Overview

Building an innovation-first foundation

For nearly 100 years, Milwaukee Tool has put best-in-class construction equipment in the hands of tradespeople across the world. And while their expertise is unmatched, their digital storytelling often downplayed their legacy of cutting-edge solutions. Discover how Horizontal partnered with Milwaukee Tool to make a digital website just as innovative as their breakthrough solutions.

The Situation

An innovation legacy that was underserved

Primarily known for quality, Milwaukee Tool has actually led the charge on new solutions that provide performance, speed and versatility. Sharing this story, however, has come with its own challenges as the company has divided its offerings into unintuitive product lines that require time and effort into understanding their differences. In short, the brand’s digital story was not aligned with its real world promise:

  • The website felt more akin to traditional print media than a more in-depth and flexible storytelling vehicle.
  • The magic of the Milwaukee Tool brand was hidden deep in product details vs. serving as the main pillar of all communications.
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The Response

Craft a more engaging digital storytelling experience

We recognized an opportunity to make our web experience as innovative as Milwaukee Tool’s offerings. This meant rethinking not only how we served information to various audiences but also how we talked about the tools them selves — all the way down to the tiniest details.
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Declutter and decomplicate

To make Milwaukee Tool’s various systems more accessible, we stripped out the corporate/marketing terminology and instead used words/phrases that aligned with customers. This meant speaking to them based on their specific trades — be it electrician, plumber, etc. — and highlighting individual tools systems around specific outcomes like greater power or light weight performance. In addition, we put a priority on making every piece of content ultra-scannable so users could quickly understand the advantage of a specific tool rather than digging into every detail and coming to their own conclusion.

 

We then took these scannable bites and woven them into a complete and cohesive story that truly made each tool distinct and noteworthy.

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Bring excitement to expertise

We adopted a philosophy of both showing and telling the innovation behind Milwaukee Tool’s flagship products. And we realized it by investing in visual techniques to help audiences understand what makes Milwaukee Tool stand apart in every category — including eye-popping product breakdowns that made each facet of a particular tool’s advantages more action-oriented and engaging vs. a mere photograph.

The Details

Including eye-popping product that made each facet of a particular tool's advantages more action-oriented and engaging vs. a mere photograph.

The Details

The Result

An experience that livesup to the brand

Through a more visually engaging and simplified approach, we’ve elevated the sophistication built into every Milwaukee Tool product while still maintaining the brawn and power inherent to the category. It has never been easier for site users to understand what makes each tool unique, reinforcing the brand’s role as the #1 advocate for tradespeople across the globe.

Insights

How to Achieve Great UX Design

The past, present and future of great UX design

Work

Formica

Re-imagining an iconic brand from the customer up

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