I remember when I first began designing print media, I would pull out my trusty Pantone color chart that I always carried with me. Back then, it only listed the names of the colors and the codes needed to recreate color combinations in various print media. The booklet was super small and easy to carry. It was like having only 8 or 16 basic Crayola Crayon color choices.
Now, the Pantone color chart is like having a 120 pack of Crayola Crayons with every color imaginable. Its Pantone conversion codes allow you to select the same colors that you are using in your traditional print media for you online web presence, and can even be converted to matching colors to paint the walls of your home or business!
I still have my trusty first Pantone Color Product Selector booklet and when I hold it against the newer ones, it is amazing to see how much color is in our world, what impact it has on us, and what exciting possibilities there are for using color to develop and market a brand!
When developing a brand strategy one of the main things that is on the checklist that I use with my clients is to always ask, “What are your PMS colors?” Colors are one key component of implementing a project or program. Or in other words, “How do you want things to look and feel?” Color is so very integral to answering this question.
Brand Management is how you maintain, improve, and uphold your brand to the community. This doesn’t happen by accident, it takes planning, work, time, and diligence.
Reputation Management is how you identify what others are saying or feeling about you and your business. This can be monitored by sales, surveys, and through various social media channels.
Voice is how you want to be perceived by your customers and the world at large. A consistent voice and presentation across all communication channels – traditional (in-person and print) and online (web, blogs, and social media) is key to attracting and retaining customers and clients.
Color invokes various feelings and moods and pulls everything together. When defining your brand and voice, selecting the color or colors that most closely identify with what you are selling, promoting, or providing, can make or break your reputation. Colors are a fun, inexpensive way to spruce up your presence online, in your advertising, and at your “brick and mortar” location. Even though it may not seem so, colors can make or break a business. For example, you often see blues in hospitals as blue is known for its calming properties. The color blue is not so good in restaurants or in cooking as it may suppress the appetite. So, it is important to choose your color or colors wisely.
This year, Pantone chose Radiant Orchid. A color that sparks the imagination with its fuchsia, purple, and pink undertones. It represents warmth, romantic, and nostalgic feelings. Previous colors included Emerald, Tangerine Tango, Honeysuckle, Turquoise, Mimosa, Blue Iris, Chili Pepper, and Sand Dollar. All colors that invoke different feelings and moods.
Color is a fun, easy, and inexpensive way to help identify your brand and support your voice. I am going to infuse a little more Radiant Orchid into my 2014! What colors are you going to add to yours?
About the author: Kathy McCullough-Testa is the principal in KMT Consultants, Inc. a firm specializing in Brand Management, Reputation Management and Analysis, Voice Creation, Web Design, Project Management, Event Planning, and all things Social. Kathy helps her clients “Transform Visionary Ideas Into Reality” on a daily basis. Visit her online at KMTConsultants.com; join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+ at KMTConsultants; and check out her world in pictures on Pinterest and Instagram at KMTtheBrand. For more information, visit Kathy’s LinkedIn profile at KMcCulloughTesta or contact Kathy at email@example.com.