Add a dash of colour to your life

Image consultancy Colour Me Beautiful were the first in line back in the 1970s to teach business leaders a thing or two about how to dress to impress in the world of work, in order to enhance their personal presence and business aura.

I was fortunate to have worked for the greatest Investor in People (long before it was ever a nationally recognised industry standard) during this time, who continually invested in my professional and personal development in the 11 years I worked for them – so I’ll give Bupa its well-deserved shout out now.

One such opportunity they gave me was attending the brilliant Colour Me Beautiful event as part of my personal development as a sales trainer, back in the 1980’s, helping me to look and act the part, in order to reach my full potential.

The lessons I learned that day at the image consultancy have served me well. Indeed, their strapline “in business you only have one chance to make a first impression – make sure it’s the right one” clearly resonated with me, having gone on to name my company First Impression Training 20 years later.

Colour Me Beautiful are still going strong all these years on – they’re the international leader in professional image advice and they hold educational training events for businesses, where you and your staff can learn all about the power of colour, style, shape and sizing, to enhance your personal presence and business aura.

You can take the tour find out more.

I discovered that I’m a Muted Winter, which means I can wear all the colours a Pure Winter can wear, as long as I add a splash of white or purple or pink or lime green to the mix – who’d have known hey? Apparently, purple is the best colour for my personal colour profile – worn alone or with other Muted Winter colours, it’s what will get me noticed, apparently.

Interestingly, purple has always been my favourite colour – since I was a child in fact. As you know, FIT’s brand colour is purple and even more spooky is the fact that we adopted Seth Godin’s Purple Cow philosophy to weave into our FIT teachings, without ever consciously choosing the colour as a good FIT for FIT all those years ago.

According to the colour experts, the meaning of the colour purple denotes nobility; luxury; creativity; wisdom; dignity; grandeur; devotion; peace; pride; mystery; independence and… magic! Yes, we think that perfectly describes what we believe we’re all about here at FIT, wouldn’t you agree?

I read an interesting article recently by Joe Hallock entitled Colour Assignment, which he’d written as part of a research project, with the goal of discovering cultural similarities (and differences) based on colour association and preference across Western societies.

It seems the starkest contrasts with both association and preference are between genders – the colour blue reigns supreme for both men and women, while the colour purple is a firm favourite with us girls and doesn’t even feature on the colour spectrum for our male counterparts.

Hallock’s findings are fascinating, as the following diagram shows…

Men vs Women’s Favourite Colours

men v women favourite colours


Men vs Women’s Least Favourite Colours

men v women least favourite colours

Additional research studies on people’s perception of colour and colour preferences shows that when it comes to shades, tints and hues, men generally prefer bold colours, while women prefer softer colours. Men are also more likely to select SHADES of colour as their favourites (colours with BLACK added) whereas women are more likely to select TINTS of colour as their favourites (colours with WHITE added).

Surprisingly, our least favourite colour, preferred by only 5% of people, is YELLOW and even more interesting than that bizarre fact is that apparently, both men and women increasingly dislike the colour ORANGE as they grow older and age!

So, when it comes to your ‘Brand Personality’ colours influence how customers perceive your organisation – from the level of trust they place in you, to the emotions they feel when they interact with you. Researching the work of Jennifer Aaker (psychologist & Stanford professor) on this very topic, I discovered her paper ‘Dimensions of Brand Personality’ which points out 5 core dimensions that play a vital role in a brand’s personality.

five dimensions of brand personality

WOW! So it would appear that we really did choose well all those years ago when we launched FIT and set the look, sound and feel of our brand in motion – clearly the colour purple was a very smart choice, given the description of Dimension No. 4…

I wonder what the colour of YOUR brand is saying about YOU?

Until next time – keep FIT (and be more purple 💜)

Best regs

Marie X

Hello... I'm Marie Cross

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