Is that Begonia or Dishy Coral? Sherwin-Williams matches Pinterest colors to paints

So you’re cruising through home decor pins on Pinterest and are struck by a particularly lovely wall color. You’re not sure if it’s Soft Apricot, Windswept Canyon or Delicious Melon. Don’t worry, Sherwin-Williams has your back (or, rather, wall). The paint company has integrated its color identification app ColorSnap with Pinterest, allowing users to match their favorite pins to paint colors.

Clicking on “Match A Photo” in the app, iPad users can open Pinterest to match any color in their favorite pins to Sherwin-Williams paint colors. After getting color matches, users can either share their personalized palettes on Twitter and Facebook or pin them back to Pinterest. While there are no e-commerce components, like “Buy” buttons, in this integration, the color-matching feature provides convenience if pinners want to buy Sherwin-Williams paint down the road. For example, a Pinterest user can bring color numbers back to Sherwin-Williams and say “I need Saffron Thread for this DIY idea.”

"Match A Pin"
“Match A Pin”

This integration — developed with IBM-owned Resource/Ammirati — is the product of paying attention to basic consumer behaviors, said Meghan Vickers, director of e-business marketing for Sherwin-Williams. People use Pinterest boards — be they travel, food, and interior design photography — for color inspiration. “It’s a behavior our users already have. Once the API was made available by Pinterest, it seemed like a natural fit for us,” said Vickers.

Color-matching in ColorSnap
Color-matching in ColorSnap

Pinners can only access this color-matching feature once they have downloaded the ColorSnap app. While brand awareness and app downloads are important to Sherwin-Williams, Vickers thinks that they are by-products of a useful tool or experience.

ColorSnap palette
ColorSnap palette

Color is a critical source for information. People make their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with products, and approximately 62 to 90 percent of their assessment is based on colors alone, according to a study called “Impact of Color on Marketing”from University of Winnipeg. Therefore, the use of colors can influence consumers’ feelings — positively or negatively — about a brand.

Sherwin-Williams is hardly the first brand that offers color-matching experiences. IKEA, for example, debuted a VR app this month where users can play around with the cabinet and drawer colors for three different kitchens, and then view the kitchen from the height of an adult. Sephora, on the other hand, initiated the Color IQ program to help shoppers find the foundation and concealer that’s the best fit for their skins.

Beyond Sherwin-Williams, color-matching on visual platforms like Pinterest presents a marketing opportunity for brands across industry verticals, simply because it’s interactive and immersive, said Joseph Anthony, CEO of agency HERO Group. A furniture company, for example, can showcase their designs with multiple colors, while a nail polish brand like OPI can encourage users to pick up their favorite color.

The ColorSnap Visualizer integration will be available for Android users later this month. For the time being, Sherwin-Williams doesn’t plan to expand this initiative to Instagram. “We consider each platform on its own terms. On Instagram, we are seeing exciting content via our #SWColorLove tag, and have an avid community there eager to share their Sherwin-Williams paint projects,” said Vickers. “We want to be in the right places, but also in the right ways.”

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