September 5, 2015
Lewis Smith from The Independent called me a few days ago. He wanted to know my views on the latest Ryanair saga.
Ryanair claim they are going to change the colour of their logo. I must say my first comment to Lewis was to ask if this a follow up tactic based around the fact Ryanair had previously suggested charging for use of the toilets and giving the option of having a seat or standing space.
We then chatted for 20+ minutes on how colours are emotional and can contribute to the perception of a brand. I explained how some supermarkets used vivid colours to draw attention to, and denote, cheap products. Other supermarkets like Waitrose are more subdued in their choice. They use greens and other colours to denote freshness, value etc.
I also mentioned how Gap had previously said they were going to change colours and backed down after critics made an issue of this on social media.
Despite us talking for quite a while the actual content I’m quoted on is relatively small .. but it is a vital consideration. You see the other experts that contributed were specialists and i’m a generalist. Their specialisms were in colour psychology and brands, and each focused on the importance of their area.
Much of what I’d discussed was confirmed by them. But the bit that was printed was about the fact I don’t believe you can easily test the true impact of brand colour changes for one simple reason. It never happens in isolation. It is always part of an attempt to improve the image of a company and will be accompanied by a whole series of other changes. Things like, as in Ryanair’s case, additional exposure in the media.
Of course you can extrapolate from focus groups and other research but really being sure that it is the colour change and nothing but the colour change is impossible.
One last thing I discussed with Lewis was how Rolls Royce had nearly named the Rolls Royce Silver Shadow as the Silver Mist until they realised that, in German, mist means manure.
You can read the full Ryanair article here