Seeing Red

img_pantone_color_of_the_year_2015_press_releaseNew Jersey-based color systems firm Pantone has announced that Marsala – an earthy shade of red – is its color of the year for 2015.  “Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability … it’s red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness,” said Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of Pantone.   Where that may be breaking news for the fashion world, a corporate marketer may want to know how it could, or should, affect branding strategy.

Consider the upcoming trade show season.  The team apparel for the associates managing the booth doesn’t always need to reflect the corporate logo color, as much as it does the spirit of the team.  The logo decoration on the shirt or jacket will take care of the branding.  The color and style of the clothing should demonstrate how you want the brand ambassadors, and thus the brand itself, to be perceived.  The new color is likely to be used in fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors.  Since your customers are seeing it in the retail marketplace, they will recognize that your team, and your company, understand today’s trends and consumer preferences.  When discussing your own products and services, that subtle message can be helpful.

In addition to shirts and jackets, other accessory items could be used to add a contemporary flair to corporate giveaways.  Hats, bags and wearable technology items are products that should be considered in this popular color choice.

One thing to consider, however, when looking for promotional merchandise in colors other than the standard corporate blues, blacks, reds and greens, is the ability of product suppliers to match a PMS color for an all-over or accent-color imprint.  Not all product suppliers have this capability, and not all products lend themselves to this type of decoration, but sometimes “close” is good enough to give you the up-to-date effect you’re looking for.

It is undisputed that your customers expect to see familiar colors with your logo branding.  But when there’s an opportunity to add a little “punch” to the branding message, consider the color that your audience will be seeing in retail, and likely bringing to their own homes.  Marsala – like the wine!



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