Marketing Analysis of Sherwin-Williams

Company OverviewFounded in 1866 by Henry Sherwin and Edward Williams with $2,000, Sherwin-Williams began as a partnership selling paints and varnishes. For more than 140 years, the company has built great pride in its continuous efforts of innovation and industry leadership. The company services several different market segments and is a leader in establishing standards for environmental sustainability.Product-Market AnalysisSherwin-Williams offers a variety of products and services, all of which are customized to serve various market segments. Primarily, Sherwin-Williams sells paints, stains, varnishes, industrial and marine coatings, commercial floor coverings, window and wall coverings, spray equipment, and sundries. Sundries include items such as paint brushes, rollers, painting accessories, etc. In addition to the tangible products, the company offers several services to its customers as well. These services include custom color mixing, color matching, delivery service, representative support for consulting and technical issues, decorative product specialists, and superior technical knowledge.The three major operating segments for the company are the global group, consumer brands group, and the paint stores group. The company has an international presence with locations and operations spanning from South America to China. The consumer brands division markets products that are owned by, but not sold directly under the Sherwin-Williams name such as Minwax wood finishes, Krylon spray paint, Purdy paint brushes, Thompson?s WaterSeal, and Dutch Boy paint. The paint stores group consists of more than 3,000 individual store locations positioned throughout the country. The remainder of this market analysis will focus on the operations of the paint stores group.Specifically, the paint stores group is positioned to serve the following specialized market segments: commercial, new residential, residential repaint, industrial and marine, property management, and homeowners (Who Is Sherwin-Williams, 2009). The first five market segments trend more toward business consumers such as contractors and property management groups. The last segment targets homeowners who are commonly termed as do-it-yourself (DIY) customers. In this segment, Sherwin-Williams targets adults ages 25-54 who are homeowners with household incomes of $75k or greater, and customers who are part of the ?life experience? target audience (Financial Community Presentation, 2009).The paint stores group provides several different brands of products for consumers. A large group of products, primarily paint, stains, and varnished are marketed directly under the Sherwin-Williams name. The product line varies depending on the customer?s needs and task definition. For example, a homeowner looking to repaint a living room might choose Sherwin-Williams brand paints like Duration Home, SuperPaint, or Harmony paint. A contactor, on the other hand, would likely purchase the Promar or Builders Solutions interior and exterior Sherwin-Williams paint products. In addition to the company branded products, items marketed under the consumer brands, or diversified brands, such as Krylon or Minwax are also sold in the retail stores. Further, some outside vendor products are also available in stores including products by 3M, Graco, Titan/SprayTech, and Werner. Such products include various tapes, adhesives, spray equipment, ladders, and accessories.With respect to brand positioning, the Sherwin-Williams brand is backed by over 140 years of quality and innovation. The brand is represented to consumers as a reliable, high quality, durable product that is supported by knowledgeable sales associates and representatives.External Situation AnalysisThere are two major segments to consider when conducting an external situation analysis. These categories include other paint manufacturers or retailers and possible substitute competitors. There are a myriad of additional paint brands available on the market. The figure below lists examples of some alternative paint brands that are available.It is important to consider the retailers that provide paint products to customers. There are several channels of distribution for paint products, and the channels accessed vary by customer segment groups. For instance, 65% of the most recent DIY purchases were made from home centers, followed by 17% of purchases from paint stores. In great contrast, 92.4% of contractor paint purchases were made through paint stores, with only 4.8% of purchases coming from home centers (Financial Community Presentation, 2009). The two charts below provide additional data on the various channels and individual channel share for these products.

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