Blue For You
Google is red,
Facebook is blue,
Profits are sweet,
And they come from you.
Facebook is blue. Twitter is blue. LinkedIn is blue. Google+ is… red, because all the others are blue, otherwise they’d probably have gone with blue too!
What is it with blue? There must be something, but isn’t it a kind of trap?
Creative websites that want to stand out have it easy; all they have to do is choose another hefty hue than me-too blue.
But if they do… well, how many web sites can you name, how many web sites can you even remember that have chosen a decidedly non-blue look? More to the point (of this article) how many web sites can you think of which use purple, orange or green as their main colour theme?
Not that many if you ask me. Off the top of my head I can think of Orange, the telephone company, who are really hammering the point home, almost to the point of ridicule: Look at us! they cheerfully scream, We’re so radical and forward-thinking we haven’t just chosen an off-the-wall colour for our logo, we’ve called ourselves after it!
OK, it was probably a good move in retrospect. But purple. Hmm, well, err, none actually come to mind. Unless The Queen‘s a brand…
Red would be Coca Cola, yellow would be McDonalds and green would be… nope, none again.
Got Them Ol’ Time Business Blues…
Do the same with blue and there’s, oh… Microsoft, Skype, The
Blue White House, Mashable, Tumblr, Blueit Reddit, Foursquare, AT&T Business, Samsung, Paypal, AWeber, Ford… the list goes on and on.
Of course, the number of big non-blue websites is also large. But still. If you listen to the colour psychologists, they’ll tell you that for many people blue signifies trustworthiness and stability. Or words to that effect.
Check out this picture to see what I mean.
My Big Blue Decision
In creating this web site I wanted to squarely aim it at the business community, the first time I’ve done such a thing. So I had a dilemma. A big blue dilemma. Should I take the B-route or not?
I would almost certainly be taken more ‘seriously’ by the corporate suits if I presented first-time visitors with a comforting, reassuring, trustworthy blue background, logo and buy buttons. Just ask the colour shrinks.
But hang on a minute. My site’s called Creative Business Mind. That’s CREATIVE Business Mind, not More Banal Boring Blue Business Mind. I owe it to myself to be daring, to walk the walk away from the herd, to be heard by those open-minded business souls able and ready to listen. In a word: to Ban Blue.
I have to admit something to you though: I completely gave in on the name – Sorry: ‘made a calculated commercial decision’ – but that story’s for another time.
If You Don’t Give It A Go…
…You’ll Never Know
In the end, as you can see, I didn’t go for orange or purple or green, not yet anyway. But I did try to buck the trend and hit my intended business audience with something that’ll rock them back on their heels and make them either say, What The F…? or, just possibly, OK, let’s see what this guy’s got to say for himself.
In the end, I can’t seriously offer up a site with the word ‘creative’ in its name, which is, well, you know… blue. Don’t get me wrong, I love blue, I’m wearing blue, I drown in blue, but you know what I mean.
In the end, I went for a strikingly colourful look, with changing images pulled from my Paris street photography – the personal touch – and a powerful, graphic theme.
Spot The Difference
Overpowering? Commercial suicide? Maybe. But what place does true creativity and ‘being different’ have in business today? It’s a delicate question. Compare this Creative Business Mind site with its more general sister site, I Create Therefore I Am, which I launched at the same time.Should I have inverted styles? Scrapped them both? Checked out opportunities in the basket-weaving trade? Gone blue?
I remember laughing with a client at France Telecom (which would later become ‘Orange’) a few years ago. He told me that you could have the most wonderful, industry-shaking, paradigm-shifting idea ever imagined for his company and the world but it would be completely ignored unless you happened to work in… the Creative Department.
Got an interesting new idea for the business? Forgeddaboutit! We’ve already got a department especially for new ideas; it’s called The Creative Department, and you ain’t in it! Now get back to work…
There are many who say they want to encourage greater creativity and innovative thinking in business, and yet who are scared shirtless by the idea of change. Then there are those who are quite happy with the way things are and don’t want to encourage anything at all.
The Style Council
Unfortunately, as we see time and time again, it’s commercial suicide to mark time in today’s tumultuous markets. Those companies who aren’t forever pressing ahead get hopelessly and systematically left behind.
The way in which you express your individuality or your company’s unique difference is up to you. Creative thinking and fresh ideas from outside can help tremendously. The fear and real danger of being overtaken by the competition can provide a powerful impetus for action. But only you can dare to be different.
The future belongs to the innovators and the different-thinkers and always has. People love new shiny things. Customers love to be surprised and to surprise.
Sarah doesn’t want to turn up to the party wearing the same outfit as her mother-in-law. My girlfriend’s new phone has got fingerprint recognition, damn it, but my next one will have it too and eye-scanning technology into the bargain…
Time To Choose
So do you want to join the HPs, Dells, NASAs, Walmarts, WordPresses, Pfizers, VISAs and American Expresses of this world with a strong, sensible, dependable, trustworthy and oh-so-banal business blue, or are you prepared to try something a little… different?
After all, as you can see from the colour-emotion guide above, you won’t be the first to have broken the boring blue mould and you might just create a sensation.
Even better, you might leave a lasting impression, in shades of soft orange, unpredictable purple or daringly garish green.
Talking of crazy, pointless and worrying web sites with design issues of one sort or another (in case I’ve bored you to tears)… well, don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Sab Will writes about creativity in business and life.
As well as Creative Business Mind (this site!) he runs I Create Therefore I Am (general creativity), Mind Map Mad (mind mapping & visual problem solving) and Fun English Lessons (an on-line language learning site).
Sab is available for training in innovative thinking, creative problem solving, mind mapping and professional English language training. Please get in touch here to find out how increased creativity and innovation can help boost your business.
© 2015 Sab Will / Creative Business Mind