Case Study

Brand Value for "Commodities" Design Challenge

HP: A print cartridge is not a print cartridge… or is it?

HP was leading the market in both LaserJet and InkJet printers, and was introducing a completely new business model which would reduce the price of printers and place greater importance on the print cartridge itself. At the time, print cartridges were considered commodities and low-cost ink and toner refillers were gaining market share. HP needed to position its print cartridges as essential technologies for HP printers in order to support their premium position and help ensure consumer loyalty in a market with new, unbranded choices.

Client Goals

A brand positioning platform for HP LaserJet and InkJet print cartridges which would create brand value for what were perceived as commodities.
GBR Services Employed
  • Qualitative & Quantitative User / Customer Segmentation & Brand Equity Research
  • Strategic Brand Platform Development

Our Solution: Get to the Heart of What Consumers and Customers Want Out of HP Printing

HP printers were perceived as relentlessly reliable and their longevity was legendary. We wanted to link the new printer supplies platform to that halo of reliability. We worked with HP’s product development and Marketing teams to understand cartridge technology and identify potential competitive advantages for HP’s inks and toners vs. the broad competitive field. We found that HP’s cartridge technology advantage lays in the idea of “precision printing”, which was in keeping with Hewlett-Packard’s historical brand equity of accuracy, driven by its scientific calculators and slide rules. We captured that advantage with the value proposition “Crisp, Sharp Output Every Time”.

What We Did

  • Assessed global attitudes toward printers and printing through qualitative research
  • Defined HP and competitive brand equity in the printer and printer supplies space
  • Worked with HP’s engineers internally to understand the role and capabilities of print cartridges both at the time and into the future
  • Created a new brand platform which drove consumer / customer loyalty and which made printer supplies the #1 profitability contributor to HP’s bottom line following the launch of the new brand platform and the communication of the new HP brand value proposition.

Our Work

New Brand Platform Centered on a User Experience Platform: “Crisp, Sharp Output Every Time”

The New Brand Platform and tagline were featured on every HP LaserJet and InkJet Cartridge Worldwide and are still the core message behind HP Printing Supplies today

In the Words of Our Client

Trusted for Crisp, Sharp Insight and Strategy… Every Time.”
— The HP LaserJet and InkJet Marketing Teams

Project Details

  • Client HP Printer Supplies
  • Office North Carolina, US
  • Sector Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), Technology
  • Partner Lisa Craig