Pantone has become the Harley-Davidson of liberal arts majors. More people now own some type of Pantone product today than actually use the PMS system in their everyday life, which is astonishing when you think about it. Even retailers who you wouldn’t think are even conscious of Pantone use the company’s “Color of the Year” announcements to sell more of whatever wares they want to shift.
The Motley Fool recently picked the brain of Pantone Color Institute VP Laurie Pressman to come up with “Five Ways to Use the Color of the Year”:
1. Make something quickly (e.g., mugs, watches) in that year’s color.
2. Create a limited-edition item in that shade. Keurig, for example, will unveil a Radiant Orchid coffeemaker (pictured below) in February.
3. Order more of any item you already have in that color. (We should probably say “on or near” because honestly, who’s going to know the difference?)
4. Do more promotion of any item you already have in that year’s color.
5. Squeeze every last dollar out of this year’s color…well into next year. Sephora, for example, urges people to pick up makeup in the past year’s color “for old times’ sake”.
As The Motley Fool observes, the Pantone Color of the Year is “essentially a marketing freebie from Pantone.”