Brand Analysis: Sherwin Williams

Sherwin Williams logo

Let’s face it. At some point, all of us are going to need to paint something, whether its the interior or exterior of a dwelling, a shed that needs a fresh coat, or a new fence. Sherwin Williams is a company who has been a solid presence in the coatings field since 1866, when it was founded. It has strong name recognition, recognition which is probably generally associated with positive connotations: quality, history, durability.

That is why I am left scratching my head every time I see a Sherwin Williams commerical, store, or pass one of their trucks on the road. In addition to their name, they continue to give great prominence on all these assets to their slogan and secondary mark: the words “Cover the Earth” emblazoned on a globe literally being covered in thick, red paint.

In a new era of environtmental awareness, in which global warming, climate change, and hybrid cars have all become household phrases, I am perpelexed, even shocked, that a company as steadfast as Sherwin Williams continues to promote the idea of their paint literally enveloping our blue and green earth. Worse still, its red paint that is devouring our planet, connoting not only pollution or chemical waste, but also blood drowning the world.

I’m not sure of the history of this mark – if its a vintage thing that’s been around for a long time, and therefore has nostalgiac appeal, but I keep hoping someone at this long-standing company would come to their senses and put forth a new mark. I know I wouldn’t feel comfortable buying paint or finish at a store that literally wants to “cover the earth” with its products.


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