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PPG Aligns Brand to Deliver Best-in-Class Customer Experience

February 19, 2020

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PPG Paints has transformed its brand and customer experience approach to better serve its educated and highly connected commercial coatings global customer base.

PPG was founded more than 135 years ago, in 1883. It was known then as the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. Today, it is one of the largest coating, paint, optical products, and specialty material suppliers in the world, with 47,000 total employees and over $15 billion in net revenues in 2018.

Now a Fortune 200 company, PPG has come a long way from its early days and it continues to evolve to better serve its commercial coating customers. Part of this evolution was PPG recognizing that today’s commercial coatings and paint customer is more educated, has more choices and has come to expect more than just great products — they expect a consistently outstanding customer experience.

PPG has grown organically and through acquisitions in recent years, and the company has successfully leveraged its deep and growing expertise and long history to build a new, unified brand that represents “One PPG.”

Mike Cochran, president and co-owner of Cochran & Mann, a leading mid-Atlantic commercial paint and wallcovering company, recently sat down with its long-time partner PPG to discuss the company’s efforts to better align its brand to improve the customer experience.

Cochran spoke at length with Danielle Hunsicker, director of trade marketing and sales effectiveness for PPG’s U.S. and Canadian Architectural Coating division, about PPGs branding and customer experience approach. 

“We’ve brought strength and knowledge from every acquisition that’s come into the architectural coatings portfolio. The PPG brand represents what we stand for, how we partner with our customers and how we reassure them in the marketplace that we can deliver the products and services they need,” stated Hunsicker.

“PPG listens. People are the heart of our organization and we understand that not every customer has the same needs and challenges. Our people truly engage our customers and are true partners,” she added.

The “One PPG” approach has created strong brand alignment that empowers the PPG team to deliver a seamless customer experience. Across industries, consistently delivering a great customer experience has become of paramount importance because of increased consumer education and the ease with which a formerly loyal customer can jump ship to another brand in a single click.

Competition has never been more fierce to attract and retain loyal customers. The commercial paint and coating industry and its customers are no different. 

They expect companies like Cochran & Mann and PPG to deliver on their brand promises day in and day out. Today, it’s not enough to just deliver products on time; to gain new customers and keep existing ones, company’s have to invest in building a 360-degree customer experience strategy across multiple aspects of the business and myriad customer engagement channels.

In a recent blog by Etech, the company captures the new consumer dominated marketplace: “In the past, as a company, you set the times that you were open for business, and customers had to put up with it or stay without that particular product. Technology has totally changed that, with the introduction of e-commerce and mobile phones, customers can access products at any time. They have raised expectations on what is acceptable customer service and what is not. As a business, you have to keep up with the changed Consumer Behavior or be out of business.” (etechgs.com)

PPG is doing just that and then some, according to Hunsicker.

“At PPG we take a multi-engagement approach to our customers and the market at large. We have great expertise and foundational knowledge. We have a very sophisticated learning and development organization that helps provide the right information out into the market. And of course, in today’s world, we leverage our website, YouTube videos and different technology platforms to deliver information out into the market,” stated Hunsicker.

Hunsicker went on to share that PPG invests approximately $500 million in research and development efforts and the company utilizes its R&D arm to create new products like coatings that can reflect heat, improve energy usage, and support revolutionary technologies like self-driving cars. But R&D investments are not simply about new products; PPG also leverages R&D to ensure the company continually improves the experiences a customer has with the brand and its engagements with the PPG team.

“We just recently relaunched the PPG paint brand. This is not just about new packaging; it is about defining who we are as a company, who we are as people and what our products are,” stated Hunsicker. 

“The new brand is about making sure we do everything to support our vision to deliver unmatched customer experiences through our products and services. Our goal is to have you say … that PPG delivers an unmatched customer experience for your organization,” she added.  

Cochran & Mann believes in PPG products and sees tremendous value in the brand values shared between its organization and “One PPG.”

Their focus on continual improvement, unwavering integrity, great products, astute problem solving, and a customer-centric, listening-driven approach to doing business will surely position PPG and Cochran & Mann for future success in the years to come.
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