Color Selection is Key to Lead in Color

By July 30, 2018Uncategorized

Lead in Color

So, how do color design professionals lead and influence organizations toward success? Color selection is one of those ways.

Ever try to explain your role as a color design professional to anyone? Odds are you’ve received one of these immediate reactions – ‘Oh, wow that sounds cool!’ Or ‘Oh that sounds interesting, what is that exactly?’ See how color selection may be the key you’ve been looking for.


CMG Lead in Color, Color Selection


Guest Blogger: Sarah Skidmore, Chief Strategist, Skidmore Consulting

Think for a second, what’s your response? How do you describe your role? Do you convey the leadership and influence a color design professional has within the life of the organization – or even the lives of people? As a color design professional, you know that everything people use and are surrounded by is impacted by color.

Regardless of the industry – automotive, manufacturing, design, consumer products, you name it – businesses often sense and feel the pressure and challenge of staying ahead. Staying ahead when it comes to sales, innovation, ideas, cultural values, and even social shifts. We don’t want to, and in some instances simply can’t, miss the mark! So, how do color design professionals lead and influence organizations toward success? Color selection is one of those ways.


CMG Lead in Color, Color Selection


Where is color selection needed?

When thinking about color selection, first it’s important that we articulate the vast ways that organizations use color. Depending on context and industry, the use of color varies. But consider these 4 ways:

 Organizational Color Usage Type

Use of Color
Color usage varies with each product type based on a variety of factors including product lifecycle, frequency of purchase, material components associated with the product, and diversity in specific product offerings.
Product Suite
Color usage varies when considering themes and color stories associated with a suite of products; dependent upon factors such as seasonality, social movements, trends, and the current color environment.
Marketing Initiatives
Color usage varies within the associated marketing efforts as leaders consider reproducibility and consistency in a variety of mediums; for example digital campaigns, packaging, video assets, etc.
Organizational Branding
Color usage occurs with branding initiatives; however, branding typically remains steady and constant over time.


What influences color selection?

Next, as color design professionals we are often asked, ‘How do you do that?’ We certainly don’t want to give away trade secrets or proprietary information. But, how do you give life to your work in a relatable way? We know that organizations seek colors that consumers want to buy. To do that, here are four key influences organizations use to identify consumer desires. These influences help direct the work and artistry of color design professionals.

Influences to Organizational Color Selection

Social Shift
Social shifts: Thinking about the future, considering movements and analyzing changes in societal values… all play an important role when selecting color. This directly relates to the work of CMG ChromaZone® color forecasting workshops and the CMG World Color Forecast™
Cultural Theme
Cultural themes are critical as organizations select colors; consider geographical or religious considerations that create preferences and biases within target markets.
Consumer Behavior
Consumer behavior, both industry-specific and historically within organizational data, offer perspective into consumer desires in the past.
Segmentation is invaluable for organizations seeking to target specific demographics and seek to understand those specific consumer preferences; preferences potentially related to age, gender, etc.


Why is color selection important?

When selecting a color, we take the ways that organizations use color and influences impacting the consumer and pair that with color science and art to ultimately make the selections.

Now, the nuances of the process certainly vary based on industry and organization. Ultimately, the purpose of color selection is communication – to convey a message with color that prompts the target audience to act (buy something, click something, read something, etc.).

This color selection process is just one of the ways that we lead in color. We influence our organizations. We are leaders in our contexts. Though the products and services we develop vary greatly, we are united around a common theme: We lead in color, literally coloring the world through our collective work.



Guest Blogger Bio:

Sarah Skidmore, a doctoral student at Regent University and Chief Strategist at Skidmore Consulting, brings innovative and transformative thought to both non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses in industries including construction, medical & pharmaceutical, food & beverage, and consumer products. Guiding executive leaders, she delivers forward-thinking strategies. Sarah serves as a dynamic speaker at universities, globally recognized conferences, and industry events. Visit www.Skidmore-Consulting, email and connect


Color Marketing Group® (CMG) is the premier international association for color design professionals. A not-for-profit, CMG is a forum for the exchange of all things color. Members represent a broad spectrum of designers, marketers, color scientists, consultants, educators, and artists. 

You live in color and so do we. Its influences are everywhere, the environment, social issues, changing political climates – they all impact color in one industry, which has a reverberating effect on another. We believe the only way to stay competitive within such constant change, is by harnessing each other’s endless flow of knowledge and understanding.




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