Show Your True Colors: How to Tap Into the Adult Coloring Book Trend

year of coloring wall calendar

Remember when you were a kid, and all you needed to while away a rainy afternoon was a coloring book and your trusty box of crayons? Now that we’re all grown up — and now that most of our entertainment has gone electronic — you might expect the joy of coloring to be a relic of days gone by. Not so fast …

Believe it or not, coloring is making a big comeback, and not just for kids. Take a browse through your neighborhood bookstore and you’ll find row after row of grownup coloring books to suit every taste. Search for “coloring book for adults” on Amazon and you’ll see more than 70,000 results. According to Nielsen BookScan data, about 12 million coloring books were sold in 2015, and August 2 is now National Coloring Book Day.

Where did this trend come from? Experts have cited several cultural factors that have grownups of all ages putting down their smartphones and reaching for colored pencils.

It’s a “digital detox.” With Americans now spending more than 10 hours a day in front of a screen, many of us are looking for a respite. Coloring offers a tactile experience — the weight of the pencil in your hand, the feel of the paper, the rhythmic movement of your fingers — that we just can’t get from electronic media.

It evokes creativity without pressure. While many of us crave opportunities to exercise our creativity, staring at a blank page can be intimidating. Coloring offers the chance to be creative without having to start from scratch.

It lowers stress. Clinical psychologist Kimberly Wulfert recently commented on that when you color, “you’re being mindful, and when you move in a rhythmic fashion for an extended period of time, that becomes a meditation.”

How to Tap Into the Trend

Smart business owners across industries are noticing the growing popularity of grownup coloring and looking for ways to put this trend to work for them. Here are a few ideas to think about:

  • Let customers color while they wait. Many pharmacies, auto shops, spas, salons, and doctor’s offices are making branded coloring books and colored pencil sets available in their waiting areas. Patients and customers can enjoy a fun, relaxing activity while they wait — and after they return home. And since your business name and logo is on both the book and the pencil set, you get twice the exposure.
  • Have a staff coloring party. Introduce a coloring activity into your next team-building event, or set aside 10 minutes for coloring at the start of a staff meeting. Your staff will enjoy the opportunity to de-stress and exercise a little creativity while they bond over some relaxed conversation.
  • Host an event on National Coloring Book Day. If you have a brick-and-mortar business, schedule an event on August 2 to mark National Coloring Book Day. Invite customers to bring in their favorite coloring books and pencils and enjoy some “colorful” downtime while they mingle other coloring enthusiasts.
  • Give coloring calendars as holiday gifts. Offer your best customers a year’s worth of relaxing, creative fun with a year of color wall calendar or desk pad planner featuring a different pattern for each month of the year.

Coloring offers busy grownups the chance to unplug, de-stress, and enjoy some creative playtime. By tapping into this trend, you can create a positive association between your brand and all the benefits it has to offer, uncovering “colorful” possibilities for deepening customer relationships and expanding your clientele.

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