Essential Hardware Group launched a campaign in March designed to communicate their brand better to core trade. The process required an in-depth review and re-establishment of the array of offerings to its members, suppliers and the economy as a whole.
It was important, for brand re launch, to fully understand the business model, it's role-players and it's uniqueness. Essential Hardware Group (E.H.) is a voluntary trading group that comprises almost 200 Member Stores. These stores, however, retain their independence and make their own business decisions based on their local community needs. As such, stock, pricing, advertising content, location and all other activities are tailored by each store to meet their community needs.
Each store, however, is branded (signage) as an Essential Store, and therefore gains access to: National buying power, a regional manager, retail best practices, merchandising expertise, demographics, space planning, operational training, financial expertise, and technology solutions. In addition, members have access to the Red Tie Web-based system to customise their advertising content from professional templates online, new innovative products such as mobile trading units, real people credit provider, marketing strategists and many other platforms.Better communication of identity
The new creative, sets out to communicate properly who they are as a group, and aims to base its communication in its core values of family, community, responsibility and independence.
Red Tie Africa (specialists in Local Store Marketing) took an idea stemming from a potential Essential TV commercial, and conceptualised a carefully thought out plan of communicating the "pillars of success" of E.H.
The campaign has been launched on Television, Print (Trade Media) & Digital Media in a manner that is as unique as the E.H. Business model itself.
The new look was motivated by the need to better communicate the existing values and offerings and break them down into 5 key areas.
1. The Corporate Brand - Essential Hardware. - www.essentialgroup.co.za
(Tagline: Will you please PLAN my world!)
2. The communication channel to Members (Member Newsletter) - www.talkorange.co.za
(Tagline: You build the future our children will PLAY in)
3. The multi-way communication channel between members, head office, regional managers, and suppliers. - www.letstalkhardware.co.za
(Tagline: We build the future our children will LEARN in)
4. The independent Member store communication channel to their customers - www.myhardware.co.za
(Tagline: I build the future our children will LIVE in)
5. Generic message - (Tagline: We will build your future together.)Key messaging
The key messaging in the campaign is derived from the aforementioned channels of communications and is aimed at indicating the inclusiveness of the business model. This is well supported by actions by way of the many platforms made available to each channel to grow their business in an organised, functional, innovative and practical way.
The recent trade advertising in the D.I.Y. Trade News publication featured five double page spreads, 1 for each of the "communication channels" and a fifth to incorporate all of the channel identities under the Essential umbrella. The campaign was timed to coincide with the launch of the TV campaign, the launch of all the respective websites and the delivery of new instore POS materials along with the new online templates on the Red Tie system for the stores to customise their Local Store advertising content and an ongoing PR strategy tailored to each business sector. The key calls to action were 3-fold:
1. To illustrate to potential Members the benefits of an Essential Hardware Membership - Big Brand, retention of independence, access to expertise and buying power, unsurpassed advertising and marketing tools whilst portraying the goal of strengthening the "Community Store" aspect.
2. To reveal the inclusiveness of the business to suppliers, big and small, and to highlight the support they offer to local suppliers by removing the barriers to entry so common among today's traditional Retailers.
3. Members, understandably, have an emotional attachment to, in many cases, their family business identity, and the introduction of www.myhardware.co.za
is intended to enable these stores to have their own consumer targeted (micro) websites, branded as Essential Hardware, yet personalised under www.myhardware.mystorename.co.za
The campaign will run for the next 12 months with variations on the theme being injected as needed.
In addition to the current campaign, the theme will run into the upcoming Essential Hardware Trade Day on May 20th, further embedding the message. The Trade day will be attended by over 120 listed Suppliers, most of the Member stores and almost 60 invited guests (potential members). This Trade Day received the winning Gold Award from DIY Trade News
in 2011, and this year is set to exceed 2011's in attendance, and stature and the campaign will be used effectively on this day.