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  • Writer's pictureIan Morris

Colour psychology: Brand in pink to make customers wink

Colour Psychology: Pink (with pink cupcakes in the background)

As part of our colour psychology series, we’re focusing on the brand colour pink. Colour choice is paramount when presenting your brand, so full consideration must be had before decisions and investment are made. Pink can be an overlooked colour in branding. It’s often dismissed as girly and fluffy but pink is fighting back. And being progressive enough to harness its power could pay dividends and give you a great eye-catching brand to boot.. Let’s explore!

Brand colour pink to make customers wink

Pink is fun and lighthearted. Unlike the brand colour red, it’s unthreatening. Popular brands like HMV, Whiskers and T-Mobile have all successfully used pink, but in the branding world, it lags behind many of the other colours.

Companies that use pink in their logos: HMV, Whiskas, T-Mobile

Barbie girl

No prizes for guessing which markets pink dominates. It’s still the brand colour of choice for products marketed at females: from the soft pale pinks that adorn the shelves of perfume isles to the hot pinks used to create that must-have toy for young girls. It’s the colour of Victoria’s Secret and Soap and Glory.

Pink’s associations with femininity aren’t as traditional as we may think, though, dating back only 60 or 70 years. Before that pink and red were intrinsically linked, carrying many of the same connotations.

Somewhere around the middle of the 20th Century, a shift took place. The ability to know the sex of an unborn baby meant baby clothes could easily be targeted and companies took full advantage. Pink and blue became the chosen colours to represent girls and boys.

It was accelerated by the arrival of the world’s best-selling doll. Claiming Pantone 219c as her own, Barbie hit US toy shelves in 1959. Selling over a billion times in 150 countries, she’s made pink her own and the colour to be seen in for little girls everywhere. Where pink had once been acceptable for everyone, in the West it quickly became seen as a predominantly female colour.

Pink to announce a baby girl

Hot pink

But if you thought pink was going to be pigeonholed without a fight you’d be wrong. Pink is once again staking a claim in the mainstream.

It’s been filtering its way back into men’s fashion recently. The Telegraph wrote that pink shoes will be big in 2018 and pink shirts have become a staple of men’s wardrobes over the last few years. A 2012 study for Cotton USA claimed men who wore pink earned over $1,000 per year more on average.

Pink flowers

In the pink

Pink is more than just a pretty face. It can affect our mood, with studies showing certain shades can reduce aggression. This has led to several correctional facilities being painted in the colour.

While the West has had a somewhat gender-divided relationship with pink, it’s been even more the case out East – but perhaps not how we’d assume.

In Japan, pink blossom trees represent fallen warriors and the colour has masculine associations. And in China it wasn’t even recognised as a colour until contact with westerners – it was merely a shade of red. As such, it carries all the same positive associations and isn’t linked to gender. In Korea it represents trust.

This increased gender equality opens the doors for pink to be seen as a serious contender and used in more branding. So how modern do you feel?

Interested in learning more? We’re all ears. Get in touch and let’s chat about developing your brand together.

More from the brand colour psychology series

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