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How One Company Transformed Its Boring Products

Posted by Carol Tice | December 5, 2011
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/blog/222376

Ultimate Man CavesWhat color do men paint the Den? CIL Paints is betting it's not Butterscotch.

Recently, the Toronto-based company's managers looked at the marketplace and saw an opportunity: Paint-color names are all pretty ladylike.

If your industry is full of sameness and you're having trouble figuring out how to differentiate your products, here's an idea for how to inject something fresh.

Sometimes, all a product needs is a new marketing angle. CIL they held a contest on Facebook to rename some of their hues for an Ultimate Man Caves collection aimed at male shoppers.

More than 15,000 responses later, Fairytale Green had become Mo Money, and Butterscotch became Beer Time. Plateau Grey was 5 O'Clock Shadow. Juliet's Potion is now Zombie Apocalypse, Lexington Park is Dirty Socks, and Classic Liberty Red is Rust on my Truck. In all, 27 colors were renamed.

CIL then created a manly dream book of bars, bathrooms, bedrooms and media rooms decked out in the new colors to show how they could style up a man's domain. What do you imagine they can charge for these newly named colors? I'm betting, whatever they like. After all, there's no other paint being marketed this way, to this customer.

This isn't just a clever marketing trick. This is recognizing a market segment that's not on your competitors' radar and getting them engaged and interested in your products. Yes, women make most paint-color choices, but CIL's research showed men often give the final nod. And if a room is primarily a man's domain, why should he paint it Bone White when he could adorn it in Beer Foam?

In appealing to men, CIL didn't just man up its colors. It made them funny. It brought a different attitude to a pretty staid industry. The company is betting that will be a hit with younger male homeowners who're just starting to decorate. This could be a chance for CIL to land them as lifetime customers.

What sets your brand apart? Leave a comment and let us know.