Julie Guest Direct Response Copywriter, Marketing Strategist, Best Selling Author

The Pink Paint Story and The Home Depot

by Julie Guest on September 25, 2013

A couple of weekends ago I drove to my local Home Depot store in search of the perfect paint color for my 3 year old’s room (she wants pink!).  Now maybe you’ve never had to shop for pink paint before but let me tell you that the selection of different shades is enough to make your head spin.  There’s everything from a sickly looking Pepto‑Bismol shade all the way to an electric neon shade which surely someone was suffering from a nasty hangover when they gave it the rubber stamp of approval.  In all, there were over 40 different shades of pink to choose from.  But the decision‑making process was just getting started.  Once you pick your shade then you have to decide what quality of paint you want –

primer, non‑primer, brand, non‑brand. The guy behind the counter wasn’t exactly helpful (he was going on break in 5 minutes and was counting down the seconds) and then I happened to spy the marketing materials  – a big fold‑out brochure which I grabbed.

What The Home Depot has done with their marketing is a kind of genius.  In less than 5 seconds their marketing told me which paint was the paint for me – using just 3 simple words:

“Good.” “Better.” “Best.”

Incredulous, I looked over at the rows and rows of paint brushes, rollers, paint trays. They had conveniently labeled everything in just the same way (and helpfully in Spanish).

“Good (bueno).” “Better (muy bueno).” “Best (mejor).”

Aside from the label given, there was no other explanation as to why this paint brush was labeled “best” versus the one to the right of it that was a few bucks cheaper and only listed as “good”.

Could such a simple marketing strategy work?

Are people really that trusting or that naive to spend more on a product just because of the “label” it’s assigned.

The answer is emphatically ‘yes’ backed up by some pretty impressive financial results for the company – last month they outpaced published forecasts nearly across the board,  its per-share earnings climbing more than 22% with U.S. store sales surging 11.4% from this time last year.  Now clearly it takes more than a clever marketing strategy in one area of business to post those kinds of results.

But The Home Depot is far more connected to the needs of its customers than any of its competition.

In a world where people are suffering from time crunch, information overload and huge amounts of stress, the company that can simplify the decision‑making process, wins.

So how can you do this in your business?

It’s simple:

1)     Build trust in everything that you do.

2)     Take away the complexity. While your competitors are thinking they look like the experts by overwhelming customers with pages and pages of unhelpful information, using complex and confusing language – you can be the hero by cutting through the clutter using simple, crisp language by showing customers a clear path in which to take action.

As Leonardo da Vinci said “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” ~

Tell me what you think

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Previous post:

Next post: