Management legend Henry Ford, for whom "any customer could have a car painted any color that he wanted as long as it was black," was probably one of the last “marketing visionaries” that did not recognize the impact of color on brand value. Color management is now considered strategic to the point that in 2008, Steve Jobs called Google's vice president of engineering on a Sunday morning, while the latter was at mass, to explain that the second "O" of the Google logo on the iPhone did not have the right shade of yellow.
Different studies show that color is more memorable than a shape or a name. Think of the color red--what is the first brand that comes to mind? If you are like most people, your answer will probably be Coke. This kind of association is key in an environment where differentiation is becoming more difficult to achieve. This is why the legal protection of color has acquired an increasing importance, being embraced by brands such as Cadbury's, Tiffany's, T-Mobile, and Orange. However, the recent negative ruling on the Louboutin case casts doubt on the future of color trademark protection, its legal security, and the cost-benefit of investing in it.