To read this content please select one of the options below:

Like a chameleon: the polychromatic virtue of dynamic brands

Catarina Lelis (London School of Film, Media and Design, University of West London, London, UK)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 28 May 2019

Issue publication date: 17 July 2019




The purpose of this paper is to identify the chromatic approaches in dynamic brand identities, describing and analysing new trends, patterns or shared strategies which seem to be taking place and renunciating the consistent use of corporate colours in some brands.


The research consisted of a qualitative visual content analysis, based on the comparison and scrutiny of 50 dynamic visual identities, verifying the changes that their colours would undergo in their numerous forms of representation and the symbolic associations these would carry. This analysis was performed using three different studies.


The results show that colour in dynamic brands does not follow any consistent pattern regarding its application and none of the most common colour harmonies seem to be an obvious strategic preference.

Practical implications

This research provides insights for brand managers to look at how this dynamic positioning can be successfully implemented without affecting recognition whilst establishing or maintaining customer loyalty, and for brand designers and marketers to clarify how brand guidelines will explain the usage of such colourful approaches.


This paper is a contribution to the knowledge of how a traditional visual element such as colour is being combined, deconstructed and reassembled in the context of modern visual identities. Three patterns are identified, and two of them draw attention to the apparent unnecessity of colour consistency and the way this may affect the relevance of colour in transmitting certain meanings.



The author would like to thank Swisscom and its Brand Team, who kindly provided full access to their brand centre and all its documentation and UAL, Pentagram and UnderConsideration, for providing some of the imagery used in the research and presented in this paper. Moreover, a word of gratitude to my colleagues Alison Hawkings and Michelle Henning for the initial proof-readings, to the participants who generously contributed to this research, and to the two anonymous reviewers for their pertinent, constructive feedback.


Lelis, C. (2019), "Like a chameleon: the polychromatic virtue of dynamic brands", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 28 No. 4, pp. 445-461.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles