AkzoNobel: Glidden Gets You Going
Category: Product Manufacturing and Distribution
Country where program ran: USA
Date program started/ended: April 2009 to November 2009
Product Description: The Glidden Company started in 1875. Glidden produces branded paints that dominated the American household consumer market for many years. In 1986 the brand was sold to ICI. Sales declined rapidly since 2003. AkzoNobel acquired the brand under the ICI umbrella in 2008.
Advertiser/Client Name: AkzoNobel
Media Channels: Direct Mail
Website: URL: http://www.thebuzzwerks.com/Preview/038817/
Facing extinction Glidden, once a mainstay American paint brand with a "do it yourself" (DIY) legacy, was about to go the way of the dinosaur. Marketing and product neglect over the past decade had eroded the brand's equity. From 2003 to 2008 Glidden market share declined 40%. Sure, the category was softening, but that didn't stop Behr and Valspar from growing at Glidden's expense. Both had been investing at ten times Glidden's levels since '06 (source: Traqline, Jan 2009). Major retail outlet threatening to part company The biggest wakeup call was declining sales at The Home Depot, which represented the lion's share of Glidden's distribution and volume. Glidden was rapidly losing steam after 2005 with the bottom falling out in '08 (source: DunnHumby, Jan 2009). The Home Depot began to lose faith and questioned whether or not there was a future together. Living with the enemy Glidden was ready for action, but their biggest challenge was Behr, the #1 brand in the category, which was exclusively distributed at The Home Depot. Glidden had to demonstrate it could attract incremental business to the category, not detract from Behr. The Home Depot openly played favorites, supplementing Behr with premium display, promotion, and rich co-op media support that bumped Behr to a 40% share of voice (source: Nielsen Adviews, Sept 2009). Consumer apathy Between 2006 and 2009 the recession had driven a category downturn of over 35%. Moving to a new home creates new painting occasions. With people staying in their homes longer, the need for paint was on the decline. My grandpa's paint The big brands in the category had already claimed the key role as color expert. Glidden, in contrast, was seen as the faded wallflower - a brand that stood for "my grandpa's paint." Worse, both store associates and consumers perceived Glidden as being poor quality. In fact, even if a customer at The Home Depot found a Glidden color they liked, sales associates frequently recommended Behr, the "house" brand with an established reputation in quality. In sum, there was nothing colorful about Glidden in 2009. Our challenge was to get consumers to insist on painting with Glidden again.