branding – why red & yellow is used by the fast food industry

Branding - red and yellow colours used in branding.

When you think of red & yellow do any brands come to mind?… I’m guessing you thought of a fast food brand. That is because they predominantly used red and yellow? This isn’t by accident.  The feelings, the mood this combination of colours emits is perfect for their target market.

Looking at the positive psychology qualities of red & yellow in relation to the fast food industry, red triggers stimulation, appetite, hunger, it attracts attention.  Yellow triggers the feelings of happiness and friendliness.

When you combine red and yellow it’s about speed, quickness.  In, eat and out again.

Yellow is also the most visible colour in daylight, which is why the McDonald’s M can be seen from a far distance.

The language of colour is communicated quicker to the brain than words or shapes as they work directly on our feelings and emotions.

Branding - red and yellow colours.

Branding. Red and yellow is used predominately by fast food companies.

You may have noticed that McDonalds are changing a lot of their store colours to green.  Notice the different feeling this gives.  Green elicits the feelings of nature, natural and environmentally friendly.  It’s no longer about rushing in for a quick bite to eat.  You can relax, get comfortable, linger over a coffee (almost dare I say, a bit like Starbucks).  It would be interesting to know if this has attracted a new ‘green’ customer base, one that is more environmentally aware…?

Branding - McDonalds using green.

Branding – McDonalds using green giving natural, earthly, wholesome feel.

It’s not surprising big brands understand the importance of colour, some going so far as to trademark their brand colours.  Branding colours can be that strong only the colour is needed for the brand to be identified.

Thinking about your own branding colours, do you know the reasons you chose them? Perhaps you’ve even let someone else choose them for you arbitrarily? What subconscious messages is your business communicating through the colours you use in your branding?

If you would like to understand what messages your branding colours are communicating, contact Karen for more information.

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