Valspar Trade

Formulating a successful re-launch

Helping the brand step up and challenge established players

Despite its long brand history in the US, Valspar Trade was a relatively new entrant to the UK market, having been launched here in 2015. In 2020, following work on its Geocel and Purdy brands, Sherwin-Williams approached CIB for support as the lead agency on a major campaign to expand its market share and challenge leading brands in the market. It was a fully integrated campaign, utilising the skills and knowledge of our teams across the agency on strategy, branding and packaging design, creative advertising concepts, events, trade focused PR and media buying.

The project started with CIB taking a prominent role in the realignment of the Valspar Trade range and a redesign of the product packaging to ensure easier selection for customers. We were heavily involved in the naming conventions, choice of colour ways and visual structure of the cans. Our team carried out thorough first-hand research on the market and the sales environment, which informed many of the packaging design choices.

Alongside this we also ensured that Valspar Trade had high quality visual assets to rival its competitors, including photography and 3D visualisations, for use in the campaigns that followed.

With the range reinvigorated, we were next asked to help shape the overall communication strategy with the aim of driving a significant increase in sales. Based on the knowledge that many professional painters and decorators are loyal to the brands they have always used we formulated a strategy that targeted a wider audience. Besides experienced decorators, this also included general builders, handymen and apprentices and those who prefer the simplicity of sourcing materials from TradePoint, where Valspar Trade is exclusively available.

The resulting communication strategy, which encompassed a number of campaigns, was the biggest so far for Valspar Trade in the UK. This included targeted public relations, print, digital, outdoor and radio advertising, organic and paid social media activity, trade shows, events and engagement with key trade influencers and reviewers.

Some of the highlights include:

  • ‘Game Changer’ – a print and digital media advertising campaign to position Valspar Trade as disrupting the status quo – by offering a truly credible alternative to the more established trade brands in the market.
  • ‘Game On’ – a huge outdoor advertising campaign to highlight Valspar Trade’s 2,000 pre-selected colours and ability to match to 2.2 million colours. The campaign focused on 33 locations near TradePoint stores with CIB creative tailored to the colours of the local football team – a total of 30 clubs from Liverpool FC and Manchester United to Kidderminster Harriers.
  • National Colleges Tour – CIB devised the concept of a college roadshow, which sees Valspar Trade team members visit painting and decorating colleges across the country to deliver an educational session on the use of colour – with collateral developed by the CIB team. The sessions also include demonstrations of the colour matching process and an opportunity for students to try Valspar Trade – and sister brands Purdy and Geocel.
  • Fix Radio Tour – in partnership with the trade radio station, Valspar Trade visited TradePoint stores and building sites across the country to promote the brand and give away vouchers for encourage trial.
  • Perfect Match Scheme – CIB developed a registration scheme for the trade to sign up for colour advice, tools and vouchers

“We’ve invested significantly in the development of our Valspar Trade formulations and product range, to offer a credible alternative to the established trade brands. We needed some big thinking to re-launch the brand and CIB delivered, with a far reaching, multi-media campaign that has helped Valspar Trade to truly disrupt the market.”

Tobie Lewis, Head of Marketing - Brand & Digital Communications, Sherwin-Williams


  • Consistent PR coverage across decorating and building press – 1.2 million media impressions.
  • Over 8.5 million impacts and 85,000 social impressions for the ‘Game On’ campaign, which saw a 5.9% uplift in sales for stores located near to the sites, within the promotional period
  • Fix Radio Tour – 18 TradePoint stores and 117 building sites visited with 1,547 vouchers for Valspar Trade paint given away.
  • Colleges Tour - 20 colleges visited, engaging with more than 360 students, More colleges have already signed up for 2023. The roadshow won ‘Best use of Events’ at the Construction Marketing Awards 2022.
  • Perfect Match – 810 qualified registrations so far, allowing valuable communication with customers.

On social media the campaign resulted in:

  • 8,000+ Facebook Followers
  • 1.6 million reach
  • 176,000 video views
  • 8,500 social engagements
  • 17,500 clicks to website

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