceptions of brand personality. Although previous research has examined generic color meanings (e.g., purple is exciting, gray is passive and dull, and blue is competent), we demonstrate an iconic (widely recognized and well-established) brand color associative priming process. Through three experiments, we show that the personality tied to an iconic brand color can be created by brand managers, learned by consumers, and leveraged by other brands. Study 1 provides evidence that consumers perceived the iconic Cadbury purple, as opposed to a generic purple color, as sincere, aligning with consumer perceptions of the brand. Study 2 shows that exposure to a brand color prime (Apple gray), compared to a generic gray, influences brand personality perceptions (i.e., excitement) for an unknown brand. In Study 3, a schema congruity brand color priming effect is observed, whereby brand color priming enhancement occurs only when a brand color prime is placed in a product category that is congruent. When the brand color prime is incongruent with the product category schema, the priming effect weakens. This research provides evidence that brand personality can be primed, or leveraged, through embedding iconic brand colors within brand communications.
KeywordsBrand color Priming Brand personality Associations Schema congruity
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- Alsop, R. 1984. Color grows more important in catching consumer’s eyes. Wallstreet Journal, Eastern Edition, 29 November, 37.Google Scholar
- Anderson, J.R. 1983. Language, memory, and thought. Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
- Biel, A.L. 1993. Converting image into equity. In Brand equity and advertising: Advertising’s role in building strong brands. Hillsdale: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
- Bowcott, O. 2013. Cadbury’s attempt to trademark Dairy Milk purple blocked. The Guardian. 4 October, http://www.theguardian.com/business/2013/oct/04/cadbury-dairy-milk-purple-trademark-blocked.
- Cohen, J. 2013. Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Abingdon: Routledge Academic.Google Scholar
- Fiske, S.T., and M.A. Pavelchak. 1986. Category-based versus piecemeal-based affective responses: Developments in schema-triggered affect. In The handbook of motivation and cognition: Foundations of social behaviour, ed. R.M. Sorrentino and E.T. Higgins, 167–203. New York: Guilford.Google Scholar
- Fraser, B., C. Murphy, and F. Bunting. 2005. Real world color management, 2nd ed. Berkeley: Peachpit Press.Google Scholar
- Kapferer, J.N. 1995. Stealing brand equity: Measuring perceptual confusion between national brands and ‘copycat’ own-label products. Marketing and Research Today 23(2): 96–103.Google Scholar
- Mandler, G. 1982. The structure of value: Accounting for taste, in affect and cognition. In M.S. Clark and S.T. Fiske (Eds.), The 17th Annual Carnegie Symposium, Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, pp. 3–36Google Scholar
- Martindale, C. 1991. Cognitive psychology: A neural-network approach. California: Brooks/Cole Publishing.Google Scholar
- Merriam-Webster. 2017. Iconic meaning. Retrieved May 15, 2017, from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/iconic.
- Pantone. 2017. How do we see color? Retrieved January 11, 2017, from https://www.pantone.com/how-do-we-see-color.
- Postman, L., and G. Keppel. 1970. Norms of word associations. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Purcell-Hennessy, K. 2014. BP loses colour trade mark battle. Retrieved May 15, 2017, from http://ipwhiteboard.com.au/bp-loses-colour-trade-mark-battle/.
- Rgbto. 2016. RGB to Websafe. Retrieved April 10, 2014, from http://rgb.to/pantone/.
- Safi, M. 2014. BP loses battle to trademark the colour green in Australia. The Guardian. 3 July, http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jul/03/bp-loses-battle-to-trademark-the-colour-green-in-australia.
- Simonson, A., and B.H. Schmitt. 1997. Marketing aesthetics: The strategic management of brands, identity, and image. Simon and Schuster.Google Scholar
- Srull, T.K. 1981. Person memory: Some tests of associative storage and retrieval models. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory 7: 440–463.Google Scholar
- Tavassoli, N.T. 2001. Color memory and evaluations for alphabetical and logographic brand names. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied 7(2): 104–111.Google Scholar