Home Hardware embarks on a new project

A new campaign reflects the retailer's repositioning and desire to be seen as source of friendly advice for any home improvement need.

Home Hardware wants to be Canada’s go-to for all the projects, big and small, consumers might be considering to improve their homes.

As part of a new brand positioning, the home improvement and hardware retailer has launched a new campaign led by AOR John St. In the lead spot, a couple steps into their new home, discovering all the projects they have ahead of them to fix the place up. They are able to tackle them, though, thanks to the supplies and advice they get from their local Home Hardware store.

The full 60-second spot, as well as 30-second cut-downs, will be airing in TV, digital and social channels.

Home Hardware debuted the “Here’s How” positioning in the spring, replacing the “Homeowners helping homeowners with expert advice” tagline it had used for nearly eight years (occasionally shorted to “homeowners helping homeowners” in creative).

The core of the old brand positioning was that Home Hardware stores were a place would-be DIYers could get friendly, helpful advice from people living and working in their communities. The new campaign keeps that element of the brand’s positioning, albeit in a more subtle way, with the spot ending with the tagline “Do it yourself doesn’t mean do it alone.”

“[The old positioning] has been around for a while and it’s severed the company well, but it’s a mouthful,” says Rick McNabb, VP of marketing and sales at Home Hardware. “What got us here is a higher level of customer care and going the extra mile. It’s less about ‘expert advice’ and being more grounded in the experience our staff has and how helpful they’ll be. ‘Here’s How’ is not a radical departure from that, because that’s our differentiation.”

McNabb adds that “customer care” differentiation is important to maintain as a competitive advantage in a crowded category that also contains retailers like Home Depot, Lowe’s and Canadian Tire.

John St. has also created a series of short videos focusing on products exclusive to Home Hardware stores. That was a major part of Home Hardware’s previous marketing efforts, and McNabb says those efforts were successful in drawing traffic into stores.

“It’s a traffic driver and differentiator, and the hope is we can get you excited about the other stuff in the store once you’re there,” McNabb says. “But along the way, it can get you away from the notion of home improvement and you run the risk of becoming known as an ‘exclusive item’ brand.”

That’s part of the reason why the new campaign focuses on projects, as it allows the brand to show off every category it plays in and how it can serve any home improvement need someone might have. It’s also applicable across the company’s three retail banners: the typical, small-format Home Hardware, the larger Home Hardware building centres that tend to be for contractors and large-scale projects and hybrid locations that tend to be located in more suburban locations.

“We wanted a campaign that would be an overarching Home Hardware campaign that could speak to all of our banners and the different needs we serve,” McNabb says. He adds it’s also looking to speak a bit more directly to younger consumers, as Home Hardware’s previous marketing has skewed older to a demographic that grew up with the brand and already has a high affinity for it.

Home Hardware has been shaking up its marketing over the past year, bringing on McNabb as part of a broader reorganization of its marketing team and picking John St. as its new AOR in the fall. Part of the retailer’s new approach is to also give more of a unique look to the Quebec market, which has included a unique “Savoir. Faire.” (“Know. Make.”) tagline for the market and a recent pet-focused campaign around Moving Day.