“The whole world, as we experience it visually, comes to us through the mystic realm of color.” – Hans Hofmann
Daily, you experience the beauty and power of color. Yet, color can be more than something you just passively experience. The experience of successful businesses and leaders shows that color can be creatively used to affect people’s perceptions of your confidence and competence. This article about UPS and other successful businesses shows how critical colors can be to a corporate brand.
Why do you think that many pricey restaurants use bold colors that evoke emotions (sometimes good, sometimes bad depending on your taste) and are clearly meant to make a clear impression on you? For a more common example, let’s look at McDonalds’ decision to make the most visual part of its brand – the golden arches – yellow. Yellow is a color that creates warmth and happiness. Is it any surprise that the arches have successfully stirred pleasurable pangs of hunger in millions of customers for decades?
McDonalds’ successful use of the power and psychology of color in its branding is validated by research including a 1981 study by Wohlfarth and Sam which concluded that blood pressure and aggressive behavior can be controlled by altering the lighting spectrum within a subject’s environment. The fact is, certain colors are mood enhancers or inhibitors, and others can affect the nervous system.
As a result of the very real power of color, I encourage all of my clients to put it to use as part of their personal branding strategies. My goal is to empower you to maintain a competitive edge that will compel potential clients, customers, employers and employees to find you a desirable business partner. A little punch of color in your wardrobe can turn heads, get you noticed and speak volumes without ever saying a single word.
The key to managing your presence and others’ impressions of you is to choose colors that will intensify and bring out your best features. In my own closet, I have a turquoise dress that brings amazing reactions every time I wear it. Not only does it seem to enhance my ability to project confidence, it brings a tremendous amount of compliments about my hair because turquoise happens to be my hair intensifying color. This makes a great power tool for those “bad hair” days!
Simply put, color may be the missing ingredient limiting your ability to make the impressions and influence the perceptions that you desire. Working with me, you can learn how to improve your performance in key meetings and presentations by choosing wardrobe colors that are not only best suited for you but position you to powerfully show up and stand out from those around you. You will learn how to approach each situation by conducting an audience analysis that helps you think through the messages you need to send and the power colors necessary to support them. For instance, did you know that blue can represent loyalty, trust, stability, faithfulness, communicative, integrity, confidence, wisdom, and strength? Attractive in almost any shade and greatly preferred by men, it is an emotionally calming color that puts people at ease. Unlike some bright colors or distracting patterns, blue is ideal for presentations and first-impression appointments.
If you don’t know what each color in the spectrum communicates and how that lines up with the messages that you want to send, you are in danger of falling behind professionally. I would love to hear your stories about any lessons you have already learned the hard way about the role of color in making that right – or wrong – impression. Color is not a triviality – it may be the missing ingredient in your evolution into the leader that you seek to be. Show up strategically, expecting success!