Launching a niche business concept in a competitive environment requires a mindset that constantly looks for new challenges to explore new ventures and set precedents. I launched a fully-fledged color consultancy business in the Middle East a decade ago at a time when the region was just establishing itself as an international hub for arts and creativity.
Many perceive color consultancy as a business that assesses individuals’ color profiles hence its association with fashion and styling. In an age where knowledge is the core driver of creativity and versatility, I have transformed the perception of this individual-centric business to a business that services key sectors that involve human interaction.
The science of color psychology is accurate to the extent that it can be used to achieve sales targets for any business. International brands have always been ahead of the game in using innovative methods to drive their sales. With the Middle East being a key market for growth, I worked with these brands by utilizing the science and psychology of color to enhance the shopping experience for their target clients. From engineering the store interiors and visual merchandise to the actual selection of goods that appeal to the sophisticated buyer meanwhile standing out in a competitive landscape. Time after time the science of color did not fail our expectations.
Another important element of success is collaborating with businesses operating in different sectors. Social Media channels have made it simpler to keep up with trends which paves the way for successful collaborations to tap into new markets and challenge business’s creativity. The collaboration of businesses from different sectors has become increasingly common in this day and age, as they all aim to innovate a new experience for their customers. Local and regional businesses are challenged to outperform as they are constantly compared to their international counterparts on social media channels and online media platforms.
The key benefit of research and keeping up with trends is understanding the challenges that businesses face, which creates the opportunity to collaborate successfully. A good example of a cross-sector collaboration would be aligning my color consultancy business with the F&B sector, which has witnessed growth in recent years, where customers are always on the lookout for the next new dining experience. Utilizing color psychology of human behavior and people’s perception of colors was the core success factor behind such collaboration. Where the fine dining restaurant set a precedent in designing a customized menu incorporating the flavors and colors that best suit Middle Eastern diners meanwhile maintaining its French cuisine offering. Diners enjoyed the experiences that activated their senses whilst they were briefed on the psychology of color and flavors behind every course of their dinner. Thanks to the Color Affects theory, they left with satisfied taste buds and inquisitive thoughts of the color groups they belonged to.
Sharing knowledge is the key to growth. With over a decade of know-how and expertise in the evolving landscape in the Middle East and having worked alongside regional and international entities, it was time to share the know-how with young minds. The Academic sector is one of the key sectors that interacts with young minds and exports knowledge. It is therefore extremely important to me to work with academic institutions by training young students from both arts and business realms on understanding the impact of color psychology and the importance of implementing it in their areas of specialization, with the aim of growing their skill sets and improving their career prospects.
Taking the business to the next level means exploring new sectors that you can work alongside with and understanding the challenges of the ever-evolving business landscape. Confidence in your business and its offering makes that possible. It is important to highlight that deep knowledge of the new sector you plan on working with, creates a better opportunity and transforms collaborations to partnerships.
Creativity remains the core challenge to businesses across sectors. It is important to understand the psychology of the consumer and color psychology is one of the methods used to decipher consumer behavior. Commitment to your business and business counterparts is the key to sustainable success. It is important to bear in mind that along with the high risk comes rewards which is what sets your business apart from its competitors, by emerging as a key player in the market.
Color consultancy remains a niche business, yet it was eminent to hunt for opportunities that capitalize on such a science in an age where our eyes are busy with our portable devices and our minds are constantly distracted. Versatility, adaptability and venturing into new business areas has transformed the perception of my business from one that is associated with fashion and arts to a business consultancy that comprehends customer psychology, visual merchandize, and engineers interior designs of homes and stores.
About the Author
Fatima AlShirawi, Founder of The Gracious F is the leading Color Consultant in the MiddleEast who has been collaborating with International luxury brands through the years.
As an educator, she works with Government and Corporate Entities and Educational Institutes on delivering the Science of Colour to learners in their fields of expertise.