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How To Use Red In Your Business: Five Guys & A Thing For Colours

Updated: Dec 19, 2022

How you can use colours to create a unique marketing strategy, making you the "different" one in the market. We all want to be different and I will show you how to make your small business different from the rest by using Five Guys as our inspiration.

First and foremost, I just want to say the whole entire team loves Five Guys. They have managed to create an experience worth paying for. I get that you prefer something else and I am happy for that but here's why we think they have an amazing marketing team, and how you can "copy" their strategy and apply that in your own business.

When you think of fast food, chances are good that the first colour that comes to mind is red. From McDonald's to Burger King, KFC to Wendy's, many of the most popular fast food franchises have chosen red as their signature colour. But why is that?

It has a lot to do with the hot burning desire to have food when you want it at whatever time AKA urgency. I mean, there are a ton of other reasons I'll get into shortly. The problem with colours, is that it can carry a lot of meanings. it all comes down to how you choose to use it. Some say it's because red is associated with danger, which makes people eat more quickly and leave the restaurant. Others say that red is simply a high-energy color that makes people feel more awake and alert. That's the key message here, how you choose to use said colours changes the way your message is carried across the internet room.

There's no denying that red is an attention-grabbing color. It's the color of danger and excitement, which makes it the perfect choice for a fast food restaurant that wants to stand out from the crowd. Red is also a very appetizing color, which is why it's often used in food packaging. So why red? Why not pink?

First of all, red is a very visible color, so it's easy for customers to spot a fast food restaurant from a distance. This is especially important for businesses that are located on busy streets or in high-traffic areas.

Another reason why red is such a popular choice for fast food franchises is because it's a very positive color. Red is associated with energy, enthusiasm, and excitement, which are all emotions that customers are likely to feel when they're hungry.

Finally, red is a color that is known to stimulate the appetite. This is why so many fast food restaurants use red in their advertising and marketing materials. By using red, they're able to increase the chances that customers will crave their food.

So how can we use this sense of urgency mixed with visibility and enthusiasm to set ourselves apart from competition?

Unlocking Pandora's Box of Wisdom

With great wisdom comes great responsibility, hey! Even spiderman wore red most of the time! We get why it can also mean danger now... Just kidding.

People often have a hard time translating how they want people to feel when they market their brand online. I get it, it's very difficult to have your message communicated without people misunderstanding you or thinking you have a personal vendetta against a certain topic of interest. If you haven't been through this at least once in your life then your content must be hella boring because the right engagement is sure to attract some peculiar people on these internet streets.

"Like why don't you talk about pink instead?" I'm sorry Martha, I am not trying to overwhelm you.

You might have met people like Martha and if you haven't, you will. It's another pandemic on its own and as a solopreneur you are bound to be "unfollowed" because your color palette pissed someone off but you are only responsible for your brand. Wisdom allows you to understand the fact that you can only express yourself, how other people feel is not entirely your fault. How are we supposed to know red traumatized you because of a car accident? You feel me? It's above your control so stop overthinking it and really just choose to focus on bettering your brand's message so people can find a middle ground when engaging with your brand.

Here's What You Can Learn From Five Guys:

They have really understood their target audience and are adjusting to their personalities. Unlike other brands, Five Guys has noticed people hate waiting for their fast food. I mean who can blame them? It's in the name. They have understood that it is currently above them and they can't speed it up for you because humans aren't robots and food actually needs to be cooked in order for it to be served. They can't keep food waiting for you because that will increase their waste. So what do they do? They added peanuts to their mix. Chew some peanuts while you wait for your food. It's free and nobody gets to go home unsatisfied unless you are allergic and in that case, you are allowed to hate Five Guys.

You can grab as much as you want while you wait, nobody monitors you and to be quite honest with you, I don't like nuts like that... I just think it's quite cool to treat your customers to something other than the horrid screams of order numbers at the counter. KFC and five Guys both have a different vibe and the nuts play a huge role.

Think about what your customers can get from you for free while they sit and wait for something they want to order. It has to be instant and on the spot if you have included red in your branding strategy. If you have less urgent colors then you can have a freebie after they purchase or put it as a lead magnet. How you present your freebie changes the game for you.

Wait... There's more!

People love to hear the word "unlimited" and it really does make a huge impact in marketing. Humans are so used to overconsumption that they can never wonder why a business will offer unlimited anything. As a business, it is important to understand how the human mind works so that your words have value. You really do not want to sound like you want to make the most by saying "unlimited"

Unlimited usually means, with no limit. It doesn't mean limitless. As an answer on Quora said, unlimited implies that it could be limited but is not. Unlimited access to xyz- but we could close shop because we are bankrupt. Unlimited airtime- but we might not ever finish using it. Marketing is more complicated than just saying something is unlimited while it's not.

Like Five Guys for example, they have free soda refills and ketchup in their store with every soda purchase. In other words, they have "unlimited soda" for the duration of your meal. Let's forget the technicalities of the words discussed above and focus on why this is such a huge deal, first of all we all know that person who finishes their beverage before finishing their food or that one friend obsessed with the freezing cold sprite. KFC and other franchises barely offer free ketchup, let alone soda. This matches their entire brand's MO.

So how can you communicate your offer without walking into a danger zone...

You could offer the following:

  • Free shipping on all orders

  • Free samples with every order

  • Unlimited spend with every $2,000 gift card purchase valid for a year

  • Free membership points for every purchase

  • Free products for xyz purchases

The Final Score

Is red a good color to choose when creating a brand?

There's no right or wrong answer to this question - it all comes down to what your brand represents and what you want to communicate to your audience. Red is often seen as a powerful, passionate color, so it can be a good choice for brands that want to convey strength and energy.

Red is a powerful color. It's associated with passion, energy, and excitement. It's also a color that commands attention. When used in branding, red can make a bold statement and help a brand to stand out from the crowd.

However, it's important to use red wisely. Too much red can be overwhelming and off-putting. It can also make a brand look cheap or unprofessional. When used correctly, though, red can give a brand a boost and help it to make a lasting impression.

When it comes to communicating with people, patience is a virtue. You have to understand the why and how before you engage and know when to stop because too much of anything is harmful. Unfortunately, these aren't things you learn from an ebook, you learn from trial and error.

And I know, I can't seem to choose between color and colour. It stresses me out too LOL.

If you read this far then I know you will love our newest bundle deal, the Wealthy AF Bundle Deal is great for Ecommerce stores selling physical products. We talk a lot about the psychology of things and how you can use what you are great at to make the most of what you have.

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