Beyond the Assembly Line: Marketing & Branding for the Manufacturing Industry

While many manufacturing companies have moved their operations to countries where labor is cheaper than it is here in the United States, the fact is that manufacturing jobs are still responsible for a healthy percentage of employment here.

 

Whether your products are made in the USA or manufactured overseas, it’s important to connect with consumers and build a brand that resonates with them.

 

For manufacturing companies, trust is important. A brand can be made or broken by how it responds to an emergency recall. Part of coming through such a problem with your customer base intact is building trust and reliability on an ongoing basis.

 

Logo Design for the Manufacturing Industry

Good marketing starts with good branding. The logo you choose to represent your company may, if you’re lucky, be around for decades or even centuries.

 

What Do Consumers Need from Manufacturers?

The first thing to consider when designing a logo is what consumers need from you. Of course, you hope that they’ll need your product. But the key question here is, what do they need from your brand?

 

The three top considerations that consumers have for manufacturers are:

1. Trust/Honesty
2. Quality
3. Reliability

 

The bottom line is that consumers need to feel that they can trust you to produce useful, safe products that they can rely on.

 

How to Earn Trust and Instill Confidence with Your Logo

The colors, logotypes, and images you choose for your logo communicate directly with consumers in ways that are both obvious and subtle. A potential customer might not think, “I can trust this manufacturer because their logo is red, white, and blue” – but that doesn’t mean that your color choices don’t play a role.

 

For example, research shows that a majority of American consumers prefer to buy products that are made in the United States. One reason is that they feel that those products are made with greater quality control than products that are manufactured overseas.

 

Your company doesn’t need to have manufacturing facilities here to use those colors and send a subtle message that your manufacturing standards are up to snuff. In fact, many manufacturers use them to establish a foundation of trust and stability.

 

As a rule, you want to choose strong and reassuring colors, memorable icons, and clear, easy-to-read fonts.

 

Logo Analysis

To understand what goes into a successful manufacturing logo, let’s look at an example from our portfolio:

As you can see, this is quite a simple logo that uses black and white with a hint of silver. The modern look and subtle shine on the three embedded Ms give the idea that this company uses up-to-date in its methods. The shine also suggests the gleam of the company’s completed products.

 

By contrast, the company’s name is rendered in a classic block font. It’s easy to read, and the slightly scratched appearance suggests that this is a company that has been in business for a while. They know what they’re doing, and this logo lets consumers know that.

 

Why Manufacturers Must Create a Memorable Brand

Why is branding important? Good branding is what sets you apart from your competitors. It can fascinate people, build loyalty, and help you weather storms when they arise.

 

Creating Brand Loyalty

Brand loyalty is worth its weight in gold. It costs far more to acquire a new customer than it does to maintain an existing one, and a loyal customer can earn your company thousands – or even millions – of dollars over the years.

 

To build brand loyalty, you need to convey steadiness and a sense of tradition. You don’t need to be old-fashioned – although that works for some companies – but you do need to give consumers the feeling that they can count on you.

 

Consistency can help you build brand loyalty. Once you’ve chosen a logo, use it everywhere in your marketing. Your logo and other key designs can help you send a coherent message that will make customers want to give their business on an ongoing basis.

 

Crisis Management

Most manufacturers have, at one time or another, encountered a crisis of some kind. When you make any kind of product in bulk, there’s always a risk of something going wrong on the manufacturing line – and solid branding can help you recover from even the worst crisis.

Tylenol is a classic example. Back in the 1980s, the company was rocked when poison turned up in their capsules. The crisis could have irreparably damaged the company, but they had a solid brand built on trust and their reaction proved that consumers could trust them. They pulled the product, revolutionized packaging for over-the-counter medications, and they continue to be a trusted brand today.

 

Components of Branding

Branding involves more than putting your logo on your website and social media accounts. It’s about demonstrating who you are and what matters to you every day.

 

Customer research comes first. When you understand who your core customers are, you can use that information to build your brand. Many companies take the time to create a persona – a visual and psychological representation of their customers. For example, a baby food company’s persona would probably be a new mother who’s worried about her child’s health and well-being. A company that makes golf clubs might have a middle-aged executive as its persona.

 

Next, you need to create a brand voice that speaks to the customer persona you created. Continuing with the same examples, the baby food company might settle on a warm, slightly humorous but reassuring voice. The golf club company might take a brash tone.

 

Once you have a voice for your brand, use it consistently – on your website, in marketing emails, on your blog, and on social media. Consistency will ensure that people know what to expect from your brand.

 

Content Marketing Ideas for Manufacturers

The work you do creating a memorable brand will help you create memorable content to build your brand and establish trust. Manufacturing companies can use a variety of methods to engage with their target audience.

 

Explainer Videos

The first thing to try is making one or more explainer video. An explainer video is, as you might guess, a video that explains some aspect of your product or manufacturing. A majority of consumers say that they prefer to learn about products by watching a video.

 

What might you include in an explainer video? Here are some suggestions:

1. A look at your manufacturing facility and an explanation of how your products are made.
2. An explanation of how you developed a product, including the research that went into it.
3. A demonstration of how to use, assemble, or install your product safely.

 

Explainer videos are usually short – three minutes or less – and many manufacturers use them to connect with consumers.

 

Social Media

No company that deals with the buying public can afford to ignore social media as a way of reaching its target audience. Companies that sell directly to consumers should start with Facebook, which has the biggest reach and the most flexibility of all the social media sites. Business to business companies might want to consider making LinkedIn the cornerstone of their social media activity.

 

No matter which sites you choose, the key is to use only those sites where your customers congregate. An inactive profile may do you more harm than good.

 

Use your logo as your profile picture, post a compelling image as your cover photo, and make sure that everybody who posts on your behalf uses your brand voice and understands your marketing objectives. You may want to use a scheduling tool so that you don’t have to worry about missing a deadline to post new content.

 

Authority Content

Finally, you may want to create some authority content to help you build trust with your customers. Authority content can come in many different forms, but here are a few to consider.

 

1. Whitepapers are short, authoritative reports that are best used to explain some of the more complex aspects of what you do. For example, a dog food company might use a whitepaper to delve into canine nutritional needs.

2. EBooks can be short or long, and are often used as lead magnets to build a mailing list. They can be used to share information that can help people get the most from your products. Continuing with the above example, a dog food company might offer customers an eBook that talks about how a dog’s diet should change as the dog ages.

3. Studies and blog posts can also qualify as authority content. For example, you might commission a study and then hire a graphic designer to make a compelling infographic to illustrate your findings. The key is to find a way to communicate a lot of information quickly.

 

Creating authority content is a great way to build trust and authority quickly – and to show your customers that you have their best interests at heart.

 

Conclusion

Consumers prefer to buy from manufacturers they trust. If you use the information and ideas here, then you will soon have a loyal customer base who know they can count on you when it matters most.

Leave a Reply