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Q&A with Tint co-founder DJ Dikic

Tint is a new online-only brand that wants to take the pain out of buying paint. Launched in December 2019, the business has seen a surge in sales since the implementation of social distancing restrictions due to COVID-19.

Internet Retailing recently caught up with co-founder DJ Dikic to learn more.

Jo-Anne Hui-Miller: How has coronavirus impacted your sales at Tint? Has it impacted your supply chain?

DJ Dikic: We’ve seen a surge in sales as we’re offering direct-to-your door and contactless paint delivery. Sales are up 500 per cent week-on-week and we’re not seeing this slowing down.

Our supply chain is secured with local Australian manufacturing of our paint, so we’re not depending on any international suppliers and are able to meet the current, growing demand.

JHM: Tell me about Palette and how it led you to launch Tint.

DD: Palette is a colour-technology business selling our colour measurement devices to the world’s largest paint brands. We have approximately 100,000 colours scanned around the world each month by our users. The data behind each colour scan gives us amazing insights into the colours people are actually interested in and what the trends are.

Looking at the data it was obvious that users wanted to scan a colour and then tap a ‘shop’ button to order paint for home delivery. No one was offering a compelling way to shop for paint online, and no one had made picking a colour easy, so we launched Tint to be the one-stop shop for paint and accessories.

JHM: Tell me more about coming up with the idea for Tint and what your aim is.

DD: We looked at how customers buy paint today and realised that the highlight of the experience for many was the sausage on their way out of the retail centre. Quite frankly, that should not be the highlight!

Somehow painting and decorating has become a chore for most people, and that’s because so many aspects of buying paint today are not user-friendly: there are too many colours, too many products with confusing names, too many trips back and forth from the shop, largely without any guidance.

We looked at the entire experience and asked how we could take all the pain out of paint? That’s what Tint is – we’re making painting fun by creating a seamless and super simple way to shop for premium paint and accessories online.

JHM: What’s it like competing against big retailers like Bunnings and brands like Dulux and Taubmans?

DD: It’s interesting to see how the COVID-19 pandemic is shaping behaviours. It’s changing the way people are shopping and their expectations around home delivery. Tint is uniquely positioned to offer an online shopping experience that is not just a replacement for physical retail sales of paint, but actually in many ways an improvement on the in-store experience.

JHM: I would have thought that customers want to see colours in person – how does Tint work around that?

DD: Colour confusion is the number one reason people don’t paint, so we’ve spent a lot of time developing solutions to make it easier for Tint customers to feel confident when shopping for paint.

Firstly, we’ve developed super-size colour stickers you can stick up and peel off all around your house (they’re reusable and don’t damage surfaces either). We offer sample stickers across our entire collection of 71 colours, including the Pantone range of colours, and they make it really easy to see how a colour will look in your space without any of the mess of sample pots.

For customers who want to match a unique colour, we also offer our Pico product, giving them complete control to match to an infinite range of colours from all around them. For these customers, we offer an augmented reality (AR) experience within the Tint app, so they can get a sense of how their unique, customised colour will look in their home.

JHM: How does Pico work?

DD: The Pico technology enables a whole new way to choose colours and shop for paint. You can literally walk up to a beautiful painted surface, anywhere, capture that colour digitally (by scanning with the Pico) and then order that colour within the Tint app and we’ll mix it and have your Tint order waiting at your door (the very same day if you’re in Melbourne, next day or same week for other major cities).

JHM: I understand you just launched the #isolateanddecorate challenge for customers. What does it involve and why did you come up with it?

DD: With everyone stuck inside doing their bit to stop the spread, we thought it would be nice to create a challenge for everyone to decorate their space and make it a more enjoyable place to be. It could be painting, or fluffing up some cushions, grabbing some flowers from your garden and arranging a vase. Whatever makes your space a nicer place to be is what our #isolateanddecorate challenge is all about! 

We’re also offering free shipping and an accessories kit with all the tools you need to get painting using the promo code ISOLATE, and we’re inviting other brands to get involved, encourage people to stay indoors and spread more cheer during these challenging times.

JHM: Tell me about the investment you received to launch Tint. What are you using that investment for?

DD: We’re excited to have raised a total of $3 million across new investors and renewed participation from our chairman Adam Lewis and ex-Aconex founder Leigh Jasper to launch Tint. The capital will primarily be used to accelerate our expansion and to let Australians know that Tint is here to shake things up.

JHM: What plans do you have for Tint in the next year?

DD: Our immediate focus is on fulfilling orders that are flooding in as I speak. Our next immediate focus will be on expanding the Tint offer based on the feedback we’re getting from our growing customer base. It’s going to be an interesting year.

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