Communal eCulturisation

Oranjekoorts – Communal eCulturisation

Oranjekoorts (engl. Orange fever) is a phenomenon that best describes how the use of color can trigger engagement, trust and a clear feeling of community.

The phenomenon I am talking about in this post goes back to the roots of Dutch royalty. Centuries ago the Netherlands became a monarchy under the House of Oranje-Nassau. Henry III of Nassau married Claudia of Chalon-Oranje from French Burgundy. Claudia introduced the orange (nl. Oranje) to the country and the color quickly became the second national color.

The color was quickly associated with anything governmental or institutional and therefore, up until today, orange plays an important role for the country. Below you can see the insight of the Dutch parliament dressed in yellow.


The importance of the orange color can also be seen in the branding and the digital presence of a number of companies in the top 10 ranking Dutch businesses, from the Dutch post, to finance & banking companies, media & entertainment companies as well as supermarkets (some examples below).



Worldwide this craziness for orange colour is most visible during football events, when the stadium transforms into an ocean of orange fans.








For the nation itself however, the orange fever reaches its peak on April 27th, when Dutch streets change into orange party alleyways and thousands of Dutch citizens dress up in their beloved orange tint. They celebrate together and a feeling of trust and community is in the air.


The Dutch wear orange, eat orange cheese, sing songs about the orange color and even add orange sprinkles to their breakfast toast (btw. these sprinkles are a Dutch speciality called Hagelslag, seen on image no. 3).



What has this got to do with conversions?

King’s Day in the Netherlands is almost like a smaller scale Black Friday. All year round, your target audience will be watching out for this day and if your business is not orange, you are preparing for red sales figures.

This is why a number of companies have jumped on the bandwagon to gain the trust of the country of the wooden shoe. Amongst those are not only Dutch companies, like Heineken or KLM, but also international companies, like Burger King, Oreo, M&M and even charities like WWF.




The impact of color on conversions

Let me quote a study conducted by the inspiring Neil Patel @ QuickSprout which found that “Color is 85% of the reason you purchased a specific product”. Just think of your last shopping trip during which you may or may not have bought a certain item as you liked or disliked the colour. Or think about the last time you have thoroughly enjoyed looking at a colourful painting, the clear blue sky or an elegantly designed grey building.

Now if you combine the emotion triggered by colour with the feeling triggered by belonging to a community, what can go wrong?

Community psychology is the science behind the understanding of people within their cultural context. The most important factor of community psychology is to fit in by sharing the same values, symbols and colors, as McMillan & Chavis found in their research “Sense of Community”. (McMillan, 1976).

The offline and online world are quickly merging into one and therefore, digital companies nowadays, have equal opportunities to connect to cultural communities worldwide. Unfortunately, given, that the appearance of your website is relatively easy to change, not many companies make use of  these opportunities.

Think about it, how long can it take to change the background of your website to orange, or to add a simple banner to the homepage, joining the Dutch public in their oranjekoots (orange fever) celebrations?

On a day like this, companies have to catch the flow of cultural conversions and have to stop worring about having their CTA buttons in green color.

Reach the Dutch Culture Digitally – With these lessons learnt

  • April 27th is King´s Day in the Netherlands, a cultural celebration and highlight in the Dutch cultural calendar
  • By adapting the Dutch culture and their `Oranjekoots´ (Orange Fever), companies can thrive on the craziness of the day and gain trust through communal interaction
  • Change the appearance of your brand, like many other companies have done before, including KLM, Burger King, Oreo, WWF
  • With communal website optimisation, this is you company`s chance to convert Dutch visitors into repeating customer

Talking about colours…. Do you know any culture that connects a certain colour to a traditional event on their cultural calendar?  Share you experience and get talking about eCulturisation…





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