AI insights from Behr help consumers pick their paint palette

By | 3 minute read | August 6, 2019

Behr Paint Company offers more than 3,000 colors in our paint collection. We find that consumers often get confused when it comes to picking the right color for their project. They’re overwhelmed with choice, causing a kind of analysis paralysis. Often, people don’t take on or complete a painting project because of their struggle to choose a color.

Consumers today want customized service and specific answers uniquely geared to their needs. That’s one reason why, over the past 10 years, we’ve seen the do-it-yourself (DIY) consumer paint segment decline, while the professional paint, or “do-it-for-me” segment has been growing.

A personalized tool helps customers discover the right color

As a leader in the DIY market, we at Behr wanted to find new and innovative ways to reach people with personalized recommendations based on their needs and what they want to accomplish.

We had developed our Color Discovery tool, which was very effective in helping people choose a paint color, once they were on our website. We knew we wanted to build on the tool, which used a series of questions and a chatbot format to narrow down a customer’s choice to a set of three colors specifically selected for what they wanted to accomplish. However, we didn’t have scale to reach our target audience.

Behr reaches more consumers with Conversations on the Weather Channel App

We saw an opportunity to get the scale we needed when we teamed up with IBM Watson Advertising Conversations and The Weather Channel. We took our tool, replicated it and actually innovated on top of it using AI and the IBM Watson platform. Now, it’s more robust and even more personalized, and the exposure we get on The Weather Channel app lets us reach a broader range of consumers in our target audience.

One really exciting feature of using Conversations in The Weather Channel app is that all interaction with our tool happens right in the app. Previously, we’d place a banner or display ad that would drive people back to our website. We realized that people don’t like to leave the content they’re on, especially on mobile devices. Now, with the Weather Channel app, they don’t have to. And it is outperforming our other ad placements.

Conversations delivers greater insights, drives store traffic

We’re not just able to get a much broader reach, we’re also getting a lot more insight from the tool. The IBM Watson team went through the data and looked for patterns in consumer interaction with the app. Because we had added more questions than we previously had on our website, we got more information back from and about the consumer. We can use those insights in improving the app and to understand what consumers are looking for in paint colors and choices.

Once someone has used our tool, they generally go into a Home Depot store to get either a paint chip or a sample. For the first time, we can measure whether using the tool actually leads people to a store visit. And, in fact, we’ve seen an 8.5 percent incremental lift driving footsteps into the store.

The story doesn’t end with the customer purchasing their paint. Once they’ve used our product, they provide us with online product reviews. They also love to share their finished work, on our site and on social media, so there’s a big sense of accomplishment when it’s done. The feedback loop is actually quite large because once our customers show off their amazing transformations, they influence other consumers who then want to take on similar projects.

Watch Tanuja Singeetham, Vice President of Digital Marketing, discuss how IBM Watson Advertising Conversations and The Weather Company are boosting business for Behr Paint Company:

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