Colour is the strongest visual element of the brand and the AA has the highest ‘colour recall’, according to new research.
The survey, by trademark lawyers Withers & Rogers, shows that 64 per cent of respondents rated colour more important to a brand than slogan, typeface or logo shape.
The brands that were most recognisable by their colour were AA for its yellow and black, which was recognised by 98 per cent of respondents; Easyjet for its orange, recognised by 93 per cent; Cadbury for its purple and BP for its green, both recognised by 88 per cent; and Royal Mail’s red, recognised by 85 per cent.
Respondents were presented with a list of brands and asked to name the main colours used in their identities.
Fiona McBride, partner at Withers & Rogers, says, ‘Despite the prominence marketers place on the colour of a brand, it is rarely registered for trademark protection, partly because such protection can be difficult to obtain.
‘Cadbury, which scored highly for colour recognition in our research, is one of the few UK companies that has protected the Pantone reference of its purple, and it did so retrospectively, by demonstrating its consistent and prominent use over a number of years.’
As well as Cadbury, AA, Royal Mail and BP have also registered their colours for trade mark protection
The survey also showed that while 98 per cent of respondents recognised that a brand name could be registered for trademark protection, and 90 per cent knew that logo design could, 80 per cent didn’t realise that a smell could be safeguarded, and 65 per cent didn’t know that sounds can be protected.
The research saw 50 marketing professionals questioned.