What’s in a Brand? — The Iconic Power of Corporate Colors

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In contemporary culture, certain brands ascend to the status of idols and icons through the lens of materialism, where their perceived value extends beyond mere products to symbolise status, success, or identity. These brands not only shape consumer preferences but also influence societal norms and perceptions, leaving an indelible mark on the fabric of modern society.

What do Barbie, Starbucks, and Post-it Notes have in common? All three have developed brands around an iconic color—so iconic that they’ve even managed to secure trademarks for their signature hues. As these corporations know, modern color is big business, and in this session, we will discuss the rise of brand colors, consumers’ evolving relationships with specific hues, and how companies use color to create deep connections with their products.



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SKU: Brand-Color Categories: Global debates, Visual art




Speaker: Carolyn Purnell

Carolyn Purnell is a historian, writer, and lover of all things colorful. She is the author of Blue Jeans (2023) and The Sensational Past: How the Enlightenment Changed the Way We Use Our Senses (2017). Carolyn earned her Ph.D. in history from University of Chicago, and her work has appeared in publications including Psychology Today, Wall Street Journal, CityLab by The Atlantic, and Apartment Therapy. Her research has received recognition from the National Endowment for the Humanities, European Commission, Huntington Library, Georges Lurcy Foundation, Brown Foundation of Fellows, and French Society for Historical Studies. Most recently, Carolyn wrote and produced “Pasture Prime,” a short film that premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival.
Webpage: carolynpurnell.com
IG: @carolynpurnell
The Sensational Past: https://wwnorton.com/books/The-Sensational-Past/
Blue Jeans: https://www.bloomsbury.com/us/blue-jeans-9781501383755/

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