The challenge: establishing Garant PRO SERIES as a legitimate tool brand for hardworking professionals

Since 1895, Garant has been manufacturing quality tools in a small Canadian town called Saint-François-de-la-Rivière-du-Sud. Today, Garant is Canada’s largest manufacturer of hand-powered tools and accessories for construction, landscaping, gardening, and snow removal. The vast majority of its tools are made in various production facilities in Eastern Canada, where more than 400 dedicated employees design, build and assemble its products.

The Garant PRO SERIES range includes a wide assortment of non-powered tools of exceptional quality and durability, ingeniously designed and built to meet the needs of hard-working professionals working in construction; agriculture and horticulture; general maintenance; mining; forestry; and numerous other specialized fields.

While Garant PRO SERIES tools are available in most hardware stores across the country, research indicated that only 1 out of 4 manual workers in Canada were aware of the brand. Our detailed brand audit highlighted probable causes, as well as numerous opportunities to improve brand visibility and messaging at point of purchase.

Indeed, from a branding standpoint, it was not apparent that Garant PRO SERIES tools were best-in-class products. The term PRO SERIES was disconnected from the mother brand and mostly treated as a descriptor. Recessive colour treatment (yellow on white) and inconsistent usage of the PRO SERIES wordmark on labels resulted in a weak visual presence and in brand impact being lost among product features and descriptions. Products were permanently branded with the Garant logo alone rather than as Garant PRO SERIES.

Hence, despite its top-quality products, Garant PRO SERIES did not give the impression of being a leading brand designed and built for professionals. The goal was thus to strengthen the branding approach to Garant PRO SERIES to ensure the brand is properly targeting and connecting with professional users.

Our approach: to leave no stone unturned, and to take nothing for granted

We were confident, thanks to prior studies conducted among manual workers in various industries, that the Garant PRO SERIES tools stood out from the competition when it came to robustness, performance, ergonomic design and safety. So we knew what we wanted to say. We had to explore HOW to say it.

Using user archetypes, we identified professional personas with different motivations and personalities, leading to 5 exploration territories for tonality:

  • The Everyman Workman
  • The Enduring
  • The Expert
  • The Achiever
  • The Forerunner

For each territory, we developed a series of Brand Identity Ideas including alternate brand names, logos, colours, shapes, taglines and claims. We also developed preliminary Brand Concepts to illustrate how we could convey the brand’s aspiration in each territory.

Working closely with Garant’s marketing team, we brought a selection of these ideas to 24 manual workers in Montreal and Toronto to gain preliminary learnings on:

  • brand identity/logo
  • imagery content and style
  • brand colour(s)
  • key support copy
  • tagline
  • descriptors

We then integrated the learnings into packaging design and went back to research. This time, we tested 2 different packaging platforms among 250 manual workers across Canada, using a Web-based survey spearheaded by our trusted collaborator, Ad Hoc Research.  All decisions regarding brand identity visuals and language were based on how these critical components performed on key communication and imagery criteria, according to target customers.

The result: a tool brand with greater relevance for professionals in numerous fields
The new logo proudly and confidently locks in the words PRO SERIES with the Garant master brand. The use of yellow as an accent reinforces the brand’s professional credentials and helps increase differentiation with Garant’s consumer and DIYer ranges.

The new packaging platform, featuring a streamlined design with a bolder logo, elevates the impact and recognition of the Garant PRO SERIES brand at point of purchase. The use of a relevant appellation – INDUSTRIAL GRADE – acts as a clear signal to professionals that these tools have been designed with their specific needs in mind. We also designed a simple system to organize the information and we optimized the nomenclature to achieve clear messaging of product features and facilitate ease of navigation between products.

“The whole process with BrandBourg was planned months in advance and approved in separate phases to allow for flexibility based on the knowledge we’d gain throughout the project. The deadlines for each phase were met and the strategy was well executed while taking time to listen to users. We are happy with the progress we made and the final results. The strategic team was well chosen and the members complemented each other with their diverse backgrounds. If we had to do it again, we would do it the same way!”

Isabelle Dorval, Marketing Director, Garant

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