Paint manufacturers and raw material suppliers have an opportunity to benefit from cooperative consumer market research through ACA. The association has operated the Paint Consumer Research Program, or PCRP, for over 30 years. This long history of operation allows subscribers to view not only “snapshots” of the market, but also longer term trends. PCRP provides subscribers high quality, extremely detailed market research information at a very favorable price, since the cost of gathering the data is shared cooperatively among all the subscribers to the program.
PCRP facilitates programs in both the United States and Canada. In both markets, PCRP uses a large pre-recruited consumer panel to gather key quarterly information on the “do-it-yourself” market for architectural coatings (paints, stains, clear finishes, varnishes, etc.). PCRP uses an internet-based methodology operated by a leading consumer research firm, MetrixLab. Samples are drawn quarterly from a large, validated sample balanced to Census. Invited participants are screened for paint, stain, etc. purchases during the past 90 days upon logging into the survey. The goal of the program is to obtain detailed information from approximately 6,500 U.S. households per quarter (26,000 annually), along with 1,500 Canadian households per quarter (6,000 annually) that purchased paint, stains, varnishes, and other products in the previous quarter.
Once a respondent reports a paint purchase, MarketTools queries him or her on key information, such as the brand purchased, the price paid, the sales outlet where the product was purchased, and whether he purchased it “on sale” or at the “regular” price. Depending on the survey methodology, respondents are also asked questions such as:
- Whether the product was custom tinted at the point of sale, or was “factory-tinted”
- The gloss level of the product
- The name of the store where the product was purchased
- The size of the container
- Whether the paint, stain, or other coating product is to be applied by the purchaser or by someone else
- Where the paint, stain, or other coating product was applied (i.e., living room)
- What other paint related sundries were purchased with the product
Once MarketTools collects, reviews, and compiles this data through the survey, it then makes it available to PCRP members through a secure website. The site contains an Internet based software tool customized for PCRP that allows members to extract the data and formulate it into reports, for example, charting basic market information, such as the average retail price or brand share, or viewing it based on a particular state or metropolitan area or with a particular demographic emphasis.