Color matters for branding

Should your Business 'Sole-ly' Trademark a Color?

Color matters for branding

Does your business own a color? Should you invest and exclusively trademark a color? Your answer is absolutely, yes. Today, the use of distinctive colors to identify products can be seen everywhere. Whether you’re marketing to pop culture, need people to recognize your business while driving, or develop consumer product recognition, using a color as a visual representation of your product or business is extremely beneficial. Color plays a huge role in visual processing, as well as conveying information. Trademarking your desired color is crucial due to the fact that other brands with similar colors may confuse a consumer. Recently, the importance of color as a brand identity has become a larger legal issue, as well as the question of whether trademark law protects distinctive colors which have become strongly associated with a particular product. Therefore, it is of great consideration to claim a trademark of your business color.

For example, Tiffany’s notorious “Robin’s-egg Blue” color, the French shoemaker, Christian Louboutin, uses the color “China Red” to coat the bottom of his expensive, high-heeled shoes. Louboutin’s signature red-soled shoes creates an iconic and memorable trademark of the 21st century. In the fashion world, the ability to trademark a color for marketing establishes brand equity. For years, well-known brands, such as Louboutin and Burberry, have been distinguished and recognized by consumer’s for their designer patterns. From the repetition of these patterns or color, they have established valuable brand equity. The red-sole shoe is a precious asset to Louboutin.  For example, celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey, on the Oprah Show, sport Louboutin’s heels, and every time she crosses her legs and flashes the red-sole underneath her shoes, the public notices and thinks of Louboutin. The trademarked color has brand value, for which consumer’s have been conditioned to know the brand, which further helps advertise it.


In order to make your brand, product or business more marketable, the use of color as a representation is necessary. Conditioning consumer’s to associate your brand with a color creates consumer recognition. Keep in mind that a color war is exploding and the use of color is generating lawsuits. Therefore, in order to avoid competition, it’s important to trademark your color coordinate numbers and application in a clear and defined way.