Branding with Colors: A Look at Color Trends in Marketing

If you are a graphic designer, marketing or branding professional, you know how much color matters. Here’s some resources on color trends that you may find helpful.

1) Fashion Trend setter has more forward thinking color trend info for fall 2007 and spring 2008.

2) The “Color Speaks” conference by the Color Marketing Group (CMG), an international, not-for-profit association of 1,500 color designers and the worldwide authority on color, is in Chicago today. Any bloggers there? I’m interested to find out what was said. A quick search of Goggle Bloggers and Technorati didn’t show anything yet.

3) In the midst of selecting some 2007/2008 colors? Here’s a cool tool: color wheel with an “internet safe” color option. Nice resource for mixing/matching.

4) The Color Marketing Group says about color in 2007:

Green rules! – The idea of green means the color green, too. But look for softer, more botanical greens inspired by nature.Blues from Nature The color of the sky, the color of water, true blues from nature will be everywhere.

New Natural Neutrals The newest neutrals, especially medium to dark browns, are soul-satisfying. Beiges, browns and tans will be more earthy and grounded, reflecting the colors of rock and stone and soil.

Rich, Ethnic Accents Lighter, neutral settings will be punctuated by warmed-up accent colors from a rich mix of countries and cultures. Deep, rich ethnic reds and warm, glow-y oranges are the punch colors for 2007.

5) The infamous PMS color experts: Pantone says that Chile Pepper is the color of the year for 2007.


Your cell phone as a brand… a tool or a lifestyle?

My friend, Laurence-Helene of Blog ’til You Drop: Advertising, Marketing, Branding and Blogging brings up an interesting point about the marketing and branding position of phones that I hadn’t thought about. We talked about something a lunch a few weeks ago and she did a post about it yesterday.

We were discussing branding/marketing of cell phones and I immediately thought of the various services here in the US. The people I talk with here in the US consider their service provider as their brand: Verizon, Cingular, Sprint.

Usually the discussions revolve around how many minutes, number on the family plan, the in-calling when they are talking about their phone… much more than their brand of phone. When Laurence-Helene asked me about my brand of phone, not provider, at the time I had to pull out out my phone from my purse to find out what kind I had (a Samsung). I told her I just think of it as a phone, not so much as a particular brand of phone. It’s a tool at the end of the day.

A mobile is a tool that allows you to make phone calls to others all around the world. This requires you to have a mobile signal. Sometimes, your mobile signal will dip in and out. This is the benefit of having an Industrial grade signal booster – you can always stay connected to everyone!

Although that doesn’t stop it being an annoying one from time to time, the amount of spam calls we receive is ever increasing, luckily you can look up the numbers now and report them: read more here.

She says that people in the UK immediately refer to their brand of phone, not the service provider. We decided it was one of the differences between the US and the UK. In yesterday’s blog, she referenced our conversation:

I’ve been watching the ads more carefully here. I think maybe some people may focus more on their phone than their plan… especially the chocolate and the razor. But if someone asked about phones, the Verizon network stands out more with all the many people standing behind them. Do you think I misrepresented to Laurence-Helene what is going on in the US with phones? Do you have a lifestyle relationship with your phone… or is it a tool like your car, your computer and your camera?

In the US, a cellphone is a tool. In Europe, a mobile phone is a lifestyle.

I’ve thought about our conversation quite a bit. Since my trip, the battery died on that phone so I upgraded to a Motorola Q. But now when I show it to people, most don’t recognize it as a Q or a phone, more as a PDA. I usually describe the Q as something like a Blackberry or a Palm with a phone built in, but on my Verizon plan.

Branding tools or lifestyle? My car is a Camry, my computer is a PC and my camera is a digital. Funny how I describe my technology!

How about you?– Is your technology a lifestyle or a tool? Tell me.

SOB Con ‘07– See you in Chicago!

Just a quick post about SOB ’07 Event about the Successful and Outstanding Blogs.

May 11-12, in Chicago. I’ve been thinking and thinking about attending. Wanting to go. Talked to Deborah Brown at about it. Talked to Laurence-Helene at about it!

Many the bloggers I read are going to be there… either speaking or attending.

I just won tickets to the event!! Thanks, Mike Sansone at ConverStations! NOW I REALLY can’t wait. Hoping to see all the Z-listers there too. Mike says I won the tickets because I was the first one to jump on the Z-List initiated by Mack Collier of the Viral Garden.

Marketing Professionals: Why Blog? And How to Get Started

The other day a couple of friends asked me about my Branding & Marketing Blog…
“Why do you Blog?”

Because I have been beaten this answer to death, I’ll just link to my answers. Meanwhile, here are some comments posted on my site when readers answered that question:

Matt Hamilton of Marketing Stories said…
Personal Benefits:I’m new to the blogging world and have found that participating in discussion is much more fulfilling than just taking info from web pages. It’s fun to engage other thinkers and swap ideas. And when you’re ‘in the game’ by putting your own thoughts out there, you really appreciate when you find good content from someone else.

Business Benefits:Blogging is a good way to generate relevent content for search engines. Participating in discussion is a form of networking that can generate new opportunities. Providing solid content for customers can add value to your relationship and improve loyalty.
11:57 AM

Patrick Schaber of the Lonely Marketer said…
Chris – great analogy with the water cooler. I didn’t realize the value of blogging until I actually jumped in and tried. You’re correct, its a great way to learn and network.Thanks for the good info!
12:21 PM

Dawud Miracle of Healthy Web Design said…
I’ve only jumped into blogging a short time ago. I’ve already met some interesting (and helpful) people. And writing a blog sure does help me get clearer in my thoughts – and my marketing approach.

But their next question wasn’t as easy to answer:
“How do you get started?”

1. reading blogs.

What to read? David Armano of Logic & Emotion has a post with links to 25 really great blogs. Each blog is well written, thought provoking and the personality of writer shines through. It’s not like reading the newspaper or a company brochure. It’s more like listening to a knowledgeable friend discussing issues surrounding their favorite topic.

Next steps:

2) commenting
3) more commenting

Comment on some of those 25 blogs. Search technorati to find blogs that are written about subjects that interest you. Comment on those blogs. Soon you will begin to have your own forum, soapbox, blog! After you comment for a while, you’ll find that you’ll want to start your own blog.

That’s what happened to me.

4) figure out your niche
5) set up your blog and begin

You’ll need to find a platform like WordPress to do this or get help from the likes of a fort collins website design company to help you establish an online space which is functional and attractive. I recommend that you find a blog coach, someone to inspire and guide you. And help you get set up. Use the itinerary of Mike Sansone at ConverStations at as your guide.

Happy Blogging!!