Red signifies danger, green alludes to envy and white conveys peace.
These might seem like obvious links to make and a British consumer would probably understand these connections. But would a Chinese, or a Russian consumer?
The meaning of colour changes greatly depending on the culture of the audience. Religious, historical and political factors give colour a whole new meaning; something which needs to be taken into consideration when your business ambitions are on a global scale.
When exploring a new market and designing websites and presentations, take into consideration the significance of the colour of your brand. If your brand was developed with the UK or another specific cultural basis in mind, consider tailoring the colour scheme to fit in with the cultural identities and assumptions of your new market.
A theoretical British business selling organic biscuits might select green packaging and use the colour prominently to associate the product with nature. However, research by the California State University Stanilaus, reveals that green is not always a great choice in a global market and that green packaging is not received well in China and France.
A few lesser known cultural colour associations (according to the International Business Edge blog) to watch out for when branding your business for a global market:
- The colour which is representative of mourning is red in South Africa, yellow and orange in Egypt, purple in Brazil and white in China.
- White is the colour of good luck and peace in Nigeria but the colour of death and unhappiness in India.
- Pink is definitely associated with femininity in the UK but in Japan it is popular with both genders.
And finally, the ‘most positive’ colour globally is blue…the colour of Brother’s logo.