Our work for the Hardware Association of Ireland

The Hardware Association Ireland (HAI) is a trade organisation that represents approximately 350 hardware retailers, from family run businesses to publicly quoted companies. HAI identified the need to clarify and define its brand and to communicate its core values more effectively to key stakeholder groups. 

The fundamental issue was that HAI lacked the clarity about its direction, strategy and relationship with its members that it needed to attract and retain those members, to represent them and to provide services to them most effectively.

Our project objective

The objective was to resolve these issues—to clarify for HAI ‘who it is, what it stands for and where it’s going’—based on the needs of members and of the wider hardware industry. We worked to set down a purpose, vision, values and brand strategy for the association that enable it to be—and be seen to be—in a position of industry leadership, a provider of excellent support services to members, and to communicate this using a robust brand identity.

Research and brand hypotheses development

We used internal workshops and a mixture of research techniques and interviews to generate a comprehensive understanding of key brand dynamics and to validate, or otherwise, HAI brand development hypotheses.

Based on initial information gathering and research findings we developed alternative brand hypotheses which we evaluated in board workshops. We identified and explored potential personality options for the HAI brand.   

Interpretation of findings and recommendations

We then reviewed the outcomes and finalised and delivered our recommendations which included:

  • Detailed feedback on the nature and drivers of perceptions around positioning and personality options identified for the HAI brand. 
  • Recommendation on the purpose, vision, real values, best potential positioning and brand personality for the association. 
  • A brand model and communications framework.

Based on these recommendations the HAI board and management launched its new Strategic Plan 2015–2017. This was based on four strategic pillars  which were developed by our process, underpinned and supported by an optimised and integrated communications mix. This now informs, supports and connects with members, potential members, the media, government and its agencies, and other stakeholders in the hardware sector.