Color plays a major role in brand identity and smart companies use color wisely to stand out in their market. The H&R Block green brand color is a great example.
For many years medium to dark blue dominated the financial services markets because of its associations with expertise, trust and stability. With many companies within the same industry using similar colors it is easy for brand identities to become blurred.
In 2001 when H&R Block planned a new strategy to expand their services to include financial planning, investing and mortgages they needed an identity that would expand their already strong brand in the mind of their customers to include more than just tax preparation. They also wanted their brand to stand out in the financial services market.
With the roll out of their new brand identity which included a bright green block next to the company name H&R Block was making a bold statement. The clean symbol that represents their name along with the fresh Block green communicates a forward thinking brand to their worldwide market.
While dark green is often associated with money the brighter green might not have seemed the obvious choice because it is often more closely associated with the environment and health. However, the brighter colors associated with freshness and good health serves to set H&R Block green apart from other companies by putting the focus on their fresh approach to their customer’s financial health.
With brand identity so important, why would a company - even a successful company like H&R Block -- change its color? This story from ABC News tells more about the process and color choice:
"We wanted a new color and a refreshed look that demonstrated the changes that H&R Block was making as a company," says Karl Ploeger of H&R Block.
But before H&R Block picked "Pantone 376" (a kind of Granny-Smith-apple green), they tested it, asking test groups, "What does it mean to you?"
"Of course, you hear things about spring - growth, and money came up," said Ploeger. "And those are wonderful things for the business that we're in. That green block - and with the color it's sort of our version of McDonald's arches."