Every year, since the year 2000, Pantone has named a color of the year, as a trendsetting concept for branding, marketing and forecasted consumer trends for the year to come. In 2018, Pantone named a dramatically provocative and thoughtful shade of purple, otherwise known as PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet, as their color of the year. The color choice was meant to signify and communicate originality, ingenuity, and visionary thinking to point us towards the future, according to Pantone. With 2019 already a month in, Pantone has released their latest color of the year, and we need to talk about why this is important, and how to know if the color of the year is right for your business in any given year.
Pantone for Pets
PANTONE 16-1546, aka Living Coral is the chosen color of 2019, a color that more than 10 million designers and producers around the world will consider as the up and coming trend for consumers this year. With this coral color in mind, I sat down to chat with Minali Chatani, co-founder of Wild One, dubbed "the coolest pet brand yet", because they have new products showing off the Pantone Color of the Year as well. The folks at Wild One imagined a world where pet gear could be both stylish and functional. The brand debuted in September 2018 and their freshly launched Living Coral Leashes, Collars, Walk Kits, and PBCs (poop bag carriers) will have you wondering if you should be designing with Living Coral in mind.
Color with Purpose
Part of the reason I wanted to chat with Chatani was her marketing. Her imagery, taking advantage of the opportunity from Pantone, is Instagrammable, it's eye-catching, it's consumer oriented, and it's actually stunning in its simplicity. At Wild One, they created a conversation piece around a product with a specific purpose, and that is the point really. If you are thinking of incorporating Pantone's color of the year into your product and design lineup, I want you to consider these 3 things:
Is this new product or design consumer oriented?
Is it great marketing coupled with great design?
Is it purpose driven?
If you can answer 'yes' to these questions, then take a note from Chatani and her team at Wild One, and the 10 million other designers who eagerly apply Pantone's advice to their business.
Let's Talk Minimalism
One of the big stressors in business today is going minimalist, not only with design and product offerings, but also with color options. I understand, especially when it comes to startups, but just in general for young businesses, keeping cost under control is so important. But, you also must have balance with your options so you are speaking to your entire consumer base, not just a small portion. What I've seen, with so many brands, is their launch includes one or two colors, and that skews the perception of the consumer, because they are wondering if what they are seeing is all that's left, or if these were the colors that weren't popular.
Planning with Pantone
This is definitely something to consider if you are pre-launch right now, or working on your lineup. The strongest businesses have strategies in place, look to Pantone if you need inspiration or guidance, and incorporate new color with purpose and your consumer in mind. I love the annual color releases, even if I don't always love the color, because it gives product designers a new platform to get themselves out there in unique ways. If you plan to do the same, make the most of your splash of Living Coral with smart marketing, social media worthy imagery, and pieces we just can't live without. On a personal pet note, we are adding cute new addition to our household this month. I can bet that my young daughters are going to be very excited by all of Wild One's color choices.