Fast Forward: January 2018


The Color Of Money

Pantone knows the marketing value of naming a Color of the Year. Pantone Vice President Laurie Pressman told Fast Company that the company’s 95-percent brand awareness among designers and design lovers is a direct result of the program. 

Pantone is just one of several companies throwing shades at consumers in hopes they’ll embrace the trend through product purchases. Manufacturers of paint, flooring and roofing, and even dancewear designers are picking “it” colors. Benjamin Moore has declared 2018 the year of Caliente, a deep red; Sherwin-Williams is making waves this year with its blue-green pick, Oceanside.

Pantone's pick for 2018 is Ultra Violet 18-3838. The company calls the deep purple shade "a dramatically provocative and thoughtful" color that symbolizes creativity, mystery and nonconformity.

The “it” colors aren’t getting all the attention, though; sales of all shades see an uptick when customers visit brick-and-mortar stores as well as ecommerce sites. To capitalize on the marketing move, companies are careful to lead trend-watchers around the color wheel, allowing consumers to build a custom palette that reflects their unique tastes.


Functional Fashion

Tommy Hilfiger introduces adaptive clothing line for customers with disabilities

His clothing line is best known for its all-American flair, but Tommy Hilfiger recently unveiled a line of clothing that’s also all-inclusive. Designed for wearers with disabilities, the Tommy Adaptive line is the result of a collaboration between Hilfiger and nonprofit group Runway of Dreams.

Tommy Adaptive features more than 30 styles for men and women and includes jackets, pants, shirts and skirts that can be fastened more easily by wearers who have prosthetics, limb differences or braces, or who rely on wheelchairs for mobility. Adaptive elements include one-handed zippers, magnetic clasps, adjustable hems and Velcro® straps.

Hilfiger is just the latest designer to create clothing with special needs in mind. The Independence Day line from former news anchor Lauren Thierry is geared toward people on the autism spectrum. Apparel items are reversible, have no front or back, no tags, zippers or buttons, and are equipped to include an optional GPS tag in case the wearer gets lost or wanders off.


FIVE MINUTES WITH Glen Brumer, Sales Director For  Royal Apparel

Starring Apparel

Supplier Royal Apparel knows that nothing beats a good story for getting the word out about the latest trends. So, the Hauppage, New York-based company has begun telling the story of its U.S.-made products through video, enhancing what’s already on the pages of its catalogs and throughout its website. Glen Brumer, sales director for Royal Apparel, spoke with PPB about the catalyst for his company’s foray into film.

PPB Why choose video as a medium for sharing Royal Apparel’s new styles with clients?
Brumer Technology is advancing, and the videos are a great way to implement our omnichannel messaging. We are seeing an increase in our analytics from the videos.

In addition to our website, the videos are also broadcast on YouTube [view the Hoodie Collection video at], Instagram and Facebook, and via email.

PPB  What does visual storytelling do for your brand that traditional methods of marketing and advertising, such as catalogs and flyers, can’t do?
Brumer  The videos help tell the story of our brand. As we unveil the videos, our customers will see the transparency of who we are and what we stand for. The videos enhance our catalogs and website. It is an additional avenue of our marketing strategy to support our other platforms. In the past, there were not many outlets for video other than high-cost TV ads. Now it’s like we can have our own TV channel and share our story.

PPB What initial challenges, if any, did you experience in the production of the videos, and how did you overcome them?
Brumer The hardest part of the videos is the preproduction and planning. There are things such as weather that we don’t have control over. Also, making sure our models fit our lifestyle and can act in a video, which is much different than how they pose for photos. It is also key that our videographer, Dan Brumer, understands our story. He is a trained, experienced filmmaker who works with us from conception, as we collaborate on the script, through the final edited video.

PPB What did you learn in the process, and how will you improve or modify this unique approach to marketing in the future?
Brumer We are learning that our videos are being well received and what our customers are reacting to, and we use this feedback to implement newer projects. We are now expanding the types of videos we are producing, as there are so many chapters to the story of Royal Apparel.


Silver Linings

Improve workplace efficiency and exceed client expectations with cloud-based operations.

Let’s face it: small-business owners and employees would much rather spend time helping clients than performing repetitive tasks. One way to improve efficiency is to work in the cloud—a network of internet-hosted servers that store, manage and process data. This efficiency is established through cloud-based operations that result in task automation, focus, standardization and timeliness.

Cloud-based customer relationship management, accounting and payroll solutions help businesses automate tasks, including project collaboration. Cloud programs for managing projects offer notification features that keep the process moving along smoothly, notifying all parties when a step or two has been missed or needs to be reevaluated. 

The efficiencies brought about by automation and process management are focus (only concentrating on tasks that need their attention or approval) and standardization of procedures. Once the steps are put in place, subsequent projects follow the same path and all parties enjoy a more seamless experience.

Businesses whose employees travel can continue to work on cloud-based projects wherever they find access to the internet, so they aren’t tied down and at risk of putting a project behind schedule. Flexibility and timeliness, then, reinforce the efficiency of working within the cloud.

Whether you have implemented one or more of these cloud-based tools, or you are looking to make the move, rest assured that even the slightest increase in automation and standardization will help increase the efficiency of your operations. 


In The Swing Of Things

Coming back from a vacation? These steps help ensure a smooth restart.

Whether they’re pre-planned, guided tours of Europe or a spontaneous road trip to the yarn capital of America, vacations are about breaking out of the routine. But what if you could bring some of that ‘different’ back to the sameness of your everyday life? Try out these tips from confidence coach Steve Errey, to keep a little of that vacation mentality when you come home.

Prep for your return.
Clean your office space. Imagine in your mind how you’d like it to look when you come back, and make it happen. File or recycle old papers, give your desk and equipment a once-over with a safe cleaning product, and organize any files or data in order of importance to attend to once you’re back in business.

Keep your sense of adventure.
All that fun you had on vacation doesn’t have to stop when you come home. Try to incorporate those spur-of-the-moment adventures you had into your regular schedule. Take a class, see a live theater production or visit a part of town you rarely see.

Alter your everyday routine.
You came back to work and to your life, but you don’t have to come back to it in the same way. Take a new route to work or, if you work from home, reorganize your morning routine. Even just swapping tasks on the chore chart can help shake the dust off the daily grind.

Jen Alexander is associate editor of PPB.

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