Building the Brand in High Demand

Over the past few years, Pitch Black® asphalt emulsion sealcoat sales have exploded. Plants and distributorships are popping up across the country, with future plans to cover the continent. With Pitch Black® now being sold in Canada, the brand has now reached the international level. There are multiple factors contributing to the brand’s growth, including the obvious increase in demand for asphalt emulsion sealcoat and Pitch Black’s reputation for quality. However, here’s part of the story you may not know…

Pitch Black® Manufacturers Run Their Own Businesses
They’re a tight knit group of strategic business men and women who work tirelessly to educate customers and meet the demand for high-performance sealcoat. Pitch Black® doesn’t franchise its plants. Every single manufacturer is their own business owner with the freedom to name their business, deploy new marketing methods and set up distributorships in their regions. As long as they adhere to trademark, formula and region requirements, manufacturers build their own businesses. The profit they make is theirs alone and gives them a huge incentive to grow, which in turn helps the Pitch Black® brand.

There’s a Place for Everyone
The Pitch Black® family sees the opportunity in every sealcoat contractor, no matter the size of their business. We don’t care if you’re buying a bucket of seal or 100,000 gallons. If you want to learn proper application methods, the benefits of asphalt emulsion sealcoat, how environmental conditions affect dry time and how much water to add…we’ll take the time to show you. At Pitch Black®, we’re not looking for the biggest customers. We’re looking for hardworking customers that believe in the brand and maintaining a reputation for quality. The more we help customers build their businesses, the more we build our brand. With a “you grow, we grow” strategy, Pitch Black® has an extremely loyal long-term customer base we take pride in.

The inventor of Pitch Black®, Robb Archie, takes growing with customers very seriously. “When I started my own business in the 80s, it was always an uphill battle getting consistent seal when I needed it because I wasn’t one of the big guys,” says Archie. “It’s one of the reasons I started making my own seal and eventually plants. Everyone deserves a chance to own something of their own. This industry is hard work. I’ve towed cars, snowplowed at 3am, chased down checks that were ‘in the mail’, sprayed and squeegeed jobs when we were short on a crew and managed my own books. In fact, the Archie family has been making sealcoat and putting it down since the late 1940s. We’ve experienced many of the obstacles in this industry. Having issues with your material is a problem you don’t need. If you can’t rely on where to get your seal nearby, get a distributorship or become a manufacturer of a brand you like. Manufacturers should appreciate your business, no matter what.”

Most people east of the Rockies are skeptical about Asphalt Emulsion Sealcoat. They think they have seen them all. But they really haven’t!
They usually start out telling our manufacturers and distributors, that “All Asphalt Emulsion Sealcoats are the Same”. But are they?
That is why we put Pitch Black® samples on the ground right in front of them. What happens next? They are stunned!

The remarks we get are always the same, “Wow!, This is incredible! How are you guys doing this? I’ve never seen a sealcoat that looks this good!
How are we doing this? “We have been making Pitch Black for over 40 years and we know what we are doing.”

If you want to experience using a truly great product for sealcoating, have our distributors and manufacturers do a demonstration for you. We promise you will be impressed!

Distributorships are Up for Grabs
While there are still plant regions available, there’s a HUGE opportunity in distributorships. If that’s been stopping you from joining Pitch Black®, don’t let it. Manufacturers have very large regions and distributors are essential to helping their businesses grow. Many contractors think a distributorship is out of reach. The manufacturer in your area may offer to rent your dropship tank with a specific number of gallons purchased and/or a rental fee. The return on investment is easier to achieve than many think since the demand for Pitch Black® and asphalt emulsion sealcoat in general is at an all-time high. Talk to the manufacturer in your area. They’re very creative in getting you set up and offering advice on sales and marketing methods to help you achieve your goals.

Pitch Black® Plant Costs are Transparent
If you sit down and do the math of buying a franchise sealcoat plant vs. a Pitch Black® plant, we know you’ll be shocked at the long-term cost difference. It’s a must-do before you invest. Some companies selling plants throw out a number and don’t mention all of the other costs you’ll incur like franchise fees, % of your profits, mandatory ingredients you have to purchase from them, marketing costs, etc. year after year. For a Pitch Black® plant, you pay for the equipment, yearly flat license fee and materials from multiple vendors. That’s it. If you do a 5- or 10-yr cost comparison on a Pitch Black® plant vs. some of our competitors, the cost of their plant may end up being astronomical.

We Believe in Our Brand
We know asphalt emulsion sealcoat in general is a better alternative for contractors and end-consumers. Pitch Black® just takes it to a whole other level at 0.00% PAHs and high performance (even at extreme temperatures). We know it can be used on airports and city streets. We know it’s compatible with all linestriping paint and dries quicker, saving contractors time and labor. For all of these reasons, our sealcoat sells itself. Sealcoating is already a tough business. We know contractors trust us to maintain the quality and integrity of our product, but also our brand image.

We’re focused on getting our sealcoat into the hands of as many contractors as possible because we know their businesses will thrive. We want to see Pitch Black® on every playground, park and school district because we know it’s safe for our kids (furry ones included). At the end of the day, knowing we impacted businesses and end consumers in a positive way is the true measurement of the success of our brand.

ABOUT PITCH BLACK•: The Archie family got its start in asphalt in the 1920s with Robb Archie’s grandfather, Joe Archie, in Western New York. Archie’s dad, Earl Archie, learned the trade from his dad during the 1940s and 50s and taught it to his son, Robb Archie, who carried that knowledge from the 1960s and 70s to make Pitch Black® in the 1980s. The family secret formula has only been licensed to Pitch Black® manufacturers for just over a decade, but Pitch Black® has been used for over 40 years. Robert Archie, inventor of Pitch Black® sealcoat, is also currently president of U.S. Seal International, Inc. and ASMA-USA (Asphalt Sealcoat Manufacturers Association).

ABOUT THE WRITER: Nicole Larsen has contributed cover articles on behalf of U.S. Seal International, Inc. (Pitch Black®) since 2013. She is also Director of Marketing for U.S. Seal International and founder of marketing agency, Busy Ave, Inc.


Angus Stocking is a former licensed land surveyor who has been writing about infrastructure since 2002. American Highway Products can be reached at 1-888-272-2397 or by email at Visit their website at