Elaborative SWOT Analysis Of Sherwin-Williams – Innovative Paint & Coating Solutions

Updated on: Jan 2, 2022
SWOT Analysis of Sherwin-Williams - Featured Image

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Last time, we evaluated the SWOT Analysis of Kansai Nerolac Paints. This time, we will examine the SWOT Analysis of Sherwin-Williams.

Sherwin-William is an Ohio based company in the paint and manufacturing industry. The company engages in the distribution of paint, coating and other related products to professional, private, industrial and retail customers. At the end of 2020, Sherwin-Williams had operations in over 120 countries. 

To engage in such massive reach the company not only needs good products but also a very good marketing team. With online being the new normal, the marketing world is changing, want insights for the same? Check out our free masterclass for digital marketing 101 by the founder and CEO of IIDE, Karan Shah.

The objective is to help you gain insights into how Sherwin-Willaims manages to work globally with the help of SWOT analysis of Sherwin-Williams. Let us learn more about the company, its product, its market position and competitors. 

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About Sherwin-Williams 

SWOT Analysis of Sherwin-Williams - The 2 Founders of Sherwin-Williams
(The 2 Founders of Sherwin-Williams, Source: The ABH Centre)

Sherwin-Williams dates from 1866 when Henry Sherwin invested in Truman Dunham and the company, a paint distributorship. In 1870, the partnership dissolved and he formed Sherwin-Williams with Edward Williams.

It was incorporated in Ohio on July 16, 1884. In the early 1920s, Sherwin-Williams became the largest coatings manufacturer in the US. Recently, Sherwin-Williams is planning to move their headquarters from Cleveland Ohio to the new headquarters which is located in Downtown Cleveland, and it is expected to open in 2023.


Quick Stats on Sherwin-Williams
Founder Henry Sherwin & Edward Williams
Year Founded 1866
Origin Cleveland, Ohio, US
No. of Employees 61,031+
Company Type Public
Market Cap $ 92.335 Billion (2021)
Annual Revenue $ 18.36 Billion (2020)
Net Income/ Profit $ 2.03 Billion (2020)


SWOT Analysis of Sherwin-Williams - Sherwin-Williams Products

Products of Sherwin-Williams

It has been in the paint manufacturing industry for more than a century and they deal in:

  • Paint and coatings
  • Wood stains, sealers
  • Aerosols
  • Floor coatings
  • Deck chain and supplies¬†
  • Tape and masking etc.

Competitors of Sherwin-Williams

Sherwin-Williams competes on a global level and has enormous competitors and a few of them are:

  • BEHR
  • Benjamin Moore
  • Kelly-Moore paints
  • PPG
  • Akzo Nobel
  • Nippon Paint Holdings

We have now analysed the company’s core business, let’s study the SWOT analysis of Sherwin-Williams. 

SWOT Analysis of Sherwin-Williams

SWOT Analysis of Sherwin-Williams can show how a well-established company uses its opportunities to ensure its growth. It can show how the company takes advantage of its strengths to use the opportunities while working on its weaknesses. SWOT Analysis of Sherwin-Williams will also reveal its expansion plans.

To better understand the SWOT analysis of Sherwin-Williams, refer to the infographic below:

SWOT Analysis of Sherwin-Williams - SWOT Infographics of Sherwin-Williams

Now first let’s begin with the strengths of the company from the SWOT analysis of Sherwin-Williams.

Strengths of Sherwin-Williams

Being one of the leading manufacturers in the market it has ample strengths which make it thrive in the market. It can help in capturing new markets and customers.

  • Global Reach: The company has a global reach in more than 120 countries from which Europe, Asia, North America and South America are some of the leading clients of Sherwin-Williams.
  • Variety of Products: The company provides a wide range of products and these are uniquely eco-friendly. The unique selling proposition of the company is its technologically innovative products. The products include industrial coating, automotive coating, protective coating, marine coating, decorative coating and many more.
  • Highly Skilled Workforce:¬† Sherwin-Williams immensely invests in the training and development of its workforce of 60,000 employees which operates in more than 4,758 stores of Sherwin-Williams. Not only does it have a skilled workforce but a highly motivated and energetic workforce as well.
  • Vast Corporate Structure: Sherwin-Williams incorporates 3 segments, The Americas Group, Consumer Brands Group, and Performance Coatings Group which helps Sherwin-Williams in dividing its workforce and to cover each market segment more broadly.
  • Strong Dealer Relationships: It has developed strong relationships with the dealers and the distributors that the dealers not only promote the company‚Äôs products but also invest in the training of the sales team.
  • Sustainability Initiatives: Sherwin-Williams has taken various initiatives to go green and reduce carbon emissions, energy use and waste while expanding their sourcing of renewable energy and recycling methods.

Weaknesses of Sherwin-Williams

Weaknesses are those parts of SWOT analysis which the company has to look up to make their strengths by working on them. 

  • High Reliance on One Segment: Sherwin-Williams‚Äô highest sales are driven by one segment, which is the American group. As a result, it is not supporting long-term high growth rates from its other segments.
  • Trend Issues: It‚Äôs one of the weaknesses because every day there are some new trends which keep on coming and with changing time, people‚Äôs preference also changes this can prove problematic for the firm and can cause production and inventory problems.
  • Small Purchasing Power: Due to a duopoly in the industry, they lack pricing power. To remain competitive, they need to keep their costs in line with the paint costs.
  • The Business Model: Sherwin-Williams business model can be replicated easily by its competitors. Hence the company will have to build a more advanced platform model where they can integrate vendors, suppliers, and end-users.
  • Expansion in Developing Nations: Sherwin-Williams should think to expand its footprints in developing nations such as India and Russia where the market for decorative and paints is growing exponentially.

Opportunities for Sherwin-Williams

The opportunities in a business are external factors that can be tapped for profit and benefits.

  • Independent Expansion: Although Berger Paints has acquired the decorative paint unit from Sherwin-Williams Paint‚Äôs Indian unit, it should still think towards expanding its business independently in India because independent expansion will lead to more revenue streams.¬†
  • Eco-friendly: Sherwin-Williams has taken the initiative to go green and launch more eco-friendly paints and make them healthier.
  • Going Online: Lately, Sherwin-Williams has listed itself online which helped to reach new customers all over the world. With this, they can understand their customers better and have a great upward flow in the sales as well.¬†
  • Technology Advancement: As Schwerin-Williams have taken eco-friendly measures it can drive home the new technology and create a good market position.

Threats to Sherwin-Williams

This analysis helps in understanding what are the areas which may impact the business in the future or directly. So business has got to brace itself to handle the threats within the market landscape.

  • Stringent Government Rules: Strict government rules and regulations turn out to be barriers in respect of product quality and manufacturing facilities.¬†
  • Scarcity of Raw Materials: It sometimes faces the problem of scarcity of raw materials which can hinder the sales and production of the company.¬†
  • Controversies & Disputes: Sherwin-Williams has been caught in several controversies and disputes such as California lead paint lawsuit, water-based paint lawsuit, advertising dispute and many more. If such controversies continue it will dilute the brand name.
  • Tough Competition: Even though Sherwin-Williams is superior in the paint manufacturing segment, it faces stiff competition from the local and international markets.
  • Low-quality products: Imitation or counterfeit low-quality products manufactured under the brand name of Sherwin-Williams by local manufacturers can be one of the biggest threats to the company because it will ultimately impact the brand name of Sherwin-Williams.

This ends our elaborative SWOT analysis of Sherwin-Williams. Let us conclude our learning below.

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To Conclude

Sherwin-Willaims is a well-known manufacturer and is recognized globally. In the SWOT analysis of Sherwin-Williams, we found out that the company enjoys a strong branding position with the trust of its customers. 

It has reached a great position by expanding itself in 120 countries but faces the problem of an increasing number of manufactures by its competitors. With the increasing competition, they need to be on the tongues of every person searching for paint and coating, for that a strong marketing team and strategy is required.

In today’s developing world digital marketing is of great importance, to gain more insights into the same you can check out the IIDE 3 Month Advanced Digital Marketing Course which includes all requisites and areas of digital marketing.

We hope this blog on the SWOT analysis of Sherwin-Williams has given you a good insight into the company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

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Aditya Shastri

Lead Trainer & Head of Learning & Development at IIDE

Leads the Learning & Development segment at IIDE. He is a Content Marketing Expert and has trained 6000+ students and working professionals on various topics of Digital Marketing. He has been a guest speaker at prominent colleges in India including IIMs......[Read full bio]


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