Sherwin-Williams STIR®: A Color Conversation

Situation

Our client, Sherwin-Williams, had two objectives. First, it needed to strengthen its brand position with interior designers and architects, important specifiers of paints and coatings. Second, it needed to drive gallon growth and increase market share.

Strategy

We could have created a content program filled with designer success stories and gorgeous room shots. The problem: Existing trade and shelter media already had that covered.
 
So we took a more daring approach. We created Sherwin-Williams STIR: a content experience dedicated to exploring color, a foundational element that’s inside every can of paint, and at the heart of every designer’s professional practice.STIR covers:
  • Color in culture. What is the significance of the color white in Japan?
  • The history of color. Where did indigo come from?
  • The psychology of color. How do men and women perceive colors differently?
  • The future of color. Where is color trending — and what factors are driving that evolution?
STIR Magazine 2015
STIR 2015 Spreads
STIR Magazine 2014
STIR 2014 Spreads
STIR Social

Solution

Design professionals are a mobile audience, many of them moving from studio to job site on a daily basis. They’re also an incredibly informed and opinionated audience: They have a point of view on color they want to share.

 

So we delivered STIR content across a range of channels, always inviting designers to “Join the Color Conversation” that Sherwin-Williams was curating for them.

 

  • Print annual: Print remains a treasured format for designers, who love its tactile feel. The STIR print annual showcases content uniquely suited to the page, including the eagerly anticipated color forecast from Sherwin-Williams, colormix™.
  • Email: Monthly emails allow us to reach designers digitally, and afford us the opportunity to use video to explore color on a more experiential level.
  • Social media: We helped Sherwin-Williams launch its social media strategy and presence, and curate content dedicated to design professionals.

Outcome

STIR helped Sherwin-Williams establish itself as the premier source of color knowledge for design professionals. Compared to 2004 when STIR began, surveys of designers and architects show:
  • More respondents agree Sherwin-Williams leads the industry in color, quality, products technology and innovation.
  • Design professionals are now more likely to specify Sherwin-Williams for product or color.
  • Design professionals who receive STIR regularly register a significantly higher perception of Sherwin-Williams than those who don’t receive STIR.

The Sherwin-Williams STIR program has won more than a dozen Pearl Awards from the Custom Content Council, including a Best in Show. In 2010, Sherwin-Williams named Hanley Wood Marketing as its Vendor of the Year, the first time a creative agency had ever been given that honor.
“Our own research shows that design professionals who are exposed to the STIR program are measurably more engaged with our brand — from accessing our professional color tools to specifying our paint for their projects. We also evaluate STIR based on what we hear at industry events around the country. Designers routinely ask us for STIR and tell us how much they love the program. It gives Sherwin-Williams great pride to deliver content our customers truly value.”
Terry Makowski
Director of Trade Communications, Sherwin-Williams
Hanley Wood Marketing
430 First Avenue North
Suite 550
Minneapolis, MN 55401

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