While most companies today are aware that colors are symbolic and can support their brand message, that was not always the case. And it certainly hasn’t been on the radar of most smaller companies. I was surprised to learn that Green and Black, an organic chocolate company, had chosen their colorful and symbolic name back in 1991.

When Craig Sams and his wife Jo Fairley were naming their company, they thought back to the quality candy brands they loved as children. They fondly remembered Barker & Dobson and Callard & Bowser which led them to the name Green & Black that sounds as if it might be an old British candy company too.

Craig and Jo say that people often ask how Green & Black got its name, wondering who Mr. Green or Mrs. Black was. However, they never actually existed! The name came about to symbolize the real foundations of the products: green for organic and black for the deep, rich, dark brown (almost black) color of the chocolate.

Interestingly, Green & Black uses lots of gold and black, not green and black in their packaging. This smart couple seemed to understand that the use of color, whether as part of a name, logo, product, or packaging, should be done strategically.

Using green and black would take a look in a direction that would not communicate their underlying message of “premium” or “special” as strongly as the colors they chose. The combination of black and gold is sophisticated and elegant and is most often associated with something of high quality and more expensive: thus more desirable.

At a price higher than that of a typical chocolate bar, this is undoubtedly the message they want to get across as they launch in the Canadian market this week hoping to attract chocoholics with a social conscience.

Cadbury Schweppes, a company, well known in the confectionary industry, bought Green and Black. Cadbury Schweppes places a high value on color. They have often fended off competitors trying to use a hue of purple that is, in their opinion, is too close to Cadbury’s brand color purple.

Feature Image Credit: Stockfresh

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Kate Smith
Kate Smith is an optimistic, expressive, artist, designer, writer and color fanatic. With her warm and witty style, Kate teaches you to clearly see, understand and be inspired by color. Then she guides you step-by-step to develop your own unique color sense-ability and achieve results you never dreamed possible.