Corporate Eye

Brands Adopt the Pantone Color of the Year for 2011

pantone-2011-color-of-the-yearEach year, Pantone names a new color of the year.  In 2010, turquoise won the honor.  The 2011 Pantone color of the year has been announced and it’s honeysuckle.  It’s a reddish-pink color designated as PMS 18-2120.

The Pantone color of the year is typically associated with the fashion and home categories, but it’s not unusual to see it spread to brand and products from a variety of lines of business.

Brands that have already adopted the Pantone Honeysuckle color include:

Some products using the Honeysuckle color are shown in the image below:


There is even a Pantone Paint line with a new Honeysuckle shade and a Pantone Hotel, complete with a Pantone Bar, in Brussels, which promises an experience that allows you to “travel to a colorific world.”

The reddish-pink Honeysuckle color is intended to evoke an uplifting feeling and deliver a boost of confidence in navigating life’s challenges.  The bright color is intended to be alluring, eye-catching, and attract people to it as a hummingbird is attracted to the reddish-pink flowers of a real honeysuckle.  As the Pantone website explains, Honeysuckle could be very effective in package design, “for products that speak to something active or festive, or are suggestive of sweet tastes and scents. It’s an especially good shade for delicious food or drink packaging.”

Color trends are something that brand managers need to be aware of, and the Pantone trend reports for the fashion and home industries are something to keep an eye on as the trends in clothing often spread to other categories as well.  Color trends can provide broad insight into the emotions that are expected to affect consumers in the short term.  The psychology of color marketing and color branding exist for a reason.  Listen to the trends and predictions and look for creative ways to integrate them effectively into your own branding initiatives.

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.