Professional vs. Vibrant: Playing it too safe in Branding Part 2

Are you playing by the old rules and worried about appearing ‘professional’ with your brand? Do you find yourself gravitating towards safe brand colours that are akin to the black, beige and navy suits in corporate?

If you are nodding as you read those questions, then I want you to make sure that you are in a profession that needs utmost discretion, restrained smiling, and ninja-like stealth in your advertising. (ie: your graphics should blend away into the walls.)

Emergency bells should be going off, right about now.

Safe and bland isn’t memorable, and so you shouldn’t approach your graphics and marketing this way.

{People will yawn.}


Marketing materials are meant to speak for you when you aren’t present. They are meant to draw people in when you can’t be there, and to reach an audience that you might not otherwise chat with.

If you want to be noticed, throw ‘the rules of corporate’ out the window, and allow your own unique authenticity to replace them.

Professionalism has almost nothing to do with the colours you choose for your brand.

Professionalism stems from how you interact with clients, your competence, and your ability to provide a great service while completing a sale. It shines through in the follow ups, the grammar you use, your punctuality and your business acumen.


Professional looking graphics? You should hire a professional graphic designer.
There’s no colour under the sun that will save you on this one if you don’t.

Professional branding?
You should look to something unique and authentic, as opposed to being forced into a cookie cutter brand that will do you more harm than good. Your brand should authentically communicate what it’s like to do business with you. It shouldn’t merely be safe. It should be remarkable.

Safe and expected from a branding perspective has nothing to do with professional.
It simply says nothing new, nothing that hasn’t been done before, and nothing worth changing my buying habits for.

Safe will kill your brand before it even has a chance to walk.

Think about it – even Sunlife Life Insurance is bright yellow.
ING direct? Bright orange and purple.

Can you think of any major brand that lives in beige and bland?

Couldn’t your brand risk a little vibrancy?

About Chris Donnelly

Chris Donnelly is a brand strategist and a launch specialist. She works with entrepreneurs to flesh out their values, their launch plans and that special unspoken secret ingredient that makes them unique in the marketplace.

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