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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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1. Competitive Forces. Sherwin-Williams is one of the top three leaders in the global paint industry, and is celebrating record sales for the seventh consecutive year in a row. According to their 2017 annual report, sales increased by 26.4 percent for a grand total of $14.98 billion. The company also made record earnings bringing in $2.28 billion, an increase of 17.3 percent from the previous year. Trailing close behind them in sales is PPG, another global paint company, who, according to their annual report, brought in $14.8 billion in net sales which is a three percent increase from last year. When it comes to earnings, PPG reported $5.87 billion which is almost a four percent increase from the previous year. Sherwin-Williams recently acquired Valspar, one of its main competitors, in June of 2017. This has allowed the company to grow in diversity and reach.

2. Economic Forces. The painting industry has seen steadily rising prices for raw materials. This has mainly impacted the prices of protective marine coatings the PPG recently announced that it is raising prices globally for protective and marine coatings products. PPG senior vice president Ram Vadlamannati gave this statement with some of the specific ingredients, “While we have experienced broad inflation across a number of raw material categories, epoxy resins, zinc powders, titanium dioxide, and solvents have incurred the most significant increases. PPG remains committed to providing innovative product solutions for our customers, and we will continue to manage other costs wherever possible.” Sherwin-Williams was also affected by this increase. According to their company report press release, segment profit decreased to 226 million from 301 million with increasing raw material costs being a large contributing factor.

3. Political Forces. Political factors play a significant role in determining the future for Sherwin-Williams. Falling in the Specialty Chemicals category, Sherwin-Williams is restricted from expanding to certain places across the globe as there are many political environment and political systems risks. When it comes to within the United States, the protectionist policies that have recently been established by Trump probably won't affect Sherwin-Williams as much as its foreign competitors as it is an American company.

4. Legal and Regulatory Forces. All of Sherwin-Williams outlet stores and facilities are regulated by and follow OSHA and EPA guidelines. The Company does produce hazardous waste so it needs to be sure that they are dealing with it responsibly. Failure to comply with the Resource Conservation and Recovery act (RCRA) which deals with hazardous waste could result in a hefty fine. Sherwin-Williams has dealt with cases like this in the past, so making sure their employees are being trained properly is a must.

5. Technological Forces. Technological advances are happening in every industry, and they can have a massive impact on the companies that dominate them. Sherwin-Williams is no exception. Technological advancements and developments by Sherwin-Williams' competitors are a couple of factors that keep Sherwin-Williams on their toes, and keeps the industry evolving. Sherwin-Williams is always trying to improve their product both technologically and environmentally. It is a common goal in the coatings industry to develop products that have low to no volatile organic compound formulas, while still being long-lasting, durable, and easy to maintain. Sherwin-Williams makes sure their current products all comply with today's standards by having third-parties evaluate their products. An example would be the Master Painters Institute. This organization requires that Sherwin-Williams demonstrate that their products do not exceed the maximum VOC concentration.

6. Sociocultural Forces. Being a company based in the United States, Sherwin-Williams has the upper hand over the foreign competition. The company also tries to be as green as a paint company can be. This is something that really matters to today's society, and it is almost a requirement in today's society.

B. Target Markets


Sherwin-Williams has many different targets as they deal with industrial and retail customers. Contractors are one of their primary targets overall. Whether big or small, Sherwin-Williams tries their best to hook this market in with special contractor pricing.

Their secondary market would be home-owners and other DIYers. They cater to this market in their retail locations with easy-to-use products and competitive pricing. They also have a “preferred customers” program where the system will remember past purchases. Upon signing up for the program, customers immediately receive a ten-dollar coupon. They also receive other in-store benefits including ten percent off all paints, stains, and supplies, and invites to exclusive sales.

C. Current Marketing Objective and Performance

Sherwin-Williams gets its name out there by running T.V. spots, internet ads, and getting involved with and sponsoring events. As they are already an international company, people knowing about them isn't really a problem. Once a company reaches this point in their life, I think it is when they become more concerned with public relations by means of sponsoring events. There is an example of such an event in Cleveland on April 19, 2018. It called “Next Generation of Women” the event seeks to help women both professionally and personally and guide them into leading professionals in Cleveland. The event is sponsored completely by Sherwin-Williams.

Sherwin Williams is a 152-year-old company that has been on an upward trend from its founding. A little more recently, the company has been making record sales and record earnings for the past seven years. After just acquiring one of their competitors, this trend is expected to continue. This move has allowed Sherwin-Williams to expand its product line to Lowes. Some of Sherwin-Williams main competitors is PPG and Behr which are both sold in Home Depot stores. These brands are both competitively priced, as well as conveniently located. In my opinion, they have the advantage over Sherwin-Williams in terms of placement as newer painters might be less intimidated to go into a familiar retailer store for their paints rather than a dedicated paint store. On that note, having placement in Lowes does give them a boost when it comes to this angle.



SWOT Analysis

A. Strengths

1. Sherwin-Williams has a very well-trained and skilled workforce due investing in their employees' training. This results in a motivated and highly-skilled workforce.

2. Sherwin-Williams has a very strong distribution network that has gotten bigger in the past year with Lowes joining the network.

3. Sherwin-Williams has a very strong dealer community. Inside the company, distributers and dealers work together with the sales team to make sure the customer knows how to get the most out of the right products for their needs.

4. Sherwin-Williams has great deals and rewards programs for both contractors and retail customers that keep customers coming back.

5. Heavy involvement in the community has brought Sherwin-Williams a lot of free publicity.

B. Weaknesses

1. Sherwin-Williams has a heavy dependence on the health of the economy. If the economy is in the dumps, the company will suffer.


C. Opportunities




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