Dieline Awards 2020 Rebrand of the Year: HAWS Watering Cans

by Shawn Binder on 02/01/2020 | 5 Minute Read

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The packaging design for HAWS watering cans is a no-fuss affair, and we're here for it. Utilizing a striking font, the simple brown cardboard boxes get their identity for the logo being front & center in a rich sea green. The shape of the box itself reflects the shape of the watering can inside, which, coupled with the illustrations of the products that adorn each box, making for a transparent brand experience. 

There is much to celebrate as Haws has a proud status as the big name in watering cans but the market is also shifting and driven by the desire to take advantage of the nation’s renewed love of gardening, Directors (and brothers) Rich and Andy, wanted to move the brand forward.

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Editorial photograph

Rich says, ‘We are seeing a renewed interest in gardening and a new generation of gardeners coming through – micro gardens, urban gardening, grow your own and specialist plants – it is an exciting time and we need a brand that truly engages our customers.’

Our work focused on repositioning Haws at the top of the market and engaging a new generation of gardeners as well as seasoned horticulturalists. We’ve considered every touchpoint for a digital and sustainable world, turning Haws into a competitive and relevant e-commerce brand.

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The boxes themselves have been reengineered. Whilst simple and utilitarian they are also environmentally friendly – 100% recyclable. The tessellated design echoes the shape of the can which reduces storage and also postage costs. We’ve also been able to drive desirability through the packaging as the shapes create interesting patterns for display in store and the illustrations bring the products to life.

From research, insight and workshops to naming, messaging and a complete design overhaul, we’ve been working with the new management team for over a year to refresh the Haws brand, making more of its ‘British made’ credentials whilst creating a brand and tone of voice relevant for the gardening enthusiast of today.

We identified a ‘sweet spot’ for the brand’s repositioning – a place where traditional craftsmanship meets the style conscious Instagram generation. We skillfully redrew the logo and seal to reflect their early heritage and have reframed their story by breathing new energy into the brand.

Our brand refresh transformed every aspect of Haws’ brand. We instigated new range segmentation and product naming inspired by types of watering such as The Fazeley Flow, The Smethwick Spritzer and The Rowley Ripple.

Not only are Haws the world’s oldest watering can manufacturer, every single metal can is still expertly hand crafted taking more than 200 steps to complete. It’s traditional British engineering at its ?nest, and all manufacturing still happens in their workshop in Smethwick, West Midlands. It was important for us to capture this incredible attention to detail and it is here that we found inspiration for the illustrations we created. They are inspired by early patent drawings and are full scale so the illustrations outside of the pack perfectly reflect the product within the box.

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In addition to expanding the assets of the brand’s visual identity and comprehensive guidance for these, we developed new packaging, art directed and built an image library with brilliant photographer Catherine Falls, and designed marketing and sales materials including their stand at the Glee trade fair in Birmingham.

Successes following the rebrand:

The brand launch at the Glee show was a huge success resulting in a sales uplift across the range as well as increased interest, and now confirmed market extension, into homeware retailers and garden centers. These additional channels will be significant for Haws in building their brand and achieving their growth targets.

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Whilst steeped in heritage and used for nearly 175 years, the watering can speaks to the concerns of our current age and is essential for the future. Quirky elements, such as the seeded cards found in every box, remind customers of Haws personality and complete dedication to all things green.

As the world’s oldest and best loved watering can manufacturer, Haws and their innovative patents boasts an esteemed history stretching back to 1886. With increased competition and the explosion of the houseplant market, Haws needed to refresh their brand and reframe their unique story.

Andy explains, ‘Using a watering can means much less water is wasted than with a garden hose and because our watering cans are designed to last a long time, (or a lifetime), we help avoid the need for landfill. Using a watering can also does good things for your health and wellbeing – fresh air, physical activity and food for your soul’. 

The new packaging format we’ve created has focused on gaining efficiencies and reducing environmental impact. Our tessellated design reduces unused space and air for shipping and storage. Overall, it is estimated that new packaging enables Haws to store at least 20% more products in their warehouse than with the previous packaging. This positive impact can also be seen in efficiencies gained in shipping.

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The overall design of the packaging has created iconic shapes that are highly visible in store and the boxes are on display were they previously were not. This was another stated goal of the project. Haws were expecting to have to market the new concept to their retail partners but retailers have responded so well to the new concepts that they have picked it up and run with it themselves. Feedback to date has been incredibly positive and the new packaging is believed to have helped showcase their products to new markets.

It was a goal discussed early on in the process, and a dream for Rich and Andy, that Haws be invited to take part in an RHS show. They knew that the brand refresh had the potential to help them achieve this and Haws are over the moon to have been given a stand at the Chelsea Flower Show this year.

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Editorial photograph

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