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Sherwin Williams

Consumer Goods

1877 East 17th Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43219

800 366-7446
614 564-1300 Ph
614 564-1399 Fx



Sherwin Williams

Sherwin-Williams, the venerable paint brand was beginning to see a decline in share from its core customer, the professional painter, to big box programs that cater to the professionals with better price point and bigger selections. To make matters worse, the current stores were geared only to the professional customer, so the emerging DIY customer found the in store experience less than ideal.

To design a better customer experience, we immersed ourselves in the “home finishing” process. We studied how the store operated, learned how the consumer shopped for finishing solutions and reviewed the floor merchandising. We talked with SW representatives to better understand the industry challenges, and reviewed the available research.

For the prototype, we opened up the retail space by reducing the floor inventory levels and reorganized the sundry presentation to make it more compelling. We improved sales counters with stylish counter tops and made them smaller to increase employee interaction with customers. We made the store more female friendly with the use of soft, light paint techniques on the walls, a faux wood floor path and warmer floor tile to create an inviting space. To encourage home solution shopping and spur ideas, we consolidated all finishes into one creative resource area with comfortable chairs, home fashion magazines and design-oriented tables. An area was added to entertain kids while parents shopped. To complete the system, we introduced a solutions-oriented graphic program that mirrored SW’s mass-market campaign “Do you dream in color?”

Sherwin-Williams rolled out significant elements of the program into the marketplace within 18 months of its debut. From a non-sales standpoint the communication to the customer signaled a new Sherwin-Williams and many components of the program were implemented throughout the system in 2003.