Is what you say and do all that matters for success?

Television history was made yesterday evening with the big three party leaders taking part in the UK’s first Prime Ministerial election debate.

I have to admit to not watching all of it and I’m certainly not going to comment on the policies discussed.  However I did watch a fair chunk and, even though you may think I’m a political lightweight, my main interest was in the colour of their ties.

Obviously worn to reflect their party ‘brand’ Gordon Brown was wearing red, David Cameron blue and Nick Clegg gold, or some would argue yellow. 

As a Feng Shui consultant I know the importance of colour and that explains my attraction to their attire rather than their words.

If you wear Feng Shui glasses like me you would see and interpret the world on an energetic level and colour is indicative of different types of energy.  Not only that but different colours used together will bring energies together that are either supportive or controlling.

So this morning I decided to look at their logos which are made of colour and imagery.  Any business person who wants to make their business a success will try to understand the energy that their logo symbolises and have their logo designed to reflect the right energy for them.

If you’re a business person and you haven’t considered this then you really are missing a trick.  Go find a Feng Shui consultant immediately and talk to them about getting an edge in your market place.

Technically speaking these political parties are not businesses, although I’m sure they have a very detailed profit and loss account.  But, they do want to succeed.

In an ideal world success would be down to their policies and how popular the policies are with the voting public.  But we don’t live in an ideal world.  We live in a world inhabited by humans and, whether we like it or not, our judgement is affected by a whole number of things so we don’t always vote on the policies.  We need to like these people, we need to trust these people and we need to want them to lead our country.  These are all subtle judgement calls.  They don’t come from our conscious mind, they come from the subconscious.  And so it is with colours and imagery in Feng Shui.  We don’t consciously decide that the logo means this or that.  The logo will send out a particular type of energy on a subtle level which we pick up in our subconscious mind.

McDonald's shop front

Welcome - but don't stay too long

Let me give you an example, McDonald’s corporate colour is red.  Red is the colour of Fire energy which is an outgoing energy.  It’s very fast and active which is what a ‘fast food’ outlet wants: as many people in and out as possible.  Now look at the golden arches that make up the M.  Firstly the gold colour is representative of Metal energy which is focussed and concentrated.  The domed or rounded shape of the arches also represents Metal.  In addition, the shape looks like a doorway.  The McDonald’s logo says ‘come on in, we’ll give you what you want but be quick about it’.  This is what their business is all about.

With this in mind let’s have a look at the UK’s biggest political party logos.

Labour roseLabour has a red stylised rose.  As we already know red is the colour of Fire energy which can be positive if you want to get things done.  The Rose is interesting.  Its symbolism can be seen as patriotic, if you’re English, or romantic as it represents beauty or love.  Either of these would be an unusual choice for a national political party.

As it’s a plant it can also be interpreted as Wood energy which is very supportive of Fire and would certainly bring a very creative and active energy to the brand.  But look at how the rose is contained.  Cut off, in a square.  It’s almost as if all this sparky energy needs to be contained and the square shape represents Earth energy which is very grounding.  But maybe we don’t want our political leaders to be too fiery.  After all, trust is often built on good honest down-to-earth policies.

Conservative Tree

The Conservatives sport their traditional blue shade.  Blue represents Water energy which is flexible and adaptable.  It can be a strong energy, like a waterfall or a slow meandering one like a lazy river.

A few years ago they added a tree.  Tree represents Wood energy which is all about creativity and growth.  (Many service companies and consultants have trees or plants or green in their brand that says ‘I can help your business grow.’)

Adding a tree was a good idea because Water supports Wood so the colour and imagery work with each other.  However, there is one thing which lets the whole thing down.  Look at the tree again.  It’s all sort of scribbled.  It doesn’t have any defined edges.  The energy of this image is quick, short-lived and unfocussed. 

Liberal Democrat birdThe Liberal Democrats have a stylised bird on a gold or yellow background.  If the colour is interpreted as gold then that represents Metal energy which is sharp and focussed.  If yellow, that represents Earth energy which is grounded and trustworthy.  To be honest, the colour veers more towards gold in my eyes but maybe the tone should be changed to bring some clarity to the issue.

The bird is unusual in that it’s both fluid, which represents Water energy and also upward rising which represents Wood energy.

So, it’s pretty difficult to analyse because it may be Metal or Earth energy in the colour and it may be Water or Wood energy in the imagery.  But, I’m not going to sit on the fence.  My view is that the colour is Metal energy and the imagery is Wood energy.  Metal can do a lot of damage to Wood if it’s in the shape of an axe so in Feng Shui we class this as a controlling relationship. It’s almost as if the gold is holding onto the bird – tethering it to the ground.

I’ve tried to be very non-committal in my analyses of these logos because politics is a hot topic in the UK at the moment.  And I definitely haven’t offered tips on how to improve them because the relevant parties would have to pay me for that information!

My point is that, if you’re in business, you need to look at your brand on an energetic level as well as a physical one.  After all, you communicate with your customers and prospects on both of these levels (even if you don’t think you do).  And, if Feng Shui is good enough for Richard Branson and Donald Trump then maybe you should try it too.  In a competitive market place it may be the edge that brings you success.

Jackie Notman is a copywriter, feng shui consultant and e-commerce retailer.  This article is from her blog ‘Life – and everything else’ where you’ll find an eclectic mix of articles and information.

 This Feng Shui information is general for everybody. However, there are deeper levels of Feng Shui which take into account you and your specific environment. 

 If you would like to find out more about living in harmony with your environment, and using energy to your advantage, contact Jackie Notman on 07920 461574 or through her website

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