Marketing and advertising insights for automotive suppliers

Automotive OEM Suppliers: What Color is Your Brand?

Automotive OEM Suppliers: What Color is Your Brand?

“Owning” a color can be one of the most powerful branding tactics.

Some of the strongest brands in the world own a color.

Coca Cola owns red.

Apple owns white.

Tiffany owns its own shade of robin’s egg blue.

UPS owns brown.

The Masters – yes, a golf tournament is a brand – owns green.

What color does your automotive OEM supply company own?

Color is a basic and important element of effective branding for all companies, including automotive OEM suppliers. It’s as elemental and potentially distinctive as your logo, typefaces and messaging. 

Most every brand is in a constant, never-ending battle for attention. With a market full of competitors, color can differentiate an automotive OEM supplier immediately, and inexpensively. It doesn’t cost any more to define your brand with color, or to own a color through its consistent and generous application.

Consistency – an absolute and unequivocal tenet of strong branding – means showing the world precisely the same color, or combination of colors, always. Starbucks never messes around with their green. Post-It never tampers with the canary yellow their product is known for. Home Depot is orange, and nobody can take that away from them.

Color is an immediate brand identifier and a fundamental of branding that can help contribute to increases in sales and engagement.

How is color best used? Like all elements of a great brand, color is best used consistently, and precisely. Your color must remain consistent across all expressions of your brand, whether online or in print.

So much information exists on the meaning of various colors. For brands, as important as the meaning is functionality. When applied liberally, your brand’s colors need to suggest certain attributes that potential customers will embrace. In automotive, OEM supplier companies need to say “strong, intelligent and progressive” in their colors and throughout their brand essence.

Certainly, the rest of your brand – logo, typography, imagery and, most importantly, messaging – can help communicate “strong, intelligent and progressive,” too, but color can be so instantly identifiable. It can be used in all media: print, collateral, online, smart phones (a larger and larger percentage of website visits are via phones), signage, and whatever else I haven’t thought of.  

How do you protect your brand color? Establish clear guidelines for the use of color in all of your online and print materials. Rules must be followed.

Your color says a lot. Make sure it’s saying good stuff about you.

In 1963Josef Albers book Interaction of Color demonstrated, via optical illusions and visual exercises, how human beings perceived the world around them, how the same color is viewed differently based on the context in which it appears. Most people, Albers maintained, looked without really seeing.

It goes without saying: The color of your brand can help people see, feel, identify and remember your brand. 

Brand Positioning

Ernie Perich

As the owner and creative director of Perich Advertising + Design for more than 30 years, Ernie knows a thing or two about automotive marketing. He combines brand strategy with smart creative to help automotive suppliers strike a nerve. Contact

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