How Coatings Manufacturers Are Listening to Market Demands

PPG recently completed the $15-million expansion of a powder coatings plant in Brazil, Indiana, USA. Photo courtesy of PPG.

John Salvadore, director of portfolio management at paints and coatings manufacturer PPG, made these comments on the CoatingsPro Interview Series. To hear the complete podcast interview, listen below, and find other episodes at

For 22 years now, I’ve enjoyed my time in the paints industry. When I joined PPG, I brought a lot of category management expertise, and I’ve since worked through a lot of roles within the company. 

In that capacity, I have talked to just about every customer there can be. I’ve called on our big boxes, I’ve talked to professionals, and I’ve worked in both the DIY (do-it-yourself) and professional sides of our architectural paints business. 

So, that has led to a natural progression into my new role as director of portfolio management.

Consistency Over the Years

Over my two decades or so, one thing that hasn’t changed is that we have to supply quality products that meet the needs of our customers and the projects they’re working on. PPG has been in business for about 140 years, and we try to consistently bring our industrial experience together to help provide painters with what they need to improve their businesses. 

These days, with our professional painters, we keep hearing more about sustainability and their needs for sustainable products, and that’s not just through lower VOCs (volatile organic compounds). Although that’s very important, it’s also about having great coverage. 

It’s about having longer-lasting paints and touchups, because what you really want to do is to extend the useful lifespan of the products they’re using. We want to help our contractors by making their jobs much easier in the future than they are today.

Adapting to Recent Trends

Each year, we have a product lifecycle and a product roadmap process that we follow. We take a deep dive into the market trends that are happening, and we build this product roadmap to help us in planning out what our next steps are going to be. 

One development trend in coatings these days is toward multifunctional-type products, such as our Copper Armor product. It’s not only an excellent paint in terms of coverage and colors, which is what a lot of people are looking for. But it also has the ability to kill viruses on painted surfaces using the Corning Guardiant technology. 

Based on what we’re hearing from our customers, we’re soon going to be launching a reformulation of an existing product that is used widely in commercial areas. We’ve dropped it to zero-VOC, and beyond all of our GREENGUARD emissions controls. We have many MPI (Master Painters Institute) classifications that were achieved, as well. 

This is just one example of how current trends are influencing our product development, both now and in the future.

Looking to the Future

Going forward, what we’re looking for is continuous improvement. We have products that will launch in 2023, and we plan all the way through 2026. In each new product, we keep an eye towards sustainability. It’s about finding ways to improve the productivity of our painters, and continuously innovating to bring the best practices that customers are looking for.

We all know what the impact of climate change has been. We’re seeing it every day in the weather that’s happening around the United States. So we know we’ve got to make sure that we’re taking care of our environment, as well as our customers. It’s important for products to be multifunctional, to have a longer useful lifetime, and to release less volatile organic chemicals into the air. 

We also believe adding efficiency through superior service — such as our digital analyte ordering with quicker fulfillment, through the PPG Paints app — is a viable and important service model, which can really help our professionals in the long run. 

Our goal is to combine the best of both worlds by giving customers the products they need in the most efficient way. 

Source: PPG,  

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