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Taylor’s Work Anniversary!

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We celebrated Taylor’s 1-year anniversary as part of the TAE team! We celebrated with a team Tacos4Life lunch and a Herman’s gift card for Taylor. We took a minute to sit down with our resident social media and video expert and ask him a few questions about his work.

What has been the most challenging part of your work?

Adjusting to the sporadic nature of our work – there are constantly problems that come up with our clients that they need us to solve – it is important for us to be responsive and act quickly – it is easy to get side tracked in the agency world, so it is important to be organized and plan for the unexpected.

What has been the most rewarding?

I think the responsibilities and challenges that we are given have provided so much opportunity to learn and grow. For example, requirements to write articles each month have challenged me to write and think creatively in a way I do not normally think. I have always enjoyed writing, but typically choose to do other activities (same goes with reading) – so I appreciate TAE investing ns its employees by requiring reading and writing in order to help us grow.  

What is one aspect of the industry that excites/interests you?

The thing with marketing is that it’s constantly evolving – that’s because it’s driven by consumer behavior – and changes in technology. Attention spans are shrinking, the ways people consume information are shifting – marketers must adjust to those changes. It challenges us to be on our toes, creative and solutions-oriented.

What is one fact about you that most people might not know? I can fly.

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Focusing your Sales Efforts – A 4-Part Series

Part 2: Build Your Avatars

(See Part 1 HERE). 

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Contributed by Kim Jennings-Eckert

At the age of 8 years old, my mother signed me up for Brownies (Level 2, based on age). I remember being so excited – this meant uniforms and badges and sleepovers! What I didn’t understand is I had to earn some of those badges through selling. This was an intimidating task! Where does one start? There’s 10 girls in the same school, with the same people, offering the same product. How can we all reach success? This is the first time I learned about prospecting and creating a prospect list. Of course, we didn’t call it that nor did I even comprehend that was precisely what I was learning at the age of 8.

Who is your audience – where to start?

If you’re new to sales or it’s been awhile since you’ve had to prospect, the very first thing you need to do is know your target. I’m not talking about specific people; rather, what similar characteristics do your targets share that would find value in the product / service you are offering to them.  You want to define the following qualities:

  • What is their title – who’s the most likely to want to listen to your pitch?
  • What are the tasks they perform – how does my product / service relate or fit with their tasks?
  • What are their pain points? How will my service or product help them / solve a problem?
  • Are they the decision maker?

Referring to my stint in Brownies, I had to figure out who to hit up so I could have the glory of winning! In this scenario, my avatar might have looked like this:

  • Title: Parents of school-aged children
  • Tasks: Teaching kids rules / responsibilities
  • Pain Point: Utilize as part of a reward system (i.e. child completes chores or exhibits good behavior)
  • Decision maker: YES!

Obviously, the above scenario is all in good fun, but you get the idea. A salesperson needs a well-defined list of their avatars, which will generally consist of more than one kind.  Once you break it down, you will most likely find variations in tasks or pain points, thus driving the need for key messaging centered around those differences.

Avatars Created – Now What?

Once you have defined your target – who they truly are – you can now build a compiled list for tracking & reporting. If you are not using a CRM (Hubspot, Zoho, similar) then I recommend at least implementing a basic spreadsheet. For simplicity sake, I would track the company, contact name, title, dates contacted (initial & follow up) and a comment section for any pertinent information as a refresher when you review your list later. This is your database of prospects so make sure you set it up to easily query or sort results.

Next – you must fill your spreadsheet. With today’s technology, there are many ways to hunt your prospects. This topic is almost a book in itself so I’ll just touch on various ways to build your list. In my day-to-day, I utilize the following tools. Please note, it’s inclusive but not exclusive to these 5 items.

  • Referrals – referrals can come from family, friends, former colleagues, past/current clients, whomever within your network that is appropriate to ask. Side note: do not let fear of feeling like you are potentially pressuring someone keep you from asking. If you have a good relationship, offer a sound product / service and conduct yourself respectfully then your network will be happy to share referrals.
  • LinkedIn – this is a GREAT platform for building relationships, networking and asking for a meeting. Your prospect can immediately read your bio, your company information, references and business-related activity, in advance. This is a softer cold call than the traditional calling or door-to-door cold call.
  • Google – We all Google anything we want to learn, find or to obtain directions. It is a great resource for learning about your prospects. You can utilize Google to locate prospects – but it is much more cumbersome as your search will return many results and some that don’t fit your criteria.
  • Chamber of Commerce – The Chamber of Commerce offers a business directory to their local community. What a great resource for scouting prospects! The only caveat is they strictly list paid members so there may be many prospects not listed in the directory. For those listed; however, you can obtain their contact information – including a name / email!
  • Other Organizations and Associations – Depending on the prospect’s industry, you may be able to find associations they are members of or support. Like the Chamber of Commerce, many will have business information. However, for many associations, your company must also be a member in order to obtain information to protect their company member list.

Based on determining the profile of your target and learning a few ways to reach them, you are ready to begin outreach!  This is your moment to present them with a strong and compelling message sharing your objective or how you can provide relief to their pain points. Be sure to check my next article on how to create a compelling message.  Unlike the Brownies example, salespersons must present more than an adorable face armed with irresistible goodies – or do they? Stay tuned!

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COMMUNICATING EFFECTIVELY WITH A GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Male Designer Using Digital Graphic Tablet

Contributed by Logan Rhea 

Getting the most out of a graphic designer / design project begins with communication. But how do you communicate effectively if you know only a little bit, (or maybe you don’t know anything!) about the software, design lingo/process or design in general – maybe you’re not even sure what you want the final product to look like. Don’t fret! Communicating with your designer doesn’t necessarily require you to have a crystal clear vision of the final product or know anything about design. Our system is typically for clients to work with Account Managers AND designers to achieve clear communication and vision, but in the event that you work directly with a designer, all these strategies apply.

1. GET DESCRIPTIVE 

Maybe you’re not exactly sure what you want the final design to look like, but you might have an idea as to what style you prefer or how you want the design to feel. The more information, the better! For instance, words like tranquil, bold, modern, traditional, minimalistic, etc. are all great ways of describing a design even if you don’t have a clear final vision. These are great starting points for a designer. It also helps to mention your demographic or the customers you’re trying to target (senior men, middle aged women, Hispanic women, teens, etc.) With that said, try to avoid using ONLY ONE word to describe the design you want. For instance, if you just said “tranquil” a designer is still left with an open book of design direction. Try instead, “tranquil / modern / aimed at middle aged women.” If you have a vision, let us know and try to be a descriptive as possible – the more info you have for us, the better! It also doesn’t hurt to pull designs from the web as a reference point, but it’s not necessary. 

2. COMMUNICATING YOUR “DON’T WANTS”

Now that you’ve communicated what you WANT your design to look or feel like and the stylistic direction you want your design to move in, you should also consider sharing what you DON’T want. Are we including images in the design, but you don’t want kids featured? Tell the designer. Don’t like the color green? Let us know! If you’ve had any previous design work done, provide us with some of the files and / or your website URL and let us know some of the things you like / don’t like about these designs.

3. GET TECHNICAL

Where is this design going? Is it a poster that you’re hanging up in your office? Is it a postcard that your mailing out to your customers? Is it a flyer that you’re hanging up around town or handing out? Let the designer know what you plan on doing with the design. Does it need to fit inside something else (i.e. a folder or envelope)? Is it a logo — what’s the name of your business and if you have a tagline, do you want it included?

Try to provide a rough sizing estimate if applicable. For example: standard printer paper size, business card size, movie poster size, etc. Also, try to have a clear idea as to what direction you want your design to go (portrait / landscape). It might not seem like a big deal, but layout is IMPORTANT! If the layout or scale has to change at any point in the design, sometimes it’s not as simple as swapping around a few items — the entire design has to change. A good designer designs in a way that each element plays off one another so that it flows down / around the page. So something that lines up one direction, might not work the other way.

Also, think about your brand colors (if you have them defined already). It’s a good idea to provide the designer with the CMYK / Pantone code(s) so the proper shade of color is produced when printed.

4. GIVE CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK

Don’t expect your designer to nail it the first time, but with clear communication, they should get close. Typically, the more information we have up front, the more likely it is we can capture your wishes on the front end. However, it’s not unusual for a designer to need a couple rounds of edits to nail your vision. After reviewing your design concept, consider what it is that you want changed – maybe now, after seeing the design, you realize you’re not thrilled with certain colors or the layout / alignment of items. Maybe the font choices aren’t to your liking. Maybe the sizing of items needs to change. All of these things are taken in to consideration when editing a design and it helps to know what you like and don’t like about the design that was given to you.

Sometimes, it means a conversation with your Account Manager working with you and the designer to breakdown what each side is envisioning. Maybe you said modern, but really meant bold, or maybe you meant bold, but only in terms of colors or imagery. Remember, your interpretation of something might be different than the designer’s interpretation, but with constructive feedback and open communication the direction becomes clear quickly. A confused client is a confused designer, so the more information you can provide us, the better!

Even though you might not know exactly what you want, clear communication will help put your designer and entire team in the right direction. Our goal as a designer is to give you a final product that you love! We WANT to get it right and we will always work with you to figure out HOW to do that. We always provide a team of designers and account managers that truly care about you and your product and that will work to bring your vision to life!

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PSA: Proper Selling is Important

Contributed by Taylor Burkhalter

Hello. If you came here for an article about selling, let me introduce you to my first point about the importance of proper spelling. I am tempted to end the blog here, as my point has been made; however, I enjoy telling stories from my childhood, so…

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I was the spelling bee champion of the year in 8th grade – a victory I will continue to flaunt until I am dead. (The fact that only 12 people were in my class is irrelevant.) The school gave me a plaque with my name on it, which still, to this day, hangs proudly in a box in my parent’s attic (Next to the box of participation trophies).

I won another spelling bee competition in college – this time against FIVE people.

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I have never felt more proud. You should have seen the look on their faces when I correctly spelled the word “subpoena”.

I tell you all of this because I think spelling is important. And it is (The plaque in my parent’s attic says so). One letter can be the difference between a new client and no new client. A job and no job. Shall we reflect on the time I thanked a potential employer for their “massage”?

In my experience, people tend to overlook the importance of proper spelling in the professional world. For example, let’s take a look at LinkedIn. (If you’re not familiar with the platform, LinkedIn is a hybrid dating / political opinion site for the occasional networker.)  Here is a message I received this past month:

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Wow. Thank you, Clint, for the lucrative preposition.

This message had 28 words – Two of them were spelled incorrectly (not to mention a couple other grammatical errors). Because of that, I probably will ignore it – Plus, at this point, I’m half convinced that Clint is a dark-web robot trying to sell me some counterfeit bitcoin.

He may be a great guy with a life changing “proposition” for me, but I will never know because Clint is totally reckless with his spellcheck. Get it together, Clint!

Now, my spelling is not perfect. I am sure I made a mistake in this article (I hope I did. I love irony.) I simply wanted to remind all of you to be cognizant of your spelling. Just give it a little proofread, y’know? You’re not the best “shirt company” if you forget an “r”.

~ This concludes Taylor’s PSA about spelling ~

WAIT! I leave you with one final question: If you had to spell out your favorite preposition, what would it B and Y?  

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An Intro to Blogging for the Non-Content Marketer

Blog message written on vintage typewriter keys

Contributed by Ella Jane Dantzler 

Blogging doesn’t seem like a natural fit for all businesses. Your typical dentist, car dealership, or local café often doesn’t see the value in putting out “thought leadership” content.

However, the benefits of blogging are not just for content marketers! Blogging is a great asset to all businesses.

A quick overview of the benefits:

Having fresh, updated content on your site boosts your SEO.

Having relevant, recent industry related content signals to your audience that you are up to date with all the latest industry trends and changes.

Thought leadership content provides credibility for your business.

For those of you who have decided to give blogging a try, I’m going to walk you through a few steps that will help get you started.

  1. Define your purpose and your audience

Before you type the first letter- decide what the primary purpose for your blog will be. This will likely stem from an area of your business that you are trying to improve or grow.

Are you hoping to use it as a tool to pull in prospective customers visiting your site? Will you be promoting it on Linkedin to establish yourself as a thought leader among your competitors? Or is it a fun way to engage with your current customers/audience on social media?

The purpose of the blog will lead you to your ideal reader. If your blog is mainly a sales tool, your ideal reader’s profile will match with your ideal customer. If your focus on blogging is establishing yourself as a thought leader in your industry, your ideal reader will likely be employees from other companies in your industry. Your blog can also be used simply to engage with your current audience of customers/fans of your business on social media or the web.

  1. Choose the right topic

When choosing a blog topic, ask yourself three questions: Is it original? Is it engaging? Does it add value to my reader?

Is it original? Your blog is original content unique to you and your perspective. Make your topic reflect this! If you’re commenting on a current event or industry trend, do it through the lens of your experience.

Is it engaging? So much of content marketing is done via video and audio formats making it more difficult for blogs to pull in readers since more effort/time is required. Your writing style needs to be interesting, engaging, and to the point to respect the investment of your reader.

Does it add value? Blog content should be something that your reader directly benefits from viewing. Make sure your blog is informing them, teaching them, or in some way adding value to their day.

  1. Have some variety!

Don’t always blog about the same topics. Have some variety! Publish some internal posts celebrating company anniversaries or telling the story of your business, write some informational posts aimed at educating your audience on an aspect of your industry or a service you offer. Use national holidays or significant dates that relate to your industry as a chance to highlight your business. Case studies of your work can also be repurposed as blogs as well as thought or opinion pieces on industry news or trends.

A video intro can also be added as a fun extra way to engage with your audience.

  1. Keep it simple.

When it comes to the actual writing of the blog- focus on keeping it simple. For non-content marketers, it can be best to stick to the facts and narrow your comments to just the essentials.

One way to do this is to structure your blog post into a list of items- “5 Simple Steps to Whiter Teeth” or “20 Ways to Grow Your Instagram Following.” Or turn it into a manual of sorts: “A How To Guide to a Successful First Interview” or “The Do’s and Don’ts of Holiday Shopping.” Focusing your topic into a structured list or format not only provides a quick and easy read for your audience but also helps you to simplify and streamline your content.

Happy blogging!

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Why We Always Recommend a Video

 

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Contributed by Alyssa Peiser

Most people are not clamoring to get in front of a camera and share their story or success. It can be an intimidating experience, made even more so by deciding to blast the video out for the whole world to see – especially your potential clients. In a culture of YouTube where anyone can be a celebrity and everything gets shared, many businesses are still hesitant to jump into the world of video. But let’s talk about it – we never recommend something without having a line of reasoning to back it up!

Let’s Do the Numbers

Did you know that 87% of online marketers use video content? 92% of mobile video viewers then go share the content. Over half of marketing professionals worldwide list video as their highest ROI for content. Marketers who use video grow their revenue 49% faster than non-video users. We could keep going with the numbers – but to suffice it to say, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence that video improves your business.

(Source: http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/03/08/video-marketing-statistics).

The Ideal Solution

Our company’s brand video has earned us clients. We attach it in our email signatures, we promote it on LinkedIn and social media, it is on our website. We stay top of mind for clients and potential clients by having a story expressed quickly and in an easy-to-share method. It packages our brand and mission into one place, all while giving you an “inside look” into our team who also shares firsthand what we do and what matters to us. So when we encourage someone to do video, we aren’t recommending something we aren’t doing ourselves – and we have seen great success for ourselves and our clients.

A video testimonial is personal, yes. Talking up what you do and what makes your company unique, more so. And while that might seem scary, it can be achieved easily – just like a one-on-one conversation (like you would have with your prospective client anyway!) And that personal aspect is what engages your audience – it makes them feel like they know you so that they want to contact you. It builds trust.

A video is quick to watch – and easier than asking your audience to read a lot of text to grasp what you’re about. Don’t mistake – a killer website with strong content goes a long way and we specialize in building websites that are selling tools, BUT, nothing can replace the movement and life that comes with a brand story video.

Is There Any Other Way?

But maybe the numbers and personal examples don’t do it for you – you still don’t want to get in front of the camera. We get that! While we always recommend associating your face with your brand – that personal, human connection means a lot to consumers, there are ways to achieve a brand video and leave your face and voice off of it. We work with voiceover talent and experienced videographers/designers who can create an engaging video that still conveys who you are and what you do.

Let’s Roll

We recommend a video to all our clients – we build it into their plans and will work from storyboarding, filming, producing and promoting, all to help you achieve your goals. And we truly do believe it will help you get to those goals. No matter how you feel about being on-camera, we can help craft a message and visual to clearly and concisely get your brand more exposure and increase engagement.

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Celebrating Kim’s Work Anniversary with TAE!

 

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We are celebrating Kim’s 3-year anniversary as part of the TAE team! As you can see in the photo, we gifted her with a couple bottles of wine. We took a minute to sit down with her and ask her a few questions about her work.

What has been the most challenging part of your work? This is tough – I love everything about what I do. If I have to say one thing, the most challenging is the inability to help everyone. Some businesses just don’t have a budget for marketing. I want to see everyone thrive and be successful.

What has been the most rewarding? Tagging on to the above – watching the goals we set with our client come to fruition! I love seeing our clients excited and knowing every recommendation or action carried out is to help them reach success.

What is one aspect of the industry that excites/interests you?  I am fascinated with how much technology has changed and the rate at which we evolve with it. People love to feel included, or be a part of something, which I feel has contributed to the influx of interactive content. I am constantly seeing people (myself included) participate in quizzes / assessments. We are either just curious or knowledge seekers.

What is one fact about you that most people might not know? If you know me, I’m pretty transparent; however, I don’t like to show vulnerability. I prefer to express my emotions through the art of poetry. I discovered this when we had to write poetry in my 7th grade English class. I had a traumatic experience that year and used it as my muse. I won the poetry contest that year. I’ve been writing ever since!

 

Hello world!

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Focusing your Sales Efforts – A 4-Part Series

Part 1: Build Your Network

Casual Catering Discussion Meeting Colleagues Concept

Contributed by Kim Jennings-Eckert

In my first article, Sales Accountability – How Do You Measure Sales?, I shared my personal insights on sales accountability and helping your sales team reach their goals consistently. Sales is a tough gig and most people find it’s a lot tougher than they realize. During this next 4-part series, I want to dive into sales a bit deeper. We will talk about all facets of sales, including building your network, prospects, goals and retaining your business relationships.

Why is your network important?

What is YOUR network? Why does it even matter?  Having a strong network is essential to being a good salesperson.  We’ve all heard the term “used car salesman” as a negative description of a salesperson. I don’t like to stereotype but … that term is often used to describe a person who is pushy and immediately steps into sales talk. In this day and age, we are hit up frequently from all corners to buy a product or service. Sales pitches no longer come from a cold call, email, inside a store – but now we see pop up ads on our phones, computers, retarget marketing ads, Pay-per-click ads, games and other apps, billboards – everywhere. I’m a marketer so, of course, I promote advertising as it fits with your marketing plan (For more info, read “Don’t Buy A Duck… Stop Wasting Your Money and Do Marketing that Works” by Derek Champagne). I’m also a salesperson that confronts objections daily. So the question becomes – how do you meet people, share your services and they express interest?

Network, Network, Network!

Unless you hit a potential business at the right moment, typically the first response may be to reject an initial meeting. Why? Most often the answer is simply because they don’t know you or your company. When speaking with a complete stranger, a person’s natural tendency is to put their guard up and tell you they’re aren’t interested – even if they could be!  The best way to combat this objection is to first build your network of friends, trusted business associates and business acquaintances.  The bigger your network, the wider your reach – which is like heaven if you’re a social butterfly like me.  I love people and I love doing business with good people that I trust!  In fact, most who know me say I make friends with just about everyone I meet. Of course I do – because it’s easy to do. I make a point of really knowing the people I meet. Are they married? Kids? What do they like to do for fun? And of course – what is their business and their role? If you want to grow your personal network, befriend people – but be authentic! We can tell the difference between sincerity and “it’s part of my job”.  If you genuinely bring people into your network, they will quickly become your friend and brand ambassador.

It’s not all about you!

Now that you have this network of friends – what’s next? Gaining new friends is the easy part – so if you struggled with growing your network, you’re in for a doozy!  This next phase – retaining your network – is the most challenging part. It’s easy to be selfish and do those things that most benefit ourselves. I’m not trying to be harsh – but I do believe in being real. Let’s step back to the days of kindergarten, or a time in grade school when you entered the classroom for the first time. Do you remember feeling fear or nervous? Will someone like you?  If they do, will their friends accept you? To gain your first friend, you may have shared a snack or traded sandwiches. Then they introduce you to their friends, widening your circle. How did you keep your friends? Did you help a friend with a homework assignment or introduce them to one of your friends or share your lunch if they forgot their own? It’s really no different in business networking – trading sandwiches could mean trading services.  Or helping someone with homework is introducing them to someone you know who offers a service they need. The concept is the same – build your network and be a resource. Going back to the idea of being authentic – be sure you are retaining your network without direct expectations. Sure, we all hope that as we share our resources, it will be reciprocated. But NEVER expect it to the point of losing your sincerity.

In a nutshell….

One of your greatest sales assets is your network.  You’ve learned the significance of your personal network, how to build it and retain it, while maintaining your authentic self.  If you become successful in building and harnessing your network, then you’ve created a pipeline of warm referrals. Over time you will become a resource for others, allowing you to obtain meetings through warm introductions from trusted colleagues. To be clear, having a large network does not eliminate the necessity of cold calls or marketing / advertising. It does, however, create an avenue of leads that overcomes one major objection – interest in your service!

 

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Psychology of Color

Contributed by Logan Rhea

A Basic Understanding for Business and Marketing

The study of colors and how they affect us, individually and/or as a group, is something some people base their entire careers on. Even though it’s not as simple as one color stimulating a universal emotion or way of thinking in everyone — largely due to personal preference, gender, upbringing and context — there are still broader messaging patterns. Did you know that color is also culturally subjective? What is meant to be happy and uplifting in one country can be somber in another.  Something as simple as changing the hue just slightly can bring about a new feeling/reaction. 

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The importance of color in branding is enormous. Below are some specific examples of how much it dictates what people think about your brand. We also give a brief synopsis behind each color family and the industry in which it works best.

Color in Branding

The study “Impact of Color on Marketing” found that “people make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62‐90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone.” (http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/00251740610673332)

Another study titled “The interactive effects of colors and products on perceptions of brand logo appropriateness” found that the relationship between a brand and color depends on the perceived appropriateness of the used color(s). Does the color fit with what is being sold? Does it line up with the overall message of the brand?

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Credit: The Logo Company

Warm Colors

Warm colors consist of red, orange and yellow and all of those in between those three.  These colors can be energizing, passionate and positive. Think of a sunset, fall leaves or a fire.  

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Cool Colors

Cool colors consist of green, blue and purple and are typically more subdued. These colors can be relaxing, calming, professional. 

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Basic Understanding of Colors and Their Associated Emotions

Red:  Attention grabbing/passionate. An emotionally intense color. Red gets people to make quick decisions. 

Industries that can benefit from red: Automotive and Food. 

Orange: Fun/Playful. Not as aggressive as red. 

Industries that can benefit from orange: Healthcare and Technology.

Yellow:  Warmth / Happiness / Energetic.  Think the color of the sun! Positive / Creative / Motivational. A great eye-catching color. 

Industries that can benefit from yellow: Energy and Household

Green: Safety / Growth / Health / Wealth / Serenity / Stability / Renewal. Darker greens, think money. Lighter Greens, think nature! Also has calming attributes w/ blue tones and energetic attributes with yellow tones.  

Industries that can benefit from green: Finance, Nature, Energy. 

Blue: Tranquil / Calm / Secure / Dependable / Trustworthy / Responsible. Widely affected by the shade/hue.  Light blues can be calming and relaxing while brighter/darker hues can be energizing / refreshing.  Dark blues make excellent corporate colors. 

One of the most popular choices for brands.

Purple: Royal / Sophisticated / Spiritual. Associated with creativity and imagination. Sometimes seen as mysterious. Lighter purples, like lavender, are considered more romantic / renewing (think spring).  

Industries that can benefit from purple: Finance / Creative / Technology. 

Black: Power / Elegance / Authoritative / Formality / Timeless / Prestigious.  Commonly used with edgier / modern designs as well as very elegant. Black can be almost anything depending on what colors it’s combined with. 

White:   Safety / Cleanliness / Success / Pure / Soft. Like black it can work well with almost any color. In design it’s often considered as a backdrop and lets other colors do the talking. Popular with minimalist designs. 

Industries that can benefit from white: Healthcare and Clothing.

Gray: A neutral color on the cool end of the spectrum. Can sometimes be considered moody. Light grays can be used in place of white and dark grays in place of black in some designs.  Conservative / Formal / Modern. Commonly used in corporate designs. Professional / Formal. Can be a very sophisticated color. Pure grays are shades of black, but can also be mixed with other colors around the spectrum. 

Brown: Earthy / Dependability / Grounded.  Think wood, stone, etc. Can also be considered as dull or bring a feeling of wholesomeness to designs. 

Tan/Beige:Is a unique color. Can take on both a warm and a cool tone depending on surrounding colors. Little effect by itself and on the final design because it can take on characteristics of other colors in the design. Sometimes seen as dull. Common in backdrops.

Cream/IvoryCalm / Elegant / Pure. Warmth of brown and coolness of white.  Can take on an earthy quality.  Can also be used to lighten darker colors without the stark contrast that comes from pure white.

Sources:

https://www.ferraricolor.com/color-guide-the-colors-associated-with-emotions-holidays/

https://www.helpscout.net/blog/psychology-of-color/

https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2010/01/color-theory-for-designers-part-1-the-meaning-of-color/