CONFIDENCE IN HAND
For over a quarter century, CRKT has been working with custom knife designers to introduce some of the most hardworking, innovative knives and tools to the market all while staying true to their PNW roots. And back in spring 2013, the team at their Tualatin, OR headquarters reached out to Blue Collar to ask for help doing right by their legacy.
We jumped at the chance, and have been happily treading alongside this top-notch crew ever since.
While the old, colorful logo conjured a literal image of the mighty Columbia River—the company’s namesake—it had worn itself out at its post for the preceding 20 years. What they needed was a strong brand refresh that would more accurately reflect their reputation as innovators of quality, purpose-built knives and tools. That’s just what we did.
Then, with the help of award-winning photographer Nicolle Clemetson, we set out to create a set of concept-driven images that captured their brand new tagline: Confidence in Hand. The results blew us out of the water.
With the branding in place, we put it into action with a completely new website that reflected the entirely new feel of the company. From an eye-catching homepage replete with stunning product imagery and engaging designer stories to sleek product pages, the capability of the new site finally reflects the ahead-of-the-curve nature of the company itself.
Packaging is a supremely important consumer touchpoint—it sets the tone for a buyer’s reaction to their purchase before they’ve got their hands on it. We redesigned the outdated, noisy packaging to bring it into alliance with the brand. By reducing the complexity, the polished packaging stands out on a shelf because of the simplification. In a competitive landscape, this is tantamount to creating a stellar product.
In a similar manner to the way packaging needs to stand out from the retail raucous, so does a trade show booth need to overcome the chaos of the floor.
Especially at SHOT Show, one of CRKT’s most important events of the year, many of their competitors display products in a sterile environment—beneath glass in a look-don’t-touch manner. The CRKT brand strategy is “Confidence in Hand.” And we wanted to make good by it. We created angled displays that use magnets to hold products in place until a customer picks one up. This invites the trade show booth visitor to open, close, and view the product from any angle without salespeople. The result was overwhelmingly positive.
Every year we’re impressed with the caliber of the new lineup. Invariably, so are the myriad people that swing by the booth. To leave a lasting impression and motivate industry insiders to keep talking about CRKT long after everyone goes home, we create a 100+ page dealer to act as a takeaway replete with custom imagery, fresh content, and new innovations.
One of the most important points of differentiation for CRKT is the fact that each knife that makes it to their production line has a story, and its design was dreamed up by a passionate, salt-of-the-earth custom knifemaker.
Early on in our partnership with CRKT, we urged them to create rich, totally custom video assets to do justice by the excellent stories that build their brand from the foundation up. So far, we’re proud to have released a brand video, “Born in Oregon,” a behind-the-scenes peek into the Hawaiian shop of one of the greatest knife designers to ever live, Ken Onion, and succinct supporting videos to explain Ken Onion’s most landscape-shifting innovation to date: Field Strip.
~ Joel Bornzin, CRKT Marketing Manager