Published: March 20, 2024
Published: March 20, 2024

Fiona Dawson: Using Colors to Develop Relationships with Customers

If you find yourself in the same room as Fiona Dawson, her unstoppable passion will color you amazed! Fiona works in our office near Brisbane, Australia. This area may sound exotic to many of us, but Fiona proves that PPG is a worldwide family. She is a mastermind of colors and does an irreplaceable job at spreading her knowledge and passion everywhere, gaining new customers, initiating projects whilst using the color tools available within our company.

For the occasion of the International Colour Day, let's accompany Fiona, as she introduces us to the uniqueness of the Australia-New Zealand (ANZ) region, and to the universe of colors that is TAUBMANS® paint by PPG!

A Colorful Twist

Fiona Dawson currently serves as Taubmans' color specialist in our Morningside office near Brisbane. Her history as our colleague dates back six years. Before fully immersing herself in the colorful world of the local Taubmans brand, she worked for other paint companies in various roles, such as a color designer. She also ran her own boutique design business coloring many commercial and residential dwellings.

Several years into her PPG career, Fiona seized the opportunity to become the business development manager for the team developing COLOURSMITH®, "a fantastic tool that gives you the ability to create your own bespoke colors." This decision marked a turning point in her career journey, shaping it into what it is today.

Her position involves a lot of travelling, not only to educate current customers but also to visit potential new ones, leading to valuable collaborations. One notable example is the collaboration with Kaolin tiles.

I met them at a design show and immediately introduced them to Coloursmith, explaining how it could benefit them. As a result, they introduced tiles in a paint finish featuring some of our 2024 forecast colors.

Passion vs. The White Obstacle

Fiona takes immense pleasure in introducing others to the beauty of the universe of colors. She is highly proactive in doing so.

However, first things first—when asked about the biggest challenge she faces during consultations, Fiona instantly says that it's dealing with the 'favorite color of the ANZ region': white.

"One of my everyday goals is to instill confidence in people and encourage them to inject color into their spaces."

Fiona stresses that the impression a space gives to a visitor or homeowner can be completely transformed by the smallest difference in the choice of color. She points out that even white has a whole palette of shades, understanding that a cool white works better in a well-lit area, while a warm white can be more effective in a space lacking natural lighting.

It all comes down to ensuring that you select the right white for exterior applications because anything too bright can be quite glary. The last thing you want is to have your early morning cup of tea and feel the need to wear sunglasses because your white is just too bright!

Crafting Your Beloved Color

Fiona's passion for color is undeniable, easily transferring to the customer. "Color is the universal language that helps me make a connection with them."

Fiona associates colors with emotions, noting that sometimes people are so drawn to the name of a color that it significantly influences their final choice.

"I've been to many consultations where we put together a beautiful scheme. I'm outlining what goes where, and suddenly the customer finds the name of a color they love, exclaiming, 'I want this!' I'm taken aback, saying, 'But you said you didn't like blue,' and they respond, 'But I love that name!' So, we do a backflip and change everything!"

Fiona explains that the Coloursmith app perfectly addresses the emotional connection customers have with colors. "You can take a photo and upload it into the app. You can move the eye across all the colors in your photo. Once you've found the one you love, you can name it, and the app will generate a QR code that you can take to a store. It contains the formula for your very own shade!"

Combining Coloursmith with a helpful approach can guide customers through the color system, ultimately resulting in a unique paint style—one of the most significant and easiest ways to completely transform a space.

Sharing the Color Knowledge

Currently, Fiona is actively engaged in various activations and educational events during weekends. She thoroughly enjoys providing color consulting for consumers, using her skills to assist them in making the best choices or even educating the next generation of design professionals.

I'll go and talk to interior design students; I love telling them about our wonderful color systems that can help them in their own interior design careers! I also visit professional renovators, providing them with tips on how they can renovate their spaces using our products.

She works towards this not just by travelling the continent to spread the word about the different tools and initiatives we stand behind, but also by actively developing a live color advice session for consumers, where they can have free color consultancy along with product recommendations. Each week, she introduces new topics, aiming to bring projects to life.

And the dedication to the “color community” doesn’t stop here. Fiona mentions that seeing the difference she can make is what makes it all worthwhile and participating in our COLORFUL COMMUNITIES® projects is also a way to do so.

"As part of a project, we painted cubicle doors in beautiful, vibrant, and cheerful colors and covered them with positive affirmations. When the kids walked in and saw it, the joy on their faces said it all. As you walk away, you just feel so grateful for being able to do this. In my job, I get to make a difference. And for me, that's what #PPGProud means."


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