Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Sophisticated Brands Have a Tiffany Hue: The Effect of Iconic Brand Color Priming on Brand Personality Judgments

11 Pages Posted: 27 Jul 2018

See all articles by Stacey M. Baxter

Stacey M. Baxter

University of Newcastle (Australia)

Jasmina Ilicic

University of Adelaide - Business School

Alicia Kulczynski

University of Newcastle (Australia) - Marketing

Date Written: December 2017

Abstract

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, asĀ 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.

Keywords: Brand color, Priming, Brand personality, Associations, Schema congruity

Suggested Citation

Baxter, Stacey M. and Ilicic, Jasmina and Kulczynski, Alicia, Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Sophisticated Brands Have a Tiffany Hue: The Effect of Iconic Brand Color Priming on Brand Personality Judgments (December 2017). Journal of Brand Management, Vol. 25, Issue 4, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3219033 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/s41262-017-0086-9

Stacey M. Baxter (Contact Author)

University of Newcastle (Australia) ( email )

University Drive
Callaghan, NSW 2308
Australia

Jasmina Ilicic

University of Adelaide - Business School ( email )

10 Pulteney Street
Adelaide, South Australia 5005
Australia

Alicia Kulczynski

University of Newcastle (Australia) - Marketing

Australia

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