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Know your painter: the majority of painters care about sustainability

Ask painters whether they are eager to innovate their way of working, and the majority will say no. Most painters like the way they work just fine, making them rather conservative. They are opposed by a small minority who are very eager to innovate. Those innovators will most probably be open to novelties like sustainability and sustainable products, and the conservatives not so much, right? The danger of such a dualistic basis of segmentation of painters is overgeneralisation of one or both sides, creating a blind spot resulting in missed opportunities and turnover. To prevent this, we have to realise there are more than just two types of painters, as has become apparent in USP Marketing Consultancy’s 2021 Painter Insight Monitor which focused on segmentation. We interviewed 2250 painters from ten European countries on topics like innovation, efficiency, digital behaviour and sustainability, as well as on their demographics and firmographics, resulting in a more realistic segmentation of the European painters.

Four painter types

The result is four segments: Innovative painters, conscious painters, hassle-free painters and conservative painters. Roughly, these range from the most innovative to the more conservative. However, since there are more characteristics involved, two groups who have their own distinct identities emerged in between the innovator and conservative extremes. Below image shows four of those characteristics. 

Know your painter: the majority of painters care about sustainability

Painter Insight Monitor 2021 - USP Marketing Consultancy

On the one side, the innovative painter constantly working on a better future for himself, his business, his clients and the world entire. He loves innovative solutions and novelties that help him increase efficiency, optimise his business, inform and manage his clients, or cut time wasted on administrative tasks.

On the other side we find the conservative painter who basically likes to do business as he has always done it, with a team of regular employees, for  a strong network of regular clients. He shows no interest in innovations, except for a minor interest in solutions for more efficiency or easier administration.

Then there is the hassle-free painter who is happy with the way he works, including the balance of painting and administrative tasks, and does not want to be hassled with novelties to change that. He is even less interested to change and innovate his way of working than the conservative painter.

Lastly, we have the conscious painter, who just wants to paint, really, and does not like other tasks. That means he is open to ways to improve efficiency, especially when it reduces time wasted on administrative tasks, but at the same time, the conscious painter does not really want to innovate the way he works. 

What about sustainability?

That the innovative painter is into sustainable solutions to improve the impact paints and products have on himself and the environment, and that the conservative painter is not fussed about such things should come as no surprise. But what about the other two types, the conscious painter and the hassle-free painter, who are as uninterested innovating their way of working as the conservative painter?

It turns out they do care about sustainability, especially the conscious painter. In fact it is what makes the conscious painter conscious. He likes paints with fewer solvents and preservatives, and not just because of the risk of becoming an unconscious painter. Aside from an above-average emphasis on his own personal health, the conscious painter actually cares about the health of the environment as well. And even the hassle-free painter, who is in some ways more conservative than the conservative painter, cares about the impact paints and paint products have on the environment and personal health.

Who cares?

The above shows that three out of the four painter types are not really bothered with innovating the way they work. At the same time, it appears that three out of four types care about sustainability either a bit or a lot. Caring about sustainability means they are more willing to pay a bit more for sustainable products. Given that those caring types of painters make up about three quarters of the European population, there is a lot of potential turnover there if you are offering them sustainable paints and products.  

Painter types: shares in European market


This is a European average, however, and differences of shares between countries are vast. To find out more details about the characteristics of these painter segments and which painter types are dominant in 10 European countries, we refer you to USP Marketing Consultancy’s 2021 Painter Insight Monitor.