Color War

28 Oct

     YSL vs. Louboutin          

Recently, Christian Louboutin sued Yves Saint Laurent over the color red. YSL has a red shoe that is also colored red on the sole, which Louboutin has contested infringes on his trademark on red shoe soles. The court decision was in favor of YSL and the question of whether colors can be trademarked has now been brought into question. Louboutin has appealed the case in hopes that the decision will be overturned. Tiffany & Co. has recently just put its two cents in arguing that color can be trademarked. Tiffany’s  has a lot at stake with this turn of events since it has a trademark on a shade of blue.

This case got me thinking about the importance of color to these company’s images. Tiffany & Co. is extremely recognizable with its light turquoise/aqua packaging: blue boxes wrapped in white ribbon bows that come in matching bags. I myself have said before that I won’t get married unless my engagement ring comes in a blue box. This to me shows how well Tiffany’s has branded itself. Their shade of blue has become synonymous with their name and brand. When I see that blue, I think of glamour, romance, beauty, perfection, love, and security. It has an emotional appeal to me which is in essence what every brand should seek to do. Connect with your audience on an emotional level. If you can make them feel something toward your brand then you will be successful. The movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s shows this ideal in action. The opening scene shows the main character Holly Golightly, played by Audrey Hepburn, gazing into the windows of Tiffany’s as she wears an iconic chic black Givenchy dress and eats her breakfast in the early morning hours of New York City. Later on in the movie we find out why Tiffany’s appeals to her. Here is the scene:

A company needs to distinguish itself through its branding. You need an iconic symbol or logo or color that sets you apart from the competition and helps the consumers remember you by. Once you are able to attach an emotion to this identifier and appeal to your consumers that way, they will always feel that way when confronted with it. It becomes less about the product and more about brand loyalty.



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