YardLink invited Don't be Shy onto their pitch list having heard of our work with other businesses in their VC network. Networking is also at the heart of YardLink’s offer, facilitating plant hire through a UK-wide ecosystem of partners and suppliers.
They operate like a concierge service for construction — just substitute exclusive dining or chauffeur bookings for local delivery of plant equipment. Need a digger with next day delivery? YardLink will source one for you.
The saved legwork, industry expertise, speedy service and CSR value YardLink provides needed to be rationalised and prioritised to speak to their onsite, offsite and supplier personas. But as a relatively young company, they lacked a fully formed brand.
YardLink’s vision was to be the Amazon of construction rental. They wanted to position themselves as the ultimate in ease, convenience and efficiency. The go-to for plant managers with a last-minute equipment emergency and those making strategic decisions to streamline procurement. We also needed to appeal to equipment suppliers looking to drive leads and increase utilisation.
YardLink needed to stand out, and increase brand awareness. Another visibility challenge lay in the fact that YardLink-sourced equipment arrives onsite with the logo of whoever they procured it from, rather than YardLink’s.
While competitor websites focused solely on these equipment brands at the expense of their own, YardLink’s needed ownable brand messaging and native product architecture. We needed a way to build the brand story, while continuing to cater for those who just need immediate hire. To communicate that YardLink is a challenger but a safe pair of hands.
The audience profile was similarly split. We needed to appeal to both the new wave of tech-savvy constructors, without alienating the veteran personas in this traditional, conservative industry. Personas covered both onsite audiences, such as project managers, and offsite, such as procurement teams. Some were focused on the immediate short-term; others made more strategic, long-term decisions. And then there were the suppliers: companies like JCB that YardLink wanted to sign up to their network.
To cover all these bases, we ran our audience, brand and content workshops, as well as design and web workshops to align on the final execution.
Out of that came a golden piece of insight: “supercharging construction.” It encapsulated everything YardLink wanted to say about giving customers superpowers and supplying the equipment as rapidly as customers needed it. We tested and validated this positioning with stakeholder interviews to make sure it resonated.
YardLink was originally product-led, relying on promoting products rather than storytelling. Our messaging framework created consistent product descriptions and defined a new tone of voice that communicated their on-the-level customer service alongside their future-thinking tech-forwardness — true contech.
But it wasn’t bullish about it. It steered away from the laddish to the conversational; confident rather than arrogant; credible but not bombastic.
The new brand essence, ‘Always on, always on it’, captured their doggedly committed customer service. It distilled all the legwork they put in for their customers, right down to reminding them when they’re paying for equipment that’s no longer in use.
YardLink’s brand initially only consisted of a logo and blue colour palette.
The brand book we gave them bolted together all the different visual nods at the strong partner network YardLink had built. We redesigned the logo into two linked chevrons – a central mark tessellated out for backgrounds that resembled tyretracks and a tight, strong, interlocking grid. We retained their orange for brand legacy, but refreshed it and extended the colour palette to differentiate them within the JCB-heavy competitor landscape.
Extra flourishes helped their new brand stand out further still. We used the logo mark as ‘a link aperture’ — a stencil crop on images that stamped their brand identity and left a supercharged lightning bolt in the negative space. To mirror this and use the brand in a physical way, we turned this cut-out into windows on the hoarding, conveying the benefit that customers have total site visibility even when they’re not inside. And then there was the playful thinking outside the box, with a ‘supercharge station’ pop-up butty van that quite literally supercharged construction workers.
We’ve given YardLink a strong platform and foundation, with a wealth of visual cues, that matches their network stability and allows them to grow into the future. It helped our creative team’s growth, too, with shared skills and learnings. And housing the brand book in Figma helps it function as a live, malleable, evolving asset, working with the pace of change.
They’ve been shouting about the results. Rightly so: it’s a brand that’s built different.
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