The Story Behind Joe Pulizzi and Orange

My color is orange. It’s literally the only color I wear. My foundation is named after it. If you go into my bedroom closet, it looks like the briefcase scene from Pulp Fiction.

If you are here, you might be wondering why.

In 2005 I was swimming with my two children (then ages four and two) on vacation in Florida. We were playing with an orange volleyball. Then it hit me…if I ever launched a company, the brand would be this beautiful orange.  It was mesmerizing.

I held the ball up to my wife and said, “when I launch my business, this will be the color.”
She responded with “make sure your kids don’t drown.”

In 2007 my wife and I launched a company called Junta42. And guess what? The main
color with this exact orange (PMS 144).

As a fresh new entrepreneur, it only made sense to go all in with this color. I bought a plethora of orange shirts for all my speaking and included it in my online profile pictures. After a while, it was hard to find a picture of me without wearing some form of orange.

In February of 2009 I was invited to do my first international keynote presentation in Brussels, Belgium. The only issue was, instead of wearing orange, they asked me to wear a black tuxedo. Of course, I obliged (they were paying me real money).

After the presentation, three people came up to me and asked me why I wasn’t wearing orange. They said, in shockingly good English, that they’d never seen a picture of me without orange.

That was all it took. I had (strategically or not) embed myself with this color. People recognized me by it. I quickly rid myself of clothes sans orange and replaced them with this majestic color.

To this day I rarely leave the house without some kind of orange apparel. All my businesses and even our foundation (The Orange Effect) use this beautiful color.

Over the years, I’ve been blessed with amazing friends and colleagues who’ve sent me orange paintings, shirts, shoes, pants, coats, mugs, cups, stickers, hats, statues, orange LEGO figures and more.

While I could never come up with hard numbers, I believe tying myself to this color has resulted in millions of dollars in business over the years.

And, finally, to top it all off, I renamed my newsletter the Orangeletter (why not?).

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