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Branding for a market leader


TOUGHBOOK is a range of rugged devices by Panasonic Connect, including handheld devices, tablets, laptops and accessories.

Tested to their limits during production, TOUGHBOOK products are able to withstand extreme environments, making them ideal for a wide range of industries from the military and emergency services to retail, manufacturing and logistics. Since the first product was released in 1996, TOUGHBOOK has been setting the standard for rugged computing. That’s over 25 years of manufacturing excellence.


TOUGHBOOK already had a well-established brand and consistent messaging. However, evolving and adapting to the ever-changing business landscape is vital for any brand that wants to remain relevant.

They needed a brand messaging refresh to reflect their proposition, boost impact in the market, and ensure they remain front-of-mind for decision-makers.

The TOUGHBOOK brand appeals to at least 10 different sectors, so the concept would need the flexibility to reach multiple audiences, while still focusing on the product’s key differentiators.

An added challenge was ensuring the language could be translated into multiple European languages, and that it didn’t rely on English idioms or word play.

The solution needed to stand out and be suitably catchy, while maintaining the integrity of the TOUGHBOOK brand.

Our brief specified that the team wanted the campaign to include new photography, so we had clear parameters for an impactful creative and could imagine how it could be rolled out across various touchpoints.

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We started by creating a new look and feel for the well-established brand. We wanted to create an emotional response and avoid being too practical in our approach.

From experience, we knew customers found it difficult to connect with product imagery alone, so it was time to explore a new angle that worked from the perspective of TOUGHBOOK’s rugged approach to innovation, and their customers’ rugged approach to everyday work.

This is how the ‘TOUGH is’ messaging was born. We created a range of key lines that started with the simple phrase –  ‘TOUGH is' and developed it into powerful, versatile headlines such as: 'TOUGH is staying strong in mission-critical moments,’ or ‘TOUGH is withstanding the harshest conditions.’ It was important that each of these headlines could relate to the product and user, both with qualities and abilities in common.

We took full advantage of the word TOUGH, which is already used throughout the brand, for a simple, effective slogan.

We made it an integral part of their messaging meaning we could help people make an immediate connection between the brand, the technology and the people who rely on it.

We paired this flexible copy with a bold selection of brand imagery, using dramatic, cinematic photography, to reflect the conditions in which the products could help users thrive.

Each photograph was carefully selected to evoke the emotions of harsh and challenging working environments the product would be used in.

This combination of dramatic imagery and powerful copy drew parallels between the rugged technology and its brave, strong-willed users – ensuring they feel represented, appreciated and understood by the brand.  

The result was a powerful and consistent brand message that could be adapted to any of TOUGHBOOK’s key sectors and rolled out across an array of campaigns, digital platforms, event booths and promotional brochures for years to come.