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HardSoft is a Technology leasing company providing Tech and hardware solutions for businesses from SMEs up to large scale enterprise organisations.

A family run business launched in 1984, HardSoft have grown to be recognised as one of the leading technology suppliers in the industry providing businesses with technology hardware solutions from the likes of Microsoft, Apple, Lenovo and many more.

Make have been a long standing customer of HardSoft since we launched our business in 2014, which is why we were honoured when they approached us for help with Branding, Website and Digital Marketing services.

The brief

The lockdown of 2020 caused a seismic shift towards businesses operating remotely, and Hard Soft suddenly became even more popular amongst businesses looking to pivot their hardware and technology needs to suit a more remote way of working – think laptops, tablets, mobiles, etc. Basically, businesses needed a far more nimble approach to hardware and an approach that enables them to flex up and down depending on their business circumstances. This gave birth to ‘Devices for Teams’, which is a ‘Device as a service’ solution or ‘DaaS’ as it's known in the industry. This new service angle for the business required a new brand identity complete with brand messaging, a new website, and associated marketing materials – this is where Make came in!

The challenge

HardSoft had already been delivering this type of service on a lower scale, but the lockdown had expedited this need and therefore the brand and website activity had to be executed quickly in order to maximise the opportunity. Another key challenge was how we positioned HardSoft service against other services providers in this space, including leading technology competitors such as Hewlett Packard and Dell who were already offering a similar solution.

We quickly learned that HardSoft was able to move quicker than some of these technology giants and were also able to offer a far better and more flexible package, which really suited the business market at that time. Our job was to maximize the unique selling points of the business and ensure their brand and website stood tall against others in the space.

Outcomes

We worked closely with the HardSoft team to ensure we fully understood the space and the core business objectives, we also looked at customer data to define the right type of buyer and we used this internal insight to build out personas. We layered this internal audit with an external look at the market to find out where the demand lies on Google and other search engines and then used this to build an air-tight plan of action for our designers. We looked into competitor marketing strategies including a deeper look at the adverts all competitors were running to win this type of business. All of this insight allowed us to propose a digital strategy that was on point and accurate, giving our teams all of the information required to better position HardSoft for success.

The first deliverable was the brand identity, where we used our learnings to decide on the abbreviation "D4T" as the main brand name for the business - we chose this route as the ‘Devices for Teams’  was already recognised as a term in the market and amongst existing customers, we also learned that these words were frequently used in Google searches, meaning we could make headway quickly in terms of brand recognition and build a service that does exactly what it says on the tin.

We designed an entire brand identity for the D4T business including new logos, colorways, icons, image styles, and of course all the digital assets required to compete - Website, Email Signatures, Email Templates, and Social Graphics. We also wrote all web copy and brand messaging required to attract, engage and convert new customers.

Since going live the new website has seen an abundance of new business inquiries and is now used as a major tool in the sales process for internal HardSoft Teams. The website now ranks for top-flight search engine positions for all associated keywords required to drive leads in this industry, supported by a visually on-brand PPC and social media campaign.

Make were also asked to provide creative direction and ideation for a TV commercial running on Sky TV. This is where our creative teams used our initial business and market insight to build an advert that clearly highlights the challenges that businesses face in this space and why D4T is the solution to choose. We worked closely with the teams at Sky to produce a TV ad that tells the D4T story in a fun, creative, and compelling way.

Make now maintain and manage the overall website on a monthly basis, providing monthly updates and optimisations to the website content based on real-time data from the campaign activity, plus the evolution of the website based on ad-hoc requests from the business.

Our client said:

“We worked with Make on a new website and branding. Nailed the brief on their first presentation to us and have been great to work with us and my team so the branding concept works across all platforms”

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