Colouring services

Lilac logistics?

How do you market a service that nobody can see, measure or experience until it happens? Tangible products can be shown, in physical terms. Intangible things (like services) can’t.

One solution some companies use is to turn the abstract “process” into something more visual. This company on the right, Müller, has decided to make its logistics “Lilac”. So it provides “lilac logistics”. This will make it easy to design advertising and gain recognition. The colour acts as a brand mnemonic.

The same trick has been used by postal services providers and companies like Yello, the spin-off company of electricity provider EnBW. Electricity really is an intangible service. In fact you really see nothing of it. So they have taken this abstractness and given it an identity. Useful when you enter new countries (as seen here in Sweden). Assuming of course yellow has no bad cultural meanings outside Germany.

Talking of exporting your colour, it’s interesting to see what the lilac Müller people have done with their English website. As far as I can see from the awfully direct translations on the site (“LILA REPRESENTS THE UNIFICATION OF TWO FORCES”), they are Lila. Or are they Müller? And this introduction is weird:

Lilac (or lila as it’s called in German) represents the synergy of two forces: Thought and action, utility and emotion, the mind and the heart.”

Surely that’s six forces, or does running logistics in lilac/lila allow you to count differently?

Alex Woodruff

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