The Power of Red: How Color is the Message

BMW:  The Perfect Red
BMW: The Perfect Red

At a recent BMW event, I was happy to see the auto maker had gone into luxury hybrids to expand into this market with their integrated hybrid/electric engine that utilized the best of their combustion engine technology. The cars, are so gorgeous, you won’t know you are driving anything that is practical, at all and you’ll feel really good about it.  No more hybrid envy, for the BMW driver.

One model featured a particular shade of red that was literally, the “perfect red”. Dianna Vreeland would have been thrilled to see the one hundred coats of shiny red metallic lacquer. The car was very fashionable.  I wanted it to be a purse, a lipstick, a shoe or a belt. The power of Red as a color to convey a message was quite clear: “We may be hybrids, but make no mistake, we’re high performance sports vehicles”. As a color goes, red makes no apologies.  It has many titles: ‘Super Red’, ‘Power Red’, ‘Sexy Red’ or ‘Red Hot Red’. A color that has moved multitudes and is also the color of politics, beauty, and passion. What would Valentine’s Day be without red?

Finding the perfect color for your brand property is as important as the words or message associated with it. Your branding “message” is distinctly associated with the color and design of your logo. Taken together, these create the emotional response to your brand and inform your audience. Great pairs never work alone: Nick and Nora,  Jack and Jill… Peanut Butter and Jelly, Adam and Eve. You can talk about them separately, but together they are much more powerful. Color and design are the two key elements of a brand that convey your message and are loaded with meaning.

BMW has successfully put the color and design technology together into their own message about “Ultimate Driving”.  It says “We’re fun but also practical” so why not enjoy the ride? Color and form are the two branding elements that are embodied in their product.  The BMW’s design, its color, shape, form, the very message they wish to convey.  So beyond mere logo, they’ve successfully created their “brand message” directly into the product itself.

Now, back to that gorgeous red car…What’s a girl to do? I wondered…do you drive it, or, merely wear it? The answer, is both. Now, if I can just find the matching nail polish, I’ll really be happy.  Then, my driving experience will really be, complete.


  1. Freddy Wendt

    I was the guitar player at the event, and very much enjoyed reading your review. It was most certainly an impressive car on display. Pleasure to meet you, and I look forward to hearing back from you. Kind regards, Freddy Wendt

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