There are probably more meanings behind colors around the world than there are countries. And many could affect your negotiations.
Most likely in the U.S. you wouldn’t worry about the significance of color. Not so in many other countries.
For instance, if you’re sitting across the table from someone in Turkey or Greece and he/she is wearing a blue eye-shaped amulet, don’t stare at them. Why? The amulet is meant to protect them against the evil-eye, a malevolent glare that will bring misfortune.
This example illustrates why it might be good to study up on the meaning of colors in the country where you hope to expand your business. The opportunity to make a mistake is huge.
Consider this. While the color green is considered lucky in Ireland, it is traditionally forbidden in Indonesia. If you were to travel there to meet with local government representatives wearing a crisp green suit, you might expect things to go badly..
Here’s one more example to make our point. In the U.S. the color purple is associated with things like royalty and courage (the military’s Purple Heart). However, in Brazil, purple is not only worn alongside black at funerals, it is considered unlucky. A client once told us that one of the toys they manufactured and sold did extremely poorly in Brazil. It turns out the toy was purple!
So, if you're in Brazil, I’d rethink wearing your favorite purple shirt to your business meeting. You might give the wrong impression.
The slide-show in this article shows some surprising examples!