Inclusivity saves lives. Strategic redefinition of Cromwell’s PPE category
Cromwell is a leading UK-based supplier of tools and equipment for industry, including personal protection equipment (PPE) – such as gloves, jackets, boots and safety glasses. Previously, Cromwell's PPE appeared under several different brands,however customers didn't understand the difference and there wasn't enough guidance over which brand a product should appear under. Neither was there a clear direction to develop the range further. We recommended that PPE should appear under a single brand. Our task was to define what the new brand stood for, as well as how it looked.
The category at the time was dominated by tough, gruff, masculine brands. This seemed at odds with the character of the modern workforce which has grown increasingly diverse and includes people of all genders, ethnic groups and abilities. Digging deeper, we discovered a key insight. Most PPE is still being designed for 'the average worker' when there's really no such thing. Workers who are not male, L-XL have to make do with PPE which may be ill-fitting and uncomfortable, or worse, doesn't offer adequate protection. Clearly, a change was needed.'Everyone protected, always' became the commitment at the heart of the new brand.
We developed the name Halo as a signifier for the brand and created a visual identity based around the halo as a symbol of inclusion and protection. The brand's presence is highlighted by the fluoro yellow, featured in high-visibility gear. When a brand is centred around inclusion, by definition it needs to be as accessible as possible. So, as we’ve applied the identity across sales support material, trade ads, exhibition stand and products, accessibility has been a high priority throughout.
While the Halo brand has defined a new category for Cromwell, it’s also a powerful example of how brand strategy informs business strategy. One outcome is how the brand is driving product development. The client is working on a range of products that fit women better, as well as a modesty-friendly hi-vis tunic and clothing for menopausal women. The clear purpose behind the brand directly informs the development of the Halo range.
Developing a strong brand purpose for Halo has not only carved out a unique space in the market, it has also placed DE&I front and centre across the business. It has opened up broader discussions about business transformation, ranging from product development to recruitment, culture and procurement strategies.