Colourtrend highlights Irishness as it seeks to boost exports

Paint manufacturer invests €3m in rebrand campaign featuring actress Fiona Shaw

Colourtrend, a Co Kildare-based paint manufacturer which owns six independent stores in Ireland, is forecasting record revenues this year as it seeks to grow market share overseas.

The family-run company, which has invested €3 million in a new rebrand project to highlight its Irishness, produces a range of paints for home and commercial use. Among its products are paints that can be used in hospital settings to aid protection against infections such as MRSA.

While Ireland remains its core market, Colourtrend is looking to step up exports in markets including the UK, which currently accounts for about 10 per cent of sales.

“We’ve really been developing our identity in recent years and have switched from being simply a manufacturer of paints to a brand-led company. The designer-brand market in the UK is developing at about 12 per cent per annum and there’s room for a quality brand such as ours,” said managing director Kevin O’Connor.


“We are also looking at expanding into the US because we have some good connections there. The concept of an Irish collection on sale in the US is one that we think would go down very well with the Diaspora,” he added.

Colourtrend has this week embarked on a major new advertising campaign featuring actress Fiona Shaw that is based around the tagline "infinite colour from Ireland."

“Our new campaign is primarily geared for Ireland but it promotes our Irishness and so is very saleable in the UK and elsewhere,” said Mr O’Connor.

Colourtrend sells its paint through 140 independent stockists and does not allow its products to be sold in mass market DIY chains, The firm was established by chemical engineer Ronan O’Connor in 1953, when he began manufacturing paint in an old famine workhouse. Colourtrend which has its own R&D facilities in Celbridge, currently employs 80 people.

Accounts for Colourtrend for the 12 months to the end of October 2014, show turnover jumped from €154,654 to €1.48 million.

“The company is 63 years old and had steadily grown over the years until 2007 when business fell off a cliff with the whole paint market dropping between 30 and 40 per cent at that point. Since 2011 we have seen rapid growth though again and 2015 was a record year and we expect 2016 to be even better,” said Mr O’Connor.

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor

Charlie Taylor is a former Irish Times business journalist