The below article was originally posted in Lead Cincinnati.
A third-generation business, Cincinnati Color Company turns 90 this year. Currently, Greg Deifel and his brother, Doug, run the business, which has two locations – Oakley Paint and Glass, 3142 Madison Road and Cincinnati Color, 1027 Dalton Avenue.
“We are 90 and still rolling!” says Greg. After nine decades of service to the Cincinnati area, they are still leading customers to “the right paint at the right price.”
In 1950, the family opened up a paint manufacturing plant, making their own value-driven product line of paint under the label Town and Country.
“It’s our bread and butter in the market,” says Greg, noting that a lot of the national stores have “retailized” their products – marking them at a higher cost and then slashing the price to make it appear as though it’s discounted. “People feel like they’ve gotten a good deal when a lot of times they really haven’t for what they’re buying.”
At Cincinnati Color/Oakley Paint, every day is 40 percent off paints and stains because that’s what you get with a private label – factory-direct product straight to the customer without huge mark-offs. The company, which also represents some of the higher-tiered products like Benjamin Moore, caters to every market.
“If you think of the market as a pie – with pieces divided into industrial, residential, commercial, property/facilities maintenance, furniture refinishing, and do-it-yourselfers – we cover the whole pie-shaped graph,” says Greg. And they do that not with marketing dollars but with foot soldiers, employing four full-time sales representatives and two full-time delivery drivers. Plus, they have an additional van they keep on site that responds to contractor emergencies.
“If you’re in Mason or northern Kentucky, we can immediately bring you what you need,” says Greg.
The staff at Cincinnati Color/Oakley Paint & Glass offers services that are invaluable to businesses. For example, they keep detailed records of coating selections, both for facilities managers and homeowners, so that the information can easily be referenced down the line when it’s time to do touch-ups. In addition, with the technology they have in store, staff can match virtually any color through custom color tinting.
“Between our five guys, we have well over 100 years of experience in the coatings business,” says Greg. “We are constantly trying to go the extra mile to make the process better for everyone.” One way is by launching an e-commerce site so that folks can shop from home, thereby streamlining the process. Online paint purchases that exceed $100 are delivered to residences for free.
Through the years, Greg has definitely witnessed changes in this business.
“Twenty years ago, your local paint store was a destination for contractors who would come in in the morning and chat over coffee and doughnuts,” says Greg. “Now, as the pace of the world has quickened, folks don’t take that time.”
That doesn’t mean, however, that the team at Cincinnati Color and Oakley Paint doesn’t still make time for their customers. In fact, they value them more than ever.
“My dad always told me that businesses don’t go under because of competition. They go under because they are mismanaged,” says Greg. “That always stuck with me. We’re always trying to refine our process so people will rely on us and have loyalty with us. Our products allow us to do that.”
And Greg makes another important point – when you buy from an independent company like Oakley Paint & Glass, a much greater portion stays in your local community. For instance, if you spend $100, $70 of that remains in the community compared to $30 of the $100 spent at a big-box store.
“We think that’s a big deal,” says Greg. “Because when you’re building the local economy, everybody comes out a winner.”
Click here to view the article on Lead Cincinnati.