They say, ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover.’ But when your potential customers are trying to decide whether to work with you, they are doing just that. In these circumstances, your branding is the answer. It could give you a competitive edge, help to control your company perception, emphasise your USP and create a visual identity.
In this article, we explore how manufacturers could benefit from properly branding themselves, before providing you with some tips to do so.
Read on to learn about creating a strong, lasting brand that will help you to attract and retain customers.
Key Talking Points:
We know that branding is important for success, but how exactly does it impact your business?
Establishing Trust and Credibility
People want peace of mind when they use your services. Your branding should instil trust and credibility, helping potential customers to have faith in your product and service quality. Whether you’re providing machined parts or an emergency manufacturing service, your audience is looking for a reliable service that they can count on.
Creating a brand which displays this can take various forms, though here you must create a brand personality that will attract your desired customers. Consider your brand’s design, from your logo and slogans to customer service and the online reviews about your business. Be sure to communicate your values to your customers clearly and consistently.
Building trust and credibility takes time and effort, but it's an important step in attracting and retaining a loyal target audience.
Creating Emotional Connections with Customers
Your branding isn’t just about informing your customers of your services, it’s also about telling a story which resonates with them, evoking positive emotions and fostering a sense of loyalty and satisfaction.
If you provide a service very similar to your competitors, your branding and the emotional connection it harbours could be what makes your audience choose you. This is especially important in a digital age where new technologies are constantly changing. Without a lasting emotional connection, it would be easy for customers to move on to another manufacturer whenever they feel like they can provide them with something better.
This emotional connection is often achieved via a brand's storytelling. Conveying why you're making your products and what sets you apart will help your audience connect with you on a more human level.
Maybe you’re trying to take the complexity out of manufacturing by providing a turnkey solution at an affordable price. Or perhaps you’re focused on supporting your local community by working exclusively with British suppliers. Whatever your brand's core principles, you must communicate them clearly.
Creating this connection often requires you to rephrase your brand to emphasise the benefits to the customer - it’s through customer satisfaction that a positive emotional connection is formed.
Standing Out from Competitors
With so many manufacturers seemingly providing the same service, it’s harder than ever to stand out as the preferred choice among the crowd. Improving your brand awareness is crucial and can help you to:
- Become more memorable by communicating across various channels what differentiates you from your competitors.
- Create a consistent brand personality. Communicating the same ethos and values across all of your marketing channels ensures all of your efforts work together in synergy.
When you frequently expose potential customers to your brand values, they’re more likely to remember you when they’re ready to buy.
Perception and Reputation Management
As already mentioned, it's through effective branding that you can manage the perception and reputation of your manufacturing business. This brings a host of benefits, including:
- Increased visibility. A strong brand can help you to create a strong presence in an otherwise busy marketplace. Choosing the channels which your audience is using will ensure that you are seen by your target audience.
- An enhanced reputation. Whether you’re trying to establish your brand as a leader in the manufacturing industry, or just trying to emphasise the positive aspects of your services - brand management can help you to manage your reputation and instil trust.
- Increased brand awareness. Once loyalty has been established, your customers are going to be interested in your new products without considering their alternatives.
- Increased demand. As your business becomes well-known in the channels and communities your target audience interacts with, the higher the demand for your products and services.
Expanding Sales Channels and Increasing Profits
From Social Media Marketing to Blogging and SEO, there are numerous channels you could pursue as a manufacturer. Each one brings a new set of eyes which could ultimately result in a sale.
By creating multiple marketing streams which all work in tandem, you can create a more distinct identity and establish your brand across multiple platforms. Saying that, while your efforts should consistently convey your brand, the needs of every channel are different. To ensure your message is well-received, you must adapt your marketing to the needs of your audience.
That can be challenging at times, but here at Omnisity, we have experience developing clear branding for manufacturers across various channels.
Next-level product design, 3D renders, and a stunning website drive additional revenue.
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Elevating Enville Oak's online presence with stunning visuals to complement the art of their craft.
We have discussed some of the advantages of strong branding for manufacturers, but how do you develop one that sticks in the minds of your audience?
Your brand positioning can be broken down into three elements: brand development (including your brand image); brand strategy (which focuses on getting your brand seen); and brand management (which refers to the ongoing maintenance of your image, keeping things consistent and salient).
The techniques we describe below correspond to one or more of these elements and could be used at various stages - though we recommend that your brand is formed at the start of a marketing campaign.
Differentiating Your Brand
Highlighting what makes your brand unique, and why exactly someone should buy from you, is a crucial step for standing out in a competitive landscape. This should serve as a hook that captures the attention of potential customers, conveying exactly what makes your brand the best of the bunch.
Here at Omnisity, we achieve this by using the model developed by organisational theorist Kenichi Ohmae. According to this framework, your market positioning should be influenced by three Cs:
- Your Customers (those people most likely to buy from you);
- Your Competitors (your direct competition);
- Your Company (your business and brand).
In short, your brand should appeal to your customers (which we achieve using information based on data from your market orientation and segmentation), in ways that differentiate you from your competition (that is, by really emphasising what your company does better or differently).
This message should encapsulate your core values, strengths and the qualities that distinguish you. It’s also vital that your internal team is clear on this so that everything they do works towards your brand’s value proposition.
The Benefit Ladder
We’ve talked through the theory, but how exactly do you differentiate yourself? We like to make use of the ‘Benefit Ladder’ - which helps us to decide how exactly to position your branding. According to this model, when differentiating yourself, you should focus on one of five things:
- Your product (or service): by making customers aware of its existence and how to get hold of it.
- Your product or service’s features: highlighting the key features of your product, what’s great and different about them.
- The benefits of your products: still focusing on the product rather than the customer, you may wish to draw comparisons between competing products and highlight the benefits of using yours.
- From there, you could emphasise the benefits which the customer stands to gain from using your product. Maybe it solves a problem or could make them more productive - whatever it is, you should be emphasising it.
- Finally, you should round things off by highlighting the emotional benefits which the customer gains. This step isn’t for every product or service, but it could highlight benefits like ‘peace of mind’ or ‘increased confidence.
Which stage of the ladder to focus on and how exactly to communicate this positioning will depend on the marketing tactic you choose to adopt. We tend to recommend that you carry out various campaigns across numerous marketing channels to properly spread the word of your expertise.
We’re always on call to help with this, so get in touch today if you want to differentiate your brand in ways that help you stand out.
Cultivate a Compelling Visual Identity
Your visual identity plays a role in how your brand is perceived. In a past article, we explored the role that colour psychology plays in helping you form an emotional connection with your audience.
The colours you choose evoke different emotions, so you must pick out those which align with your audience's preferences. Consider the age, culture and life experiences of your audience when selecting a colour scheme that will evoke the desired associations. Beyond colour, logos and design elements are also key to creating a recognisable brand that reflects your company’s personality. To achieve this:
- Create a colour palette which is consistently used across all of your branding materials and choose fonts that will make your message stand out.
- Make sure your logo is simple, memorable and versatile enough to be used across multiple mediums.
- Use imagery that communicates your brand story and resonates with your target.
Clear, consistent and visually appealing brand identity plays a key role in grabbing your audience's attention and converting them into paying customers.
Enhance Outreach and Customer Engagement
Your ‘brand' isn’t just about the material you publish on your channels, it can also be influenced by how you interact with your audience and the wider community. As a starting point, we recommend you take steps to engage with your target audience and encourage engagement with your brand. Do so by responding promptly to comments and messages, showing that you value their input and are committed to building a relationship.
You should also consider how you could engage with your community through outreach and PR, in ways that communicate your values and the steps you take to adhere to them.
Maintain Credibility, Consistency, and Continuity
How else can you build a strong brand?
Ultimately, the perception of your brand will come down to one thing: the quality of your products and services. Even with a strong brand, you’re not going to successfully build a trustworthy reputation unless you deliver what your marketing promises.
So, at the heart of your marketing efforts, consistently and reliably delivering quality products and services while offering excellent customer service is essential.
Your branding should then work consistently to convey that message, ensuring that your products, messaging and visuals are easy to identify and remain consistent across all platforms. To ensure you’re delivering precisely what your customers want, you should frequently monitor customer feedback and use it to refine your products and services.
By now, you should know how important branding is for manufacturers. It can help you stand out from the competition and make your products more recognisable.
Want to create a strong brand identity that can help you build trust and loyalty with your customers? We’re here to help! Here at Omnisity, we have vast experience providing branding for manufacturers across various channels. Get in touch today to find out how we can help.