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Seeing Red

Why do so many fast food places feel the need to color their logos in the same two shades? We see Red and Yellow everywhere.

It’s not just these fast food restaurants. It’s also the logos of Pizza Hut, Checkers, Sonic, Hardee’s, Popeye’s, El Pollo Loco, and really a bunch of others. But, why?

You’re being influenced. Science has known for a long time that color can have an impact on your mental state. Studies have shown that wearing red causes people to rate you as more attractive. But that’s not why fast food restaurants use it. (Unless maybe you’re attracted to Ronald McDonald.)

Putting the fast in food. Red captures the eye. Commercials are more likely to use redheads than statistically they ever should. About 30% of prime time commercials show a redhead, compared to 2% of the population. Firetrucks aren’t red on accident. It also stimulates the appetite. You’ll see red in most fast food logos.

Yellow is the color of happiness and is supposed to invoke friendliness. Combining red and yellow is supposed to make you eat faster and get out of there. So basically, you’re In and out. (You see what I did there.) The two colors are the perfect storm for people marketing fast food.

How you can use this. You can’t. Your company logo shouldn’t imply fast food to the unwary. That won’t stop us from wearing red to a client meeting though. Or perhaps yellow to a close…

You can be aware that it’s happening. Years ago, Jason was warned not to wear a black suit to an interview. The idea was that it’s too intimidating for someone 6’5″. Perhaps it is better to not look Lurch from the Addams family or a mob enforcer.

Here’s an easy trick you can use: Be known for something, even if it discourages some clients. If you recruit accountants, make it clear. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. Under Armour is for athletes. Gatorade is for athletes.

We often see a laundry list of jobs recruiters recruit for. They are on websites, presumably for search engine optimization. Don’t do that. Stand up for what you are.

There are several psychology based tricks used by marketers you can use. We cover them in Sales Science. Check it out under Courses.


Speaker, Trainer, Headhunter, Superhero

Jason Thibeault, acclaimed recruiter, trainer, coach, and superhero. Jason brings decades of experience in search, and is also a published author, a black belt martial artist and a former chess champ. His specialty is getting into the minds of people and unlocking the big picture and clearing the next obstacle. You’ll have so much fun with him; it won’t feel like work. 

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