As Sherwin-Williams’ 150th anniversary approached, the company faced challenges on two fronts. The well-known paint company knew it needed to reinforce its unique history and culture among its employees, customers and communities. Simultaneously, the company was getting ready for a leadership transition: The COO was preparing to become the ninth CEO in the company’s history. The goal was to inspire a future built upon the company’s founding DNA.
History Factory worked with Sherwin-Williams’ anniversary task force to develop a global campaign
that defined target audiences, established programming that would build excitement before the kickoff and
throughout the anniversary year, and included frameworks for implementation. History Factory proceeded to craft an anniversary brand identity as well as key storylines and messaging that reflected the character of Sherwin-Williams. To ensure consistency across geographies, History Factory developed a bank of historical content that served as the foundation for all anniversary tactics. In tandem with the development of this campaign, History Factory archivists cataloged and digitized more than 600 linear feet of archival materials.
The anniversary celebration kicked off in Orlando, Florida, with Sherwin-Williams’ annual Sales Meeting in January 2016. More than 12,000 employees attended, the largest gathering of employees in the company’s history. Similar events followed in South America, Europe, Asia and Cleveland. Following these events, employees were invited to visit a website devoted to Celebration 150, rich with stories, imagery, trivia and quizzes. The website had nearly 15,000 unique users and more than 200,000 page views. Employees charged with promoting the anniversary made ample use of the anniversary toolkit, with templates, stories and archival assets for use during the anniversary year.