The study, now in its fifth year, measures customer satisfaction among those who have purchased and applied interior paint during the past year and examines six key factors of the painting experience: application, product offerings, durability, price, design guides and warranty/guarantee.
Overall satisfaction with interior paint brands has increased considerably to an average of 770 on a 1,000 point scale in 2011 from 754 in 2010. Satisfaction has increased in five of the six factors included in the study—all except design guides. The most notable improvements have occurred in the warranty, product offerings, application and durability factors.
Benjamin Moore ranks highest in customer satisfaction with interior paint with a score of 791 and performs particularly well in three of the six factors: application, product offerings and design guides. Following Benjamin Moore in the rankings are Porter (789) and Sherwin-Williams (778).
“The highest-performing brands in the study also benefit from the highest levels of customer loyalty,” said Christina Cooley, senior manager of the real estate and construction industries practice at J.D. Power and Associates. “Among customers of some of these brands, the proportion who say they definitely will purchase the brand of paint again averages as high as 50 percent, which is considerably greater than the industry average of 36 percent.”
The study finds that a majority of customers—54 percent—rely primarily on their past experience with paint brands when shopping for interior paint. More than one-fourth (26 percent) say they rely on recommendations from store salespersons, family and friends or a contractor or designer professional. An additional 10 percent of customers consider paint brands primarily based on the in-store product displays.
“It’s particularly important for consumers to do their research prior to purchasing paint at a retailer; with brands constantly introducing new product lines, customers may limit themselves if they don’t consider the new offerings available,” said Cooley. “Do-it-yourselfers are much more likely to be delighted with their painting experience if they first explore the brands available and narrow down their choices to the ones that will best meet the specific needs and specifications of their project.”
The study also finds that paint customers choose a paint brand primarily based on past experience, quality and color and texture.
“Many manufacturers have mobile apps and websites that can help with product selection, and an increasing number are offering inexpensive paint samples that allow customers to test the paint on the actual surface and in actual lighting conditions,” said Cooley. “Paint shoppers should visit the retailers that carry those specific brands that will best meet their needs. This may mean visiting a couple of different retailers, since many only carry a limited brand selection. In addition, shoppers will want to purchase from a retailer that provides helpful advice.”
The study findings also include the following key trends:
• A majority of customers in 2011 indicate they applied the paint themselves (82 percent). However, more customers in 2011 say they hired a painter or handyman to apply the paint for them (16 percent), compared with 2010 (11 percent).
• More than one-half of paint customers (53 percent) say they do not apply primer to their walls prior to applying the first coat of paint. However, the percentage of customers who purchase paint that includes primer has increased from 12 percent in 2010 to 17 percent in 2011.
• Forty-eight percent of customers say they painted a bedroom; 37 percent say they painted a living room and 33 percent painted a bathroom.
The 2011 U.S. Interior Paint Satisfaction Study is based on responses from more than 8,900 customers who purchased and applied interior paint within the previous 12 months. The study was fielded between March and April 2011.