Building a Scalable Platform for a Sturdy Brand

Updated on
April 18, 2024

The Challenge

If you’re an average North American household, chances are you own over 20 Hillman products. Hillman’s brands specialize in fasteners, hardware, gloves, masks, keys, key-cutting machines—the nuts and bolts and then some. Their 56-year legacy has seen nothing but growth thanks to an unmatched emphasis on retailer partnerships and industry-leading ambition.

So why did Hillman come to us? They were on the path to public trading—and they needed a brand identity built to scale with the company. It also needed to check these 3 boxes: create cohesiveness across Hillman’s divisions, instill internal pride, and pay homage to their mission of empowering the entrepreneurial spirit.

Building a Brand that Balances History and Progress

Digging into the core of Hillman, we found that it’s a brand of balance—balancing history with progress and boldness with humility. But one characteristic connects everything Hillman stands for: resilience. It’s central to the brand’s past and future. Built Hillman Strong became our driving phrase, speaking not just to the products, but to the mentality of every builder—those within Hillman and its customers too.

This foundational thinking informed our brand guide, telling Hillman’s story through a tone and voice that brought definitive clarity to a brand character that’d been there all along. We stayed true to Hillman’s history in its new logo, preserving its original color palette while bringing in strategic modernity that pulled the brand forward. And then we carried the brand’s updated look and feel across a redesigned website, in-store displays, and new product packaging, unifying Hillman’s divisions—and bringing consistency designed to scale as far as their growth takes them.

Where there was once a gap in brand recognition is now a seamless presence that reminds customers, employees, and retail partners alike how far determination can take them. Our work gave Hillman the confidence to embark upon an exciting phase of growth. Did we reinvent their wheel? No. We just worked really closely with those who knew the brand best and created a guide that gave voice to everything Hillman has been and will become.

Consistent branding elements across Hillman’s communication channels from business cards and stationary to the website itself provide cohesion among its divisions that can be scaled as the company grows.
Carrying Hillman’s branding across all steps of the customer journey from discovery to purchase to product packaging provides a clear path to success from start to finish.

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