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SW Attack!

Terry Miller

New member
My letter was written to SW for a response to their ad running on HGTV. Have you seen it? This kind of promotion will affect every contractor in every aspect of all industrys. Right now, it is my 2 cents, but could blossom into a serious problem for us all? Thank you.

My friends,
You have recently run television ads on HGTV. They are using terminology for home owners to come to your stores to learn how to paint. It's easy and you can show them the right way to paint and you will teach them to be painters.
My comments are not to be taken lightly. You are promoting to remove the professional painter out of our customers homes. We all know anyone can paint, however we are not all painters. With the economy down, we are all scrambling for work and business. By gouging the professional painter, you are in the process of loosing the professional painter as your customer. Look at your figures. Could you afford to loose the pro as your customer. If so, feel free to continue to sell the home owner on doing their own painting. Eliminate needing a painter to beautify their homes the correct way. After all, their is always BM, PPG, ICI etc. for the professional painter to shop at. Simply stated you don't need us, we don't need you. I certainly hope this message reaches the top of your business. For all our ability to survive, we must work together and not as individuals. Thank you.
 

deach

New member
Terry, I replied at the other forum my thoughts. I totally agree. I found out long ago my local little Bennie Moore dealer could take better care of me as far as coatings stains and such, only frequent S/W for Airless stuff now (except if I'm right there and there's a S/W right there and it would just be stupid to drive 25 miles to return to my "base" store.
 

Ken Fenner

Fuckhead
Good for you, Terry. Here is some food for thought. There will always be people that DIY and those that pay professionals. Rarely do those two crowds cross paths. Many were concerned when I launched a DIY site and sold professional grade chemicals to home owners. My site teaches them everything they need to know about restoring a deck. The people that buy the products were never going to pay for the service. In three years I had one return from an older lady that said it was hard work and that she thought the product would make it easy. Simple, yes.. easy? No way.

There are tons of things I can do but choose to pay someone for.. mowing grass, changing oil, painting, etc. Even if someone gave me a perfect 15 minute seminar on how to change my oil in under ten minutes without getting dirty, I still wouldn't do it.

I'd love to read SW's response when you get it, Terry.
 

topcoat

Contributing Member
Terry

Thanks for calling SW on that.

We don't need another Home Depot. "You can do it, we can help..." Yeah right. The positive spin is all the frustrated homeowners with their cans of Behr who tried to do it themselves and couldnt. They call us in to take it over and the first thing we do is go buy some BM and show them how pros do it.

Please pursue this and post any updates.
 

Terry Miller

New member
I watched HGTV for 1 hr. I saw the same ad 3 times! I spoke with my local managers at SW. They are in a tight position now. There are some folks from SW who check out BBS sites and I sure hope they come across this one.
 

GMack

New member
Right on Terry! If my recent experiences suggest anything, I think some of these homeowners are learning the trade from SW, putting out a shingle, and pricing things the way they always thought things should be priced: down and dirty . . . I'm getting low-balled all over the place!
 

Michael Kreisle

Contributing Member
This is another reason for a unified voice in our industry representing contractors. None of us individually can afford a huge national TV advertisement pitching our PROFESSIONALISM. Together with enough members and support, we could possibly get at a minimum local campaigns launched. SW is "painting" a picture of us as this being easy and worthless. While Ken is right, there are folks that just won't hire the work out, the ads like this still affect those that will by giving them the impression that the PAINT is the hero and the PAINTER is just a hired laborer equal to that of a fry cook at McDonalds.

Contact all your local competitors and encourage them to join UAMCC. Lets take back our industry from folks that wish to spin the publics impression of us simply to put the focus on the products or equipment. Reality is that WE are the force behind our service and not a paint, chemical or machine.

TOGETHER we can pool resources to launch campaigns to make the public aware we are PROS!!!!
 

neps.us

New member
I really see no problem with the ad's. Their sales are down and they are trying to move into taking customers from the big box stores. They are a corporation, while bigger than mine, they too need to re-invent themselves in this economy to survive and flurish. Their target audience are the first time home buyers who really do not have the money for our services to begin with.

This thread could be directly linked to most of the marketing threads found here and other painting forums. Who is your target audience? Who are you marketing towards? Do you market to a group that would paint their own home? Or to a group with a $100 painting budget? Or customers that think that 1/2 of the crap they see on HGTV is quality craftsmanship?

I do not. My target audience are not first time home buyers. My target audience wouldnt even consider picking up a brush. But I would almost prefer that my customers at one time or another decided to paint their own fence or their own bedroom to give them the understanding of what a professional job really is.

DIY'ers will always find an outlet to purchase and to get tips from. I welcome it. Not only wil they have a new found respect for what we do I just might run into them at the store or they could take one of my business cards and sell them on their next project.
 

GMack

New member
NEPS,

I think that contractors are feeling a little bombarded right now (like anybody in this economy) and are getting frustrated with the general attitude of the buying public which, in my recent experience, is purchasing on price alone.

You make great points, though, and what I like is your general attitude of self-reliance. I don't think there is much hope in changing SW marketing strategies but we can always market better ourselves.
 

Michael Kreisle

Contributing Member
I really see no problem with the ad's. Their sales are down and they are trying to move into taking customers from the big box stores. They are a corporation, while bigger than mine, they too need to re-invent themselves in this economy to survive and flurish. Their target audience are the first time home buyers who really do not have the money for our services to begin with.

This thread could be directly linked to most of the marketing threads found here and other painting forums. Who is your target audience? Who are you marketing towards? Do you market to a group that would paint their own home? Or to a group with a $100 painting budget? Or customers that think that 1/2 of the crap they see on HGTV is quality craftsmanship?

I do not. My target audience are not first time home buyers. My target audience wouldnt even consider picking up a brush. But I would almost prefer that my customers at one time or another decided to paint their own fence or their own bedroom to give them the understanding of what a professional job really is.

DIY'ers will always find an outlet to purchase and to get tips from. I welcome it. Not only wil they have a new found respect for what we do I just might run into them at the store or they could take one of my business cards and sell them on their next project.
I completely agree. My comments are more from an attitude that they are not on the contractors side and as such should not get our business.
 

Terry Miller

New member
Chris, I agree that the market they are selling to is not my market. However, I only brought up a fact that SW is a huge sponsor of PDCA on one hand, and the other hand telling folks to come on in. We'll train you to be a painter. I see you are more of a variety service. If you only painted and relied on the painting business for all your profit, you may see things a little different? Wait till every business you deal with tries the same approach. SW already sells PWers and they say they have a great system. Ask any SW rep. They may not have what anyone needs, but they will get it for you. A one stop shop for any HO.
I deal with many contractors Nationwide. They primarily tell me the same thing. "We only do high end jobs and make millions." Actually I only know a few who do make millions. They also paint apartments and do a front door when asked. Therefore, SW is coming after their work as well as mine and yours. If we all believe this will not affect us, we are sadly taken into the fold. The work they are taking from the little guy, will reflect all out bottom lines. Where do we think the guy that loses the HO job is going to look for work? Ours of course. They may not do as good a job as we do, but the people we deal with do have the price of our job on their minds. After all they just suffered one of the worst economic times in our life time. I wish everyone the best. But I also would suggest we all watch our backs. Thank you.
 

makdeco

New member
I saw those ads as well I had the same intial thought as tegrey, and good for you for writing SW. I am not a SW guy so I guess it doesn't bother me as much. But I see how it affects the whole trade in general.

Neps, you make valid points as well. It would be interesting to see how it works out for SW in the long run. Maybe they will pull some people away from the big box stores.
 

topcoat

Contributing Member
Interesting discussion.

I would rather see SW get the diy-ers than HD. SW is the company that I would rather see succeed.

A segment of the population is inclined to DIY, and SW is not going to make them too much more successful at it. They are not going to make too many DIY-ers out of homeowners who have never been inclined that way in the past.

The one thing that works to our advantage is that most people genuinely hate to paint, largely because they are no good at it. SW won't make them too good at it. Also, we have had several customers in the past couple of years who were failed DIY-ers and brought us in for a do over. There is something to be said for getting them to pick up a brush and see that its not all that easy.

I have enough direct communication with manufacturers to know that they do have to consider homeowners as a market segment. BM has come out with 2-3 lines in the past year, pretty much with the HO in mind. Whatever gets consumers into paint stores is good for the paint industry. Ultimately, whatever is good for the paint industry is good for us.

We (paint industry) survived vinyl siding, Azec trim, Hardie board/plank and Trex decking. This too shall pass. Its not any kind of a paradigm shift in the paint world. Its just a sign of the times.
 

makdeco

New member
Interesting discussion.


We (paint industry) survived vinyl siding, Azec trim, Hardie board/plank and Trex decking. This too shall pass. Its not any kind of a paradigm shift in the paint world. Its just a sign of the times.
Scott,

I think it has been proven time and time again to the HO that "maintenance free" does not and will never exist..
 

neps.us

New member
Chris, I agree that the market they are selling to is not my market. However, I only brought up a fact that SW is a huge sponsor of PDCA on one hand, and the other hand telling folks to come on in. We'll train you to be a painter. I see you are more of a variety service. If you only painted and relied on the painting business for all your profit, you may see things a little different? Wait till every business you deal with tries the same approach. SW already sells PWers and they say they have a great system. Ask any SW rep. They may not have what anyone needs, but they will get it for you. A one stop shop for any HO.
I deal with many contractors Nationwide. They primarily tell me the same thing. "We only do high end jobs and make millions." Actually I only know a few who do make millions. They also paint apartments and do a front door when asked. Therefore, SW is coming after their work as well as mine and yours. If we all believe this will not affect us, we are sadly taken into the fold. The work they are taking from the little guy, will reflect all out bottom lines. Where do we think the guy that loses the HO job is going to look for work? Ours of course. They may not do as good a job as we do, but the people we deal with do have the price of our job on their minds. After all they just suffered one of the worst economic times in our life time. I wish everyone the best. But I also would suggest we all watch our backs. Thank you.
Terry,
I am sorry if I sounded like I came off with a elitist attitiude ....not my intention at all. Painting is my primary business. I'm not sure were you thought I did other things. I do million dollar homes as well as apt turnovers and I would even paint your bird house if you payed me for it. The only time I ever turn down work is if I smell a rat ....and there are alot of rat's these days. My point was meant to be that I can live without the HGTV clients.

I agree that is is frustrating that a big supporter of the PDCA would make a marketing move that could alienate their contractor base. The little guy is inevitably going to get squeezed out of the market unless he is willing to adapt and overcome. In my ten years in business I have had to re-invent myself several times over, all of which has put my company into a position to hopefully survive this economic downturn. Take lemons and make lemonade.

Instead of turning away from SW try this: Be the contractor at all of your local SW stores to have a good relationship with your managers. Good enough that they will recomend your services to those same HO's that come in and need help. If you have a rep then hammer the crap out of him for leads. Ask him for Dodge reports and all of his lead generators. Call him 3 times a week to find out what bids are going on. Take him golfing and out to lucnh....build a relationship. These guys are a amazing source of leads. This is their job. They cold call jobs all day long. Show them some loyalty and you will gain a salesman for free.

I am watching the Red Sox - Yankees right now ...behind home plate is two signs for BM ...one is the standard BM sign and the other is for Natura.... and cheap HO green branded paint. Who do you think they are marketing towards? Not us painters. ... thats for sure.
 

makdeco

New member
Terry,
I am sorry if I sounded like I came off with a elitist attitiude ....not my intention at all. Painting is my primary business. I'm not sure were you thought I did other things. I do million dollar homes as well as apt turnovers and I would even paint your bird house if you payed me for it. The only time I ever turn down work is if I smell a rat ....and there are alot of rat's these days. My point was meant to be that I can live without the HGTV clients.

I agree that is is frustrating that a big supporter of the PDCA would make a marketing move that could alienate their contractor base. The little guy is inevitably going to get squeezed out of the market unless he is willing to adapt and overcome. In my ten years in business I have had to re-invent myself several times over, all of which has put my company into a position to hopefully survive this economic downturn. Take lemons and make lemonade.

Instead of turning away from SW try this: Be the contractor at all of your local SW stores to have a good relationship with your managers. Good enough that they will recomend your services to those same HO's that come in and need help. If you have a rep then hammer the crap out of him for leads. Ask him for Dodge reports and all of his lead generators. Call him 3 times a week to find out what bids are going on. Take him golfing and out to lucnh....build a relationship. These guys are a amazing source of leads. This is their job. They cold call jobs all day long. Show them some loyalty and you will gain a salesman for free.

I am watching the Red Sox - Yankees right now ...behind home plate is two signs for BM ...one is the standard BM sign and the other is for Natura.... and cheap HO green branded paint. Who do you think they are marketing towards? Not us painters. ... thats for sure.

Just one thing NEPS.. Natura may be marketed as a green paint but it ain't cheap.. especially from a HO's point of view :)
 

topcoat

Contributing Member
Who do you think they are marketing towards? Not us painters. ... thats for sure.

Pitchers, middle infielders and centerfielders mostly.

Seriously, though, its pretty cool for me watching the game to see BM and Natura out there so visible. Its solid brand building that is good for the industry. When I talk about BM and Natura to customers, it makes it that much more familiar and easy to sell. It does help to offset all the Behr and Glidden marketing. My wife was watching the game last night and she even noticed the Natura ad behind homeplate and asked me if thats the stuff I have been dabbling with. Natura, by the way, is a great product, we have been using alot of it, a good zero voc option in a lower price range than Aura.
 

Terry Miller

New member
I believe we all feel the same about the ads. They (SW) are a HO market company and they want to rule the world. Of course this will not happen. All the suggestions madse have been done. Our reps were our business for years. They came to our home for a Christmas party with gifts, monthly lunches on us and many pats on the back. Funny as it is, SW killed that part of the business here also. We went from three reps to one. He covers 4,000 clients! I get his attention once a month no matter what. Of course if I call he calls back in a day or two. It certainly is not the way it was. I have since changed at least 50% of our business over to ICI, now the largest painting company out there. Over three times the size of SW. The same ad I originally wrote about is now in our local theaters. I like the old saying, "Don't bite the hand that feeds you!" Thank you.
 
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