Hammermill | Paper for Life

SCOPE

Deepening brand relevance and loyalty in a digital world.

BRAND

Hammermill is a one-of-a-kind brand in the paper industry. With a reputation built over more than 100 years in the market, Hammermill lives at the center of a complex ecosystem that touches B2B companies, large retailers such as Amazon and Staples, and the ultimate users of the brand – individual consumers.

POSITIONING

With declining awareness, shifting consumer preferences towards digital applications, and increasing availability of cheap paper brands at large chain stores, Hammermill’s market share was declining. The high quality and the tactile characteristics that Hammermill paper was known for were no longer enough to drive market demand and sustain customer loyalty.

Strategy

  • Customer Insight Research—Qualitative and Quantitative
  • Brand Positioning
  • Tagline
  • Brand Narrative & Messaging
  • Digital Strategy
  • User Experience Mapping and Development

Design

  • Logos & Visual Systems
  • Video & Brand Animations
  • CGI
  • Brand Standards & Guidelines
  • Exhibit Design
  • Content Strategy & Development
  • UX/UI
  • Website Design
  • Collateral System
  • Packaging System

Activation

  • Sales Engagement
  • Launch Planning
  • Advertising—Digital and Print
  • Social Media
  • Brand Campaigns
  • Digital & Website Maintenance 

Paper for Life embodies the core idea we wanted to communicate about Hammermill to their customers: a vibrant brand, connected with people’s aspirations and needs, created for a digital lifestyle, expressive of products scientifically designed to provide optimal performance with today’s printing technologies and digital devices.

The Hammermill website is built on the core ideas behind Paper for Life, which is based on research that shows the very devices that only existed in the office are now used throughout our lives at home, work and school. Filled with rich content for folks working at a law firm, a home office or School hammermill.com helps people engage with paper in all aspects of their lives.

The packaging system for Hammermill was broken down in a common sense- manner that is semantic and dynamic. For the three grades, we used common language to identity the grades and explain the papers intended use: 

  • Color: for saturated images and fields of color; when presentation matters
  • Multi: for work that uses color charts, color type with heavy black text
  • Copy: for black-and-white printing

For the visual system, known as the Hammermill Habitat, we used animals to differentiate the grades in a distinct way so, over time, you can identify your paper by character. The Hammermill Habitat also speaks to sustainability. We use the animals to represent the use of the paper with Color, featuring bright colorful animals, Multi, with earth color animals that stay busy such as hedgehogs and rabbits, and Copy, with animals whose colors are black and white.

“The consistency and the quality of the hammermill.com content is the lifeblood of the brand.”

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As a hometown institution, St. Jude is a natural partner for Hammermill. We know that charitable contributions can be the tipping point toward a consumer purchase. St. Jude’s mission appeals to all people. Each year we ask patients about their dreams, then work with them to represent them through drawings. We also feature limited edition paper reams designed by patients from St. Jude. Promotional materials are released to distributors nationally.

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Challenge

Hammermill is a one-of-a-kind brand in the paper industry. With a reputation built over more than 100 years in the market, Hammermill lives at the center of a complex ecosystem that touches B2B companies, large retailers such as Amazon and Staples, and the ultimate users of the brand – individual consumers.

With declining awareness, shifting consumer preferences towards digital applications, and increasing availability of cheap paper brands at large chain stores, Hammermill’s market share was declining. The high quality and the tactile characteristics that Hammermill paper was known for were no longer enough to drive market demand and sustain customer loyalty.

Strategy

A strong brand is built on a deep understanding of the needs of the market and then a strategy to meet those needs in innovative ways. Our first step was to look at competitors to uncover opportunities for differentiation and analyze the needs of Hammermill’s B2B customers to identify opportunities for new value creation. We also conducted extensive consumer surveys to better understand how they engaged with paper and what they wanted, analyzing brand perceptions, usage patterns, lifestyles and interaction with their omnipresent digital devices.

Research clearly revealed the need to reestablish and reposition the Hammermill brand in the consumer mind and rebuild market relevance to pull demand into its B2B channels and enhance overall sales effectiveness.  

A new brand strategy was developed around the core idea of “Paper for Life.” 

Paper for Life positions Hammermill as a vibrant brand created for the digital age with papers that are scientifically tested to work across all printing devices. Whether you are working on your phone, your tablet or a computer, Hammermill is guaranteed to work on all printers and copiers.

Outcome

We then articulated Paper for Life with messaging, visual expression and a set of print and digital materials designed to articulate the new value to customers and resellers. We also developed a new communications model and associated marketing campaigns engineered to push and pull demand across the entire Hammermill ecosystem.

The new strategy was comprehensively activated with intense focus on creating a brand that functions in all media and touchpoints. Traffic to a new website increased by 300 times in just a few months to generate revenues and revitalize the fortunes of a great brand.