When it comes to branding, the major players probably come to mind first — Amazon, Coca-Cola®, Disney, and so on. The strength of their name recognition is immense. When these names come up, you immediately see their logo, and even if the logo doesn’t bully its way into your brain, you at least know what they’re selling. It doesn’t matter whether you consume their products or not; you know them. They’ve seared your mind with a branding iron. (See what we did there?)
Many manufacturing and industrial companies, however, don't think that they need to worry about branding. They prefer to rely on word of mouth and referrals to attract new business, and they feel that branding isn't important in their space.
But there's a better way to grow your business.
The fact is that the manufacturing and industrial marketplace is extremely crowded, with different companies offering many of the same services and capabilities. A solid, recognizable and memorable brand can help you stand out from the crowd and put you in position to win more business.
Here's why you should build your manufacturing brand.
People Will Know Who You Are And What You Do
Let's get the obvious out of the way: effective branding will give you name recognition. That's great. But there's another, not-so-obvious benefit of branding: it will also give you capabilities recognition.
You see, with really great branding, you become what you offer. Think about it. When we say chocolate, you think Hershey. When we say tissue, you picture Kleenex. Building your brand can make your company name synonymous with your product or service. That's powerful stuff.
Related Resource: What Can B2B Industrial Marketers Learn From B2C Companies?
Effective Brand Marketing Establishes An Emotional Connection
Successful branding helps to foster an emotional connection to your company. Once you establish what your brand is and what it stands for, you can then focus on creating messaging that speaks to people’s needs and desires on a subtly emotional level.
Think about Apple, for example. The level of anticipation that awaits every new product launch is not rational, and the loyalty that people feel for their iPhones is incredible. Apple hones in on and reinforces this emotional loyalty through their advertising and messaging.
A Strong Brand Will Make It Easier To Build Trust
Strong B2B marketing also establishes credibility and keeps you from seeming like a fly-by-night outfit. Engaging, sophisticated branding helps illustrate that you’re a legitimate company with consistent product or service offerings. Think of it this way: Good branding is like having a credit card that loans out client trust until you get the opportunity to prove yourself firsthand.
You Differentiate Your Brand In B2B Marketing
Branding can be hugely helpful in distinguishing yourself from competitors. You may offer the same kind of product or service as a competitor, but you aren’t a clone. Don’t let yourself look like one. Make sure your organization’s colors, logos, mission statement, and overall personality are unique, well thought out, and distinct from other manufacturing brands.
As you’re working on your branding strategy, remember to be your biggest advocate. Be true to your brand, but don’t be afraid to brag.
In B2B marketing, it’s critical to differentiate yourself. This is where you need your branding to create a story that sets you apart from your competitors. Your story doesn’t need to be complex, but it does need to be unique and attention-grabbing to help you stand out from the noise of competing brand messages, so don't forget your unique selling proposition.
With enough research, you’ll have a better idea of the particular audiences you’re targeting and the space in which you can connect with them. Aim to keep your message simple and easily relatable, but provide enough detail that your audience can connect to your offering on a human level.
Top manufacturers make their brand stand out with a profile on the Thomas Network.
3 Steps To Build Your Manufacturing Brand
While your company may not become a household name, you can leverage branding to create a stronger association between who you are and what you offer, giving you an advantage over your competition. Here are three ways to kickstart your manufacturing brand strategy.
1. Research Your Competition
While building a brand isn’t rocket science, it does take some research and planning. One of the first things you need to understand is who you are competing against. Research these companies and study their marketing messages. By understanding how your business relates to the competition, you can develop a strategy to distinguish yourself. Then, use this information to write your mission statement, which helps you identify the value you offer to your customers.
2. Identify Your Target Audience
The research doesn’t stop there. Next, you’ll want to make sure you’ve identified your target audience. It’s impossible to appeal to everyone, so knowing who your consumers are will help you create branding they can relate to as you form your brand voice. The voice you use in your marketing gives your brand its personality; brand voice serves to differentiate you from the competition while engaging with your target audience.
3. Give Your Company An Identity
Once you’ve determined the personality of your brand, it’s time to give your brand an identity. To do this, you’ll need to update (or create!) a logo and tagline that will appear throughout your marketing materials. These identifying characteristics of your brand are a simple representation of the qualities and benefits your brand offers.
Your brand message, which should be one or two short sentences, will give a more detailed explanation of your value proposition, inspire your target audience, and motivate them to choose you over the competition.
How Strong Is Your Brand?
Before you can convey who you are to others, you have to know for yourself. Try crafting a concise, succinct statement that explains what your company is and what you stand for. What are you? What are you not? What do you stand for? If you mass-produce widgets to be sold at rock-bottom prices, then say so. If you’re all about superior, handcrafted whatnots, make that known. Leave no ambiguity.
Finally, what is it that you do well? Make certain that those who encounter your brand know without a doubt what you provide and what they can expect from you. And be real. If you’re all about quality, make good stuff and stand behind your products. If your edge is quick delivery, follow through on shipping demands. Consultative? Continue to show up in your buyer’s world, adding value after the transaction is complete.
Solid branding can go a long way in establishing your presence in the marketplace. If you’re looking for some inspiration, watch the video below to see how Thomas rebranded itself in the past.
Or, if you’re having trouble getting started and need help from an industrial marketing expert, reach out to our team today. We’ll help you build an engaging marketing strategy that will set you apart from the competition.
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