Establishing a brand that sets your manufacturing company apart from the competition and encourages growth can be difficult. There is no rulebook that dictates what you can and cannot do, but there are several benchmarks and standards that indicate a successful brand, including market perception and trust, and audience engagement – which can be assessed via campaign data, feedback, and overall financial success. Although there is no secret recipe for success, there are five key points of a brand strategy for manufacturers that you can focus on to develop a successful one for your manufacturing firm.
1. Listen to Your Heart, a.k.a Your Customers
The core of any and every brand is its customers, and connecting with customers in the B2B market can be challenging as a manufacturer. The better you understand your customers and overall audience, the more successful your brand will be at engaging them and turning them into leads. The best place to begin getting to know your audience is by asking them directly via surveys or other feedback opportunities. You can gather feedback from your current and potential customers at any point in their interactions with your business, but there are a few key points of the process that stick out for successful feedback.
Any time a customer does business with your manufacturing firm, you should reach out several times to ask if they were happy with your products and service, and if they were not, you should create the space for them to voice their concerns or problems. Providing the opportunity for your customers to give their feedback will make them inclined to say something if they were satisfied and positions your brand as open to criticism and willing to change for the better of their clients. Similarly, you should also consistently ask your long-term clients for their feedback, inquiring about what they feel you could improve and soliciting suggestions on products or services they would like to see you expand into.
Listening to and fully reviewing all feedback you receive from your clients and audience can make or break your brand strategy’s success. Not only can you make adjustments as needed to maintain customer satisfaction, but you can also use their feedback to maintain relevance and favor long-term. Knowing who your audience is and what their priorities are allows you to tailor your brand to appeal to those preferences successfully. Your customers are the heart of your manufacturing firm, make sure you listen to them.
2. Show What You Know
You customers want peace of mind when it comes to their manufacturing needs, and one of the best ways to gain their trust and prove that you can handle anything is through content – think blogs, social media, email communications, your website, etc. Generating content that is meaningful and relevant can be difficult, and this is a great time to enlist the help of a professional branding agency that has experience in content creation and boost a brand strategy for manufacturers.
Being able to consistently publish content that touches on industry specific topics and news generates traffic to your website, and ideally those visitors become successful conversions. Being open and approachable with your knowledge and expertise shows your customers that you know what you are talking about and gives them the “evidence” to back it up. You should also be knowledgeable in every communication effort of your manufacturing process, being readily available to discuss your actions, equipment, and operations with customers at their request. In a market that demands to know everything, a brand strategy for manufacturers that works must cater to customers’ need for information.
3. Consistently Uphold Your Values
When developing your brand, you need to establish your core values, and then uphold those values throughout every decision of your brand strategy. Having strong, consistent values shows that you are organized and know who you are and what you stand for which helps demonstrate what is important to your company. In today’s market, consumers want to know what the companies they do business with stand for and what causes or initiatives they support. Consistently integrating your core values into every aspect of your brand strategy not only makes it clear what your priorities are, but also shows customers that you are serious about your commitment to them.
Aside from customer appeal, having strong core values works as the glue that holds a brand strategy for manufacturers together. Knowing your priorities and being able to apply them to every stage of your brand keeps you focused and centered around success. Consistency truly is the key when it comes to branding, and your core values act as the pillars that keep your strategy cohesive and coordinated. Upholding your values strengthens your brand strategy.
4. Transparency is Everything
In the 2022 market, everyone wants to know who is manufacturing their products and how they are getting it done. Establishing your firm as transparent will instantly make you stand out and will also position you as honest and trustworthy. Transparency can take on many forms, and different consumers will desire different information, but making the basic information they are looking for easy to obtain says a lot about your company. It not only shows that you are transparent, but it also secures a sense of security in your customers when shopping with your firm. For example, say your operations are solely U.S. based and operated, customers who prefer their manufacturer to be locally based are going to be attracted to your business from the get-go because you meet that requirement, and are readily letting them know that you can help them. If potential customers – or worse current customers in search of help – have to “hunt down” where and how to get ahold of you, chances are they will not be doing business with you. Being transparent extends beyond operational and communication needs and is important throughout your entire brand strategy. Getting ahead of your customers’ needs and anticipating what they want to know will make them trust that you will continue to keep them informed. Being transparent can boost customer loyalty in addition to gathering trust and growing leads.
5. Never Stop Refining
Once you begin to put the finishing touches on your brand strategy, it can be easy to get caught up in the thought of being completely done. The truth is, you are never done working on a successful brand strategy for your manufacturing firm. Just as it is important to uphold your core values and integrate customer feedback, it is absolutely crucial that you never stop refining your brand strategy if you want to stay successful. You should constantly be reaching goals and setting new ones. The information and data you gather from every stage of your brand strategy can be analyzed and used to inform your future decisions. Did you send out an email campaign that got a lot of opens, but not many click throughs? Or perhaps you are receiving low social media interactions but high digital advertisement engagements? Whatever your strengths and weaknesses may be, constantly being able to innovate and evolve your brand strategy to keep up with the ever-changing market is the true core of a successful brand.
In addition to using data analytics to inform future brand strategy refinements, you should also pay close attention to industry trends and what your fellow manufacturers are doing. Understanding what the majority is interested in and doing is necessary to appeal to your audience, but also to be able to stand out and establish your brand as unique, something manufacturing has never seen. Being able to plan and adapt for the future allows for versatility and overall brand success, allowing you to stick around for the long-term.
Experiment with Your Strengths
Overall, a successful brand strategy will mean something different for every manufacturing company around, but there are a few points to consider when it comes to developing a strategy that leads to growth. Being in touch with your customers and your audience is the best way to understand who your brand is reaching, and what they need or want from your brand. You cannot effectively target your brand without knowing who you are speaking to. When you are interacting with your clients, you want to make sure it is meaningful content that shows off you as a manufacturer in an authentic, engaging way. You should be showing off what you know and being transparent every step of the way, while staying true to your core values. You know who you are and what you stand for, make sure the market does as well. It may be hard to identify which areas of your brand strategy you need to work on and address, but development is the time to experiment with your strengths and unlock your superpowers. Your brand strategy never stops evolving, and a successful one should be able to grow with you and your industry.
Unlocking your branding superpowers is not an easy task, especially when you have more important matters to handle within your manufacturing company. Enlisting the help of an experienced B2B manufacturing marketing and branding firm can help ensure that you establish and stay on track with a successful brand strategy. They know all of the best tactics and methods to develop a unique, stand-out brand that your customers can get behind.
About Millennium Agency
Millennium Agency is a nationally recognized, top woman led B2B branding, positioning, and digital marketing firm who knows how to create value that emotionally influences your customer’s buying decision, giving you the competitive advantage. As your trusted partner in B2B software technology and manufacturing, we provide the branding and positioning framework that make an impact – so you can focus on what you do best – run your business successfully. With offices in Boston and New Hampshire, and a worldwide presence, the professionals at Millennium Agency would like to learn more about your business. Visit www.mill.agency or book time here.