SIGMA Paints is looking forward to reaping the benefits of having initiated a far-reaching marketing programme that has embraced all strata of its client base – right from the end-user to the professional painting contractor and consultant.
In tandem with the three-tier marketing channels strategy launched last year, the company has also been enhancing its colour service and easing the decision-making process for its customers.
“The response to our marketing initiative has been positive with consumers happy with our product offering, turnkey solutions, sales service and after-sales service,” says Antoine Lejuez, marketing manager – Middle East, at the Dammam-based paint major.
The programme, which is due for completion next year, is on track and proceeding to plan across Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE, says Lejuez.
As part of this marketing strategy, in May last year, Sigma opened the Sigma Service Centre – described by the firm as “the 100 per cent professional outlet” – dedicated to its professional customers.
The second phase in this strategy involved the opening of Sigma shops last summer. This has entailed a new shop concept for the existing Sigma shops and setting up additional outlets to feature a new interior design and decor, a showroom area for paints, tools and accessories and a Colour Wall – a colour and lifestyle area with a series of colour panels.
The third concept in this plan saw the opening of the Sigma Design Shop in Dammam in January this year. The shop is a one-stop outlet for end-users, offering turnkey solutions for décor needs as well as expert advice from a resident interior designer.
The three-tier marketing channels strategy has helped Sigma achieve growth in all its core activities. “The company and its distributors are enjoying the full benefits of the new distribution plan,” Lejuez comments.
Another key strategy adopted by Sigma this year was enhancing its colour service and choice in the decorative segment. The initiative has seen the launch of a colour and lifestyle service, Colourmate application, and products such as Sigmulto Etoile and Sigmulto Funoun.
“To keep the interest of our target group, Sigma continues to be innovative by launching new products that meet the demand and new technologies to keep things simple for customers. Our aim is to relieve our customers from unnecessary work, so they can focus on what they are doing best – painting,” Lejuez says.
He adds that the market has embraced Sigma’s initiatives very quickly, because “they are simple and clear but very effective”.
He continues: “Our newest decorative products like Funoun and Etoile are a great success. People like something different and want to make their homes look like palaces – and our products provide a way to achieve this, right from sparkling stars (Etoile) to Italian finesse (Funoun).”
Sigmulto Etoile is a water-based, environment-friendly interior product with a silver glitter effect as its name Etoile – which means ‘star’ in French – implies. The product, which is inspired by modern French décor, is virtually odourless and easy to apply.
Sigmulto Funoun is a new decorative finish that draws its inspiration from the “legacy of Italian artists” and offers customers a choice of 42 different colours to suit their needs and taste. Targeted at the residential market, the product is a water-based pearlescent interior finish consisting of a coloured base coat and a special selected pearlescent powder to create the effect desired.
Having recently launched these products and in line with its target to introduce two or three high-end decorative finishes every year, Sigma has a number of new products in the pipeline for the coming year which, according to Lejuez, will be “well appreciated by the market”.
Sigma now intends to actively promote its SigmaTint colour solution – a trademark which recognises shops that meet its strict requirements, to serve customers in the best possible way.
“Targeted at professionals, this service not only makes it easier for them to select the right colours but also reassures them that their decision is backed by experts in the field,” says Lejuez.
The Sigma Tint package of tools and services, launched early this year, comprises the Colour and Lifestyle concept, tinting equipment and colour tools, and intensive training in different skills to ensure customers have the complete colour experience.
Only shops where staff achieve these performance metrics and demonstrate these qualities are rewarded with the ‘Sigma Tint certified shop’ quality mark – assuring customers that they can rely on their experienced staff and that the shop contains the best available tools to inspire and satisfy every customer.
Meanwhile, the new Sigma Colormate allows users to take a picture of any material that inspires them with their iPhone, iPad or Android handset, match the colour through any one of the company’s colour collections, and then contact any of the nearest Sigma Paints dealers that they will find on a map through GPS.
The environment and healthcare sectors have remained Sigma’s top-priority areas and towards this end, the company has been spearheading a drive towards environment-friendly coatings. This campaign has resulted in an increase in awareness and interest in the use of green products, says Lejuez.
“Contractors and painters are now interested in using products with zero VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Likewise, consultants are keen to introduce green buildings and owners and consumers have also shown interest in using sustainable products including clean and healthy paints,” he says.
Sigma Paints has also reached out to the healthcare industry of the region with its range of Sigmacare products that aims to take hygiene and infection control to new levels. This offering includes a range of select environment-friendly paints for individual areas within healthcare facilities combined with a colour solution that can play a big role in the healing process.
Lejuez points out that the healthcare sector is changing from the traditional simple hospitals to healthcare and wellness resorts to not only enhance their financial viability but also boost patient recovery rates. “An environment that promotes healing plays a vital role in speedy recovery of patients, and Sigmacare is all about this. We advise specific colour schemes for certain areas to ensure a comfortable environment for patient and employees,” he adds.
He emphasises that the products themselves are health promoting and minimise inconvenience to patients when repainting. “With our zero VOC products, it is possible to paint a patient’s room, ready to move in the same day, or paint a hallway without moving any patients. Also, risks of infection in operation theatres can be lowered by painting them with anti-bacterial paint containing silver ions. Our customers are now becoming increasingly aware of these advantages – which is contributing to the success of our products,” he says.
Over the past year, Sigma has taken several measures to increase customer awareness, its market presence, and production efficiency, according to Lejuez.
“Sigma has arranged seminars and training about environment products for specific customers such as the Ministry of Education, as well as used the various media sources to promote awareness. It has increased the market awareness about VOCs and their effects on the environment, applicators, and our homes. It has also arranged promotions of environmental products,” he says.
Sigma, he says, has not only introduced zero VOC products to the market but also standard ones with very low VOC content.
“All our products are lead-free and water-based. Similarly, in production, we care about the environment, ensuring there is no dumping of materials and no emission of smoke,” he adds.
Other measures that are aimed at increasing customer awareness include the Sigma design shops and it new website.
“Sigma has made breakthrough technology with zero VOC products and has taken the lead in eco-friendly markets – which has positioned the company as prominent player and trendsetter in the decorative market, both in the retail and projects segments,” Lejuez concludes.