CEO of Kassaa Paints Group, speaks to about Respisafe, the latest innovation by paint company Colortek, which has extended its line of safe and sustainable paints with a product that not only minimises the impact of paints on indoor air quality but effect
When it comes to paint, people generally only think about colour, so how are you introducing the concept of safety based on the home’s air quality?
As a paints manufacturer, we are very aware how much our unregulated industry allows for the use of dangerous chemicals in the manufacturing process, a fact that many take advantage of to the detriment of the consumer’s health without mentioning the environment!
The challenge for us was how to convey this message to our customers and explain these dangers when they cannot smell or see them. The answer is constant and continuous education at the consumer level.
As paints brand, we have earned the trust of our customers as the expert when it comes to helping them choose the perfect colour that complements their lifestyle. Leveraging that trust is key to having them pay attention to the importance of choosing the right and safest paint along with their colour. Although it is a challenge, we believe that the effort is worth it because consumers are very much aware of the dangers that pollution represents and because we are facing a health and environmental crisis, explaining to them that this pollution is not only outside our homes but also within becomes a little bit more attainable.
The advantage of Respisafe is that it answers both the aesthetics and safety concerns in one package because, in addition to its air purifying properties, it also includes specific performance features such as anti-burnish and anti-bacterial properties that ensure
July/august 2016 the durability of the paint and colour over time. And remember, these claims are certified by American and German institutes so that our customers can be as confident about the safety and performance of our paints as they are about our colours.
Do you feel there is a need today to have a specialised agency to handle your marketing?
When it comes to telling the story of Colortek, we believe there is a need for both a dedicated and passionate internal team that understands the spirit and history of the brand as well as for an external agency that will help focus and frame the communication in a coherent and consistent manner. These two components are essential for an effective communication strategy provided they work in tandem and absolute symbiosis. Therefore, the importance of an agency, which understands and lives the brand while keeping the brand's objective perspective, is what makes it so valuable.
Does the introduction of such a revolutionary product that targets a niche audience call for a different approach in terms of communication?
This first thing I want to address is the idea that Respisafe is niche. On the contrary! We have worked extremely hard to provide all of Respisafe’s benefits at market price! After all, what is the point of doing good and acting responsibly if it is only to the benefit of a few. This has been the philosophy behind Respisafe but also at the core of our offering from the moment we started our company over 55 years ago: Colortek is a brand that provides affordable innovation and added-value.
The challenge is not because the product is niche but in educating consumers about the importance of indoor air quality and how much it impacts their health and the health of our children. In a country like Lebanon, that effort becomes much more difficult because of its plurality. The richness of our culture makes it much more challenging to reach all of our audience and that is why we spread our efforts across several channels such as social media, PR, advertising; but also lobbying with major architectural and engineering firms because for maximum impact, we need to work both at the consumer level as well as at the governmental and regulatory level to drive change across the board. However, we believe that at the end of the day, the general population has the final say. They have to be informed and aware that their combined choice does make a difference and that choice is expressed at its maximum power when they decide where, how and on what they will spend their money.