"Our approach is to make brands work better by helping clients to understand the importance of aligning their brand strategy with their business strategy."
Manchester-based design and brand agency True North was hired to develop and extend the portfolio of sub-brands owned by TIMCO, as part of its nationwide expansion and growth strategy.
Following a tenfold increase in turnover and the introduction of a new range of products, TIMCO, which supplies trade products to independent building and construction retailers across the UK, wanted to invest heavily in developing its sub-brands for the new range. But, after in-depth research with retailers and end-users, True North advised its client to take a much simpler approach.
Capitalising on the huge amount of trust and value its customers have in the TIMCO name, True North advised the business to focus on revamping and strengthening its main core brand and to use it as a single brand for all its product ranges, rather than developing its many lesser-known sub-brands.
Ady Bibby, managing director of True North, said: “Our approach is to make brands work better by helping clients to understand the importance of aligning their brand strategy with their business strategy. The insight gathered is critical and, on this occasion, it meant suggesting a different approach, which helped to focus the client’s investment and, ultimately, saved them time and money.
“It became clear that the TIMCO brand already had powerful traction and equity in the trade, inspiring as much fondness for the trustworthiness of the business itself as for the robustness of its products and the quality of its customer service. By contrast, retailers were largely unaware of the sub-brands, even if they stocked them.
“Although the parent brand was better-known for its core screws and fastenings, our research showed that retailers and end-users would in fact choose a TIMCO-branded product over one carrying its sub-brand.
“Our solution was to bake all that existing warmth, goodwill and trustworthiness into every TIMCO product at the point of sale, rather than reinventing the wheel for every sub-brand and putting products on the back foot against big-name, big-budget sector specialists.”
From screws and fixings, to padlocks and site protection, Chester-based TIMCO manufactures and supplies everyday essentials to the trade. The family business has been supplying independent retailers nationwide for nearly 50 years.
The name TIMCO, formerly T I Midwood & Co, takes its name from its founder, Tim Midwood, and was previously branded as ‘TIMco’.
The bold new TIMCO logo is based on a stencil typeface built from modular components that animate in digital applications. True North translated this distinctive style into a display font for use on packaging, brochures and other marketing collateral.
Building on TIMCO's well-established 'toolbox red' as a primary brand colour, True North developed a simple complementary grey and white palette for the range, while retaining a handful of product-specific highlight colours that had traction in their respective markets.
The rebrand influences every touchpoint of the business. Guided by the positioning statement ‘Made for the Trade’, the brand guidelines extend far beyond the products themselves, giving TIMCO a more compelling, coherent story to pitch to retailers.
Charles Du Pre, head of marketing at TIMCO, said: “It shouldn’t be underestimated how complex the stakeholders within a successful family-run business can be. True North’s collaborative approach helped guide us through it, reminding us just how valuable the TIMCO name was. They provided genuinely exciting insight and a creative solution that has thrilled us and our customers.”
Simon Midwood, managing director of TIMCO and the son of founder Tim Midwood, said: “We are delighted with our bold and confident new brand. TIMCO has always been about great customer service and great quality products that are made for the trade.
“Despite the initial brief to True North, they demonstrated that whilst the TIMCO name was highly-prized by our customers, many of our sub-brands were unknown. It is refreshing to work with an astute team who understand audiences and trust the power of brands.
“We would not have seen this had it not been for the perspective created by True North during the insight stage of the project.”
With a stream of new products now regularly being introduced, True North's robust, masterbrand-led system enables TIMCO to continue its expansion without diluting the precious brand equity it has built over almost half a century.