This whole thread got me thinking about Huel branding in general and how it will work – or not – if and when they ever expand into the Asean+6 markets which seems to be a natural progression when they crack NA.
Branding colour schemes can be a psychological and cultural mine field. The current Huel colour schemes work well in Western culture (and would also work fine in Gulf/GCC states) – where white is seen as a symbol of purity, innocence, cleanliness, simplicity, hygiene etc. The colour (OK – so it’s not technically a colour) is associated with everything new and fresh. Reflecting light as it does - a large amount of white can be difficult to look at over long periods of time - however, it is a great way to make other colours in your branding more vibrant and perceptible.
In many countries, white is also the colour of weddings but in Asean+6 countries such as India, Korea and China - it is traditionally associated with funerals and mourning. It is very rarely used on branding here unless it’s a ‘copycat’ of a famous western brand. Colours that are more commonly used are:
Yellow & Gold
Yellow stands for optimism, confidence, self-esteem, happiness, encouragement and amusement. It has even stronger positive connotations in Asian countries - in China, it’s the colour of royalty and in Japan it represents courage. Yellow isn’t a ‘crowd favourite’ when it comes to Western countries, it may evoke associations with jealousy, cowardice, fear, anxiety and even insanity. In Russia, for instance, there’s a colloquial expression ‘yellow house’, which is slang for an asylum. Yellow in a logo is an attention grabber but overuse can lead to consumer fatigue.
Nothing says “expensive” more than gold. It’s the colour of wealth, victory, wisdom, royalty, prosperity, glamour, luxury and prestige. The warmth of gold irradiates everything around it - just don’t get the wires crossed when it comes to yellow and gold - golden hues have some red or brown in them, which gives them a power that pure yellow doesn’t.
Gold is traditionally used for superior, one-of-a-kind, high-quality products. It creates a nice separation, emphasizing that the product is not for all, only for the chosen ones, for the elite. That’s why it works so well for luxury brands in finance, food, beauty and fashion-related companies.
Red is one of the most popular and controversial colours. It represents power and energy, strength and excitement, passion and life, courage and love, celebration and seduction. Red is also about war and blood, conflict and aggression, lust and defiance, anger and hatred, wrath and stress.
The connotations of red also vary depending on the country. In Asia it’s a colour of weddings. It symbolizes fortune, happiness, and fertility. In some African countries, on the other hand, red is a colour of death and mourning.
Using red to catch the eye is a classic marketing trick. It stimulates impulsive shoppers by creating urgency, boosts hunger, brings customers’ attentions to the most important parts of the product, and invites them to take physical action.
To Western observers this may all seem like superstitious hocus pocus (and to an extent it is) but superstitions run deep in Asian cultures and date back centuries. They are still very much a ‘thing’ even now.
If you combine all of the Asean+6 counties (including India, China, Australia and SEA, the population in 2020 was 3.7 billion (or 47.4% of the total global population). So while it’s a massive market loaded with potential - it’s also a tough nut to crack. Colour psychology in branding is always critical but when that drifts over the line from perception and feeling into the realm of faith, superstition and conviction - then it’s a tricky path to navigate.
Given all of the above – here’s my take on Huel powder branding for an Asean+6 market introduction:
It may strike you as odd looking but without a doubt, would have a much wider appeal than the current white packs.