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Dutch Boy mobilizes color-selection process via QR codes

Dutch Boy is leading the charge of paint brands opting to leverage mobile to attract consumers by placing QR codes on the back of its paint chips, which users may scan to view different room scenes.

An increasing amount of color marketers are finding the right mobile ingredients to help users select the best shades for their rooms or homes. Dutch Boy is rolling out a streamlined shopping experience in Menards home improvement stores this month, allowing individuals to digital view favorite shades via the scannable QR codes, as well as a mobile-friendly Color Visualizer tool.

?Many of our competitors incorporate big color visualizer monitors into their in-store experience,? said Michelle Bangs, brand manager at Dutch Boy, Cleveland, OH. ?We have research that shows that paint consumers simply do not interact much with these monitors in-store and most prefer to take their time and do their color selection in the comfort of their own home.

?With mobile technology, our new experience gives the consumer the flexibility to view color when and where they want to?on their own terms. With the incorporation of QR code technology on the backs of select chips, the consumer just flips the chip and scans the QR code to be taken to our Room Viewer, where he or she can see how that particular color works on the walls of a variety of sample rooms.?

Innovating in-store
The revitalized mobile outlook is designed to create a more innovative shopping experience and inspire shoppers with colors they may not have previously considered. Dutch Boy opted to introduce the revamp at Menards stores this month, before consumers gear up for the busy holiday season.

The paint brand developed the experience to appeal to customers ranging from the design expert to the color novice, providing guided inspiration tools as well as extensive color palettes to offer a plethora of options.

Consumers considering a specific color may scan the back of the paint chip with their smartphones to digitally view the shade superimposed over a variety of room scenes. This feature is ideal for the indecisive customer who wants to be sure of his or her final choice before making a purchase.

The QR code technology is also meant to drive users to Dutch Boy?s redesigned site, which boasts more user-friendly navigation techniques and a slew of inspirational and educational how-to videos.

The mobile-friendly Color Visualizer allows consumers to choose a room scene and color to view how a desired shade may look on the walls of a kitchen, dining room or bedroom. If users prefer to upload a personal photo of their own rooms, they may do so.

Dutch Boy is not the only paint brand to leverage a mobile visualization tool to aid customers in the color selection process.

Several weeks ago, Sherwin-Williams updated its ColorSnap Visualizer application to enable users to scan individual color chips with their smartphones to virtually paint room scenes, underscoring mobile?s effectiveness at complementing in-store browsing (see story).

?Dutch Boy is all about inspiring the consumer to explore their creative spirit, experiment with color and take risks,? Ms. Bangs said. ?These inspirational and how-to videos, in combination with our brand new in-store color experience at Menards, were developed with that end goal in mind. 

?It is our belief that never before in the industry has a paint company fully integrated their in-store to online experience in the way we have,? she said. ?Now when consumers shopping for color pick up one of our color cards, they?ll be able to scan a QR code that opens a whole new world online where they can see how the colors in the brochure can be brought to life, experiment with the palette within our Color Visualizer and view creative projects they can complete in their own home over the course of a weekend.

?We expect to see a positive response to this online experience.?

Tying in display
Dutch Boy is using mobile to complement store displays in Menards locations via its Crayola Color Palette feature. This display contains 46 bedroom color and décor suggestions for infants to tweens.

Consumers interested in using the feature may select one of six themed color cards to scan with their smartphones, enabling them to access the online experience containing playful videos bringing the decoration ideas to life.

Shoppers may also scan the QR codes on the back of accompanying paint chips to visualize their chosen shade on a nursery as well as a ?big kid? room.

?The Dutch Boy brand has always been at the forefront of innovation, developing Simple Solutions that give consumers the confidence they need to make their homes their own,? Ms. Bangs said. ?We believe painting should be a fun, engaging experience and that it?s one of the best methods of self-expression.

?With mobile technology, we?re able to meet consumers where they are?on a device we know they are using on a daily basis?with engaging, shareable content that empowers them to create.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely, editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York