Here’s To A Colorful New Year

A number of property owners have forged deals recently in which a distinctive color palette is the main brand attribute being licensed.

In some cases, this unique range of colors is the basis of the entire program. Fiesta, the Homer Laughlin China Company’s brightly hued dinnerware brand that was introduced in 1936, has been expanding its home furnishings activity of late. Manufacturers including new partner Ellison First Asia and existing licensee Town & Country Living introduced new bedding patterns featuring the well-known Fiesta colors in spring 2014.

Similarly, Pantone, a pioneer in the color-focused licensing space, added menswear with Empire & Branch (the U.S. partner for a European-made line) and wireless speakers with Pure in 2014. These join previous product lines including gifts, swimwear, and Valspar paint. The colors featured in Pantone’s collections change each year depending on which hues in its vast collection are trending; the first Pure speakers were available in choices including Radiant Orchid.

In other cases, color-focused deals may represent just a portion of a broader licensing program encompassing multiple brand attributes. For example, Crayola licenses a variety of products where crafting is the main focus, with its crayon color palette present but secondary. Its colors come to the forefront in certain deals, however, including a recent one with Zalemark. The new licensee will launch a Crayola Colors Collection of fine and fashion jewelry for children through adults, starting in 2015.

And Martha Stewart, whose wide licensing activity focuses mostly on crafting, cooking, and home décor, announced a deal in November 2014 with MakerBot that includes a line of 3D printer filament in her trademark colors, including Jadeite, Lemon Drop, and Robin’s Egg, along with a range of models to assist consumers in making 3D printed tabletop accessories. Many of Stewart’s licensed products, from craft supplies to paint, reflect this same color sense.

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