Dulux’s Kerris Bright
Adding color to the Dulux brand
Before Kerris Bright joined British Airways, she was Chief Marketing Officer for AkzoNobel’s global Decorative Paints business. It was a role she took on after ICI Paints (where she’d served as CMO) was taken over by AkzoNobel. Having joined ICI Paints as their U.K. Marketing Director, Kerris was responsible for the brand development and activation of many well-known DIY brands, chief among them Dulux. At the time, Dulux was a famous British paint brand but it desperately needed to increase its relevancy to consumers, who had come to see it as staid.
As CMO of ICI Paints and AkzoNobel, Kerris built significant market success, recognition and respect for the transformation of the marketing organization. Capability building was a focus point for her but she also introduced a global approach to market segmentation, brand portfolio strategy development, and brand positioning. It was through through these three approaches that the opportunity to build a global Dulux brand was identified.
The restructuring of AkzoNobel’s marketing organization, processes and ways of working was an undeniably important accomplishment around the ‘how’ of global marketing. Her other major innovation was her ability to zero in with renewed focus on the core purpose of the Dulux brand and AkzoNobel Paint business.
Kerris created a far more motivated and inspired marketing organization than the one she’d joined only five years earlier. For Kerris, the development and implementation of the now-famous ‘Let’s Color’ campaign was a personal mission. By rolling up her sleeves and setting an example in locales ranging from the neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro to the inner townships of France and cities in India, she showed that AkzoNobel’s initiative wasn’t just another marketing idea or advertising campaign, but a living reflection of her personal and business beliefs.
As Kerris says: ‘Our greatest idea has been the development of a purposeful positioning for Dulux. The brand idea is based on a powerful universal truth about the magical power of paint and color to not only transform spaces but to impact our spirits and how we feel. We believe we sell tins of optimism, not just tins of paint – and that we can add color to people’s lives.’
“The big motivation for me in leading AkzoNobel from a multi-local to a more global way of working was to unleash the potential that I could see in the organization to support the development of fewer, bigger, better ideas that could drive faster growth. And to create an organization that became a much more exciting place to work because teams could be part of a greater whole, working towards a bigger ambition and working and learning from others in different countries with different cultures.”
—Kerris Bright Chief Marketing Officer, AkzoNobel Global Decorative Paints