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It’s not just you. Brands are turning blue.

Updated: Sep 15, 2023


Think of 5 brands right now. They can be from any industry, any market. Now, how many of them were blue?


It’s not just you. It’s hard to pinpoint when it happened, but lately, it feels like every brand is either blue or turning blue. Think Amazon Alexa, Paramount+, American Express, and recently HBO Max is making the switch as they rebrand to Max. But it begs the question: Why blue?


It actually used to be purple

Think about Roku, HBO Max and Quibi (remember them?) who used variations of purples alongside magentas or gradients to show depth and intrigue.


For a long time, purple was associated with femininity, queerness and inclusivity. That is, until it was co-opted by the tech industry. This opened the doors for purple to be designated as a “genderless” colour.


…Until people started rocking the boat


Purple is actually quite a contentious colour where some people love it and some people hate it. That’s why the shift towards blues is evolving from a sense to appease as many audience segments as possible, as blue is universally considered to be a “liked” colour. You know what else is super close to purple in the eye colour receptors? Blue.

Traditionally, blue was used to represent “male” in babies, so it’s associated with masculinity. What do you see when you look at boardrooms and executive meetings? Men. This also plays into the fact that since a very high percentage of men are colourblind — the kind that favours blues — it makes sense that big box brands are turning blue to appeal to the stakeholders that keep these brands afloat.


There’s another variable that has to do with the change from purple to blue. Since screens are based in blue light, cooler colours tend to jump out of the screen and stand out more. Even popular brands that are based in red tones are often quite blue – think of Netflix or Levi’s.



Should your brand turn blue too?


Pantone has been suggesting for years that we’re going jewel-toned, but the reality is that those colours are great for home decor, but not so much online. Jewel-toned colours are perceived as dark and moody in a market where brands want to scream positivity from the rooftops.


It’s easy to follow the path. It’s bold to carve your own. As we approach (what feels like) the 100th Marvel sequel or yet another remake of an old franchise, many younger demographics are looking for brands that make choices that others are too afraid to make.


Colours that appeal most to digital-first nomads like millennials and Gen Z include colours like lime green and lavender. These tones are blue-based and are prominent on screens, especially from a distance such as an Instagram profile picture on a phone.



Is it the right choice for you?


As you develop your brand for 2023 and beyond, consider if you’re going blue because you’re afraid to go bold. If you’re building your brand or are considering rebranding in the near future, ultimately, the choice of colour relies on a number of questions:

Who is your target audience?

Who are you trying to appease?

What do your competitors look like?

Do your products or services live in real life, or strictly online?


Need help making that choice? Choose a branding partner that knows how to market your brand to the internet. Super Duper Studios is an award-winning Toronto agency specializing in digital-first branding experiences across visual identity, social media, marketing campaigns and more.


 




Sally Lunn

Co-Founder, Creative Director Sr. Designer

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