At Tint, we set out to put our customers first, so we’ve taken the direct-to-consumer approach to strip out all the mumbo-jumbo from the $3 billion Australian paint market and focused on delivering a clear, simple and enjoyable way to shop for paint.
That’s why we offer just five paint products with easy to understand names – Wall, Trim, Exterior, Ceiling and Prep – with each one paired to the perfect gloss level. We’ve also done the hard work to curate a collection of 72 beautiful paint shades you’ll love, and we’ve enabled our customers to match and create their own colours using our world-first colour-capture tool Pico. Along with being animal cruelty-free, we’ve also formulated our paint to be low in air-polluting VOCs commonly found in paint products and we deliver everything, including our pro-quality yet affordable tools, straight to your door with express delivery.
Recently, we were awarded the Good Design Award Best In Class accolade, an award that commended us on the design of the entire Tint experience.
IRW: Tell me about how you developed the Pico technology and how it helps customers.
DD: We began as a technology company solving colour problems for the world’s largest paint brands with our range of colour measurement devices and apps for visualising colour at home using augmented reality. When it became clear that our technology was the key to unlocking online paint sales and stripping out so much of the baggage around colour selection from the buying process, we decided we needed to lead the way and launch our own paint brand.
It’s so often that people have a really visceral or human reaction to seeing a colour they like in real life. So, the ability to walk up to a hue and use a product like Pico to scan it, record it and get it in your space, is a great way to short circuit a lot of that anxiety and confusion around choosing colours for your home.
In digitising colour, we’ve fundamentally changed the way paint can be sold, and taken it from being a physical retail product to an online product that can be ordered from the comfort of your own home and delivered to your door. Paint is a US$150 billion industry, and only 1 per cent of paint in the world is sold online. Because of this, the entire industry is literally decades behind – and we’re here now doing all we can to drag it kicking and screaming into the 21st century.
IRW: Tell me about how and where the paints are created.
DD: Our paint is 100 per cent Australian made and owned. We manufacture locally and consider the environmental impact of everything we do, from running our colour hub on renewable energy, to offering eco-friendly packaging at checkout.
Whether it’s our curated colour range or a custom-made colour, we tint all of our paint on demand. This means no waste and a ‘brand moment’ for each and every customer who chooses Tint and sees a note on the can or tub referencing who mixed their paint and when.
Other brands like Le Labo and Lush Cosmetics also do this really well – creating moments about freshness and realness that make the whole process from beginning to end meaningful and enjoyable for the customer.
Colour has been commoditised in paint for decades and there’s this huge disconnect between what brands think people are interested in and [the reality]. We’re all about democratising colour – putting it in the hands of the people using colour technology and innovative solutions that ultimately respond to our customer wants and needs.
IRW: What have been some of the greatest highlights and challenges of the past year at Tint?
DD: The biggest challenge for us has been establishing ourselves in a brand-heavy category with large incumbents that have been Australian household names for decades. We’ve had to be creative in the ways we reach our customers and solve their problems. For Valentine’s Day this year, we created a Tinter feature on our mobile app – enabling customers to swipe left or right to find their perfect ‘colour crush’.
Luckily for us, the paint industry hasn’t come very far at all over the years in terms of innovation, so we have had plenty of opportunities to deliver on all of our promises so far.
The highlights have been on the flip side of that – coming full circle and seeing the results of our hard work pay off. We have a tremendous track record of overwhelmingly positive customer reviews; the sentiment across the board being that once people buy from Tint they’ll never buy from a paint shop again. It has also been so rewarding to see how people use our paint in their home – painting their nursery, redoing the living room and so on.
IRW: How would you describe the traditional way that people choose paint and what were some of the challenges were in that process?
DD: The traditional way of painting has a whole lot of pain points along the way. Choosing a colour by looking at thousands of teeny tiny colour swatches on a colour wall can get extremely overwhelming, so we cured decision fatigue by creating a curated colour range of 72 hues that ‘just work’.
Then there’s the issue of having to physically put paint to the wall in order to get a proper visual understanding of how a colour will look in your space. We solved this with our large Sample Stickers and an AR colour visualiser in the Tint app.
Customers will often end up paying more for bright colours than white paint for no good reason at all, not to mention middleman costs. Being fully online, we’re able to offer a premium product with all the inclusions at a very affordable flat rate.
IRW: What are some interesting customer insights that you’ve noticed since the pandemic?
DD: Our unique strength has simply been that we operate online and have been able to continue ‘business as usual’ during this time.
Our customers have been super grateful and we’ve had so many of them come back to us, saying things like ‘thank you so much because I was mid-reno and I would have been stuffed otherwise’.
Being ‘virtually’ open 24/7 is a huge advantage that means we can ultimately service our customers whenever inspiration strikes.
IRW: How has the pandemic impacted Tint and what are some of the ways that you have adapted to the current climate?
DD: Dealing with scale has actually been the biggest thing we’ve needed to adapt to – certainly a good problem to have! From a retail perspective, we’re lucky to have the ability to build all of our fulfilment technology in-house (the benefit of having a group of engineers running a D2C brand). This includes automated connection to delivery partners, and stock management based on historic order volumes.
We built all of that technology before the pandemic hit, and since then we’ve been able to manage the rapid growth quite well.
IRW: Education seems to be important at Tint, like the blog posts and how-to guides. Can you tell me about that side of the business?
DD: Content is so important to us because it’s one of the primary ways we connect with our customers and help get them inspired to paint. Education is absolutely paramount to what we’re trying to achieve – because it takes a lot of work to convince people that painting doesn’t have to be the difficult and laborious experience that it has been for years.
Further than using our content as an education tool, we also use it to drive general brand awareness and brand love. We’ve recently wrapped up Season One of Colourful Language – a series of conversations and collaborative projects by Tint and our friends. This was an incredible content series that saw 10 amazing creatives take on a unique project that incorporated our paint. Each project was then documented and shared across all our digital channels over the course of 10 weeks.
Colourful Language started off as a simple idea to generate some cool content, but evolved into this epic feast of colour, collaborations, conversations and creativity. We loved sharing each episode with our Tint community; and from what we saw, they loved following along.
It’s all about staying connected at the end of the day, and coming back to what I was saying earlier about creating those all-important ‘brand moments’, that set us apart from the rest.