3 Things You Need to Know about Brand Marketing for Industrial Manufacturers

brand marketing graphicWritten by Dan Konstantinovsky
Strategic Marketing, RH Blake
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Leading manufacturers are increasingly focused on brand marketing to help drive differentiation and margin expansion. In fact, according to a recent Content Marketing Institute Manufacturing-focused report, 82% of goals for content marketing over the next 12 months were focused on brand awareness.

Should Brand Marketing be a focus for you in 2019? Knowledge of these three key aspects of branding can give manufacturers the leverage they need for success.

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    1. Driving awareness is a critical challenge for industrial manufacturers.

    When it comes to branding for industrial manufacturers, the company’s efforts must create awareness of its brand. This is about more than just logo recognition. It’s about creating a brand that is a trusted industry name and source. Messaging and deliverables must be consistent and of top quality to be effective. Brand marketing conveys what a particular industrial manufacturer can offer its customers. It communicates what the business is all about, how you do things, and why your manufacturing company is a better choice than the competition.

    Achieving this isn’t an easy task. The industrial marketplace is a crowded space. Branding must effectively make potential customers take notice of the manufacturer’s brand and place the company in a position to stand out from competitors.

    Two of the biggest challenges in this arena are a lack of leads and a pool of prospects that haven’t heard of the company. A 2017 marketing spending report from engineering.com reveals that a need for more leads is the top challenge for engineering marketers, faced by 56% of the group. Over a third reported struggling with being unknown to prospects. A manufacturer must overcome these obstacles by generating greater awareness of their brand.
    Signs of Success
    How can you know if your efforts to drive awareness have been effective? Solid branding is characterized by recognizable traits:

    • The brand is asked for by name.
    • People think of the brand rather than the product.
    • The brand conveys personality.
    • People will pay a premium for products labeled with the brand name.

    Due to the significant effort required to achieve this level of brand awareness, it’s important to understand how it benefits the manufacturer.

    2. Brand awareness offers significant benefits for industrial manufacturers.

    Those who have embraced brand marketing for industrial manufacturers understand the impact it can make. This is why manufacturing marketers have started to shift their focus to brand awareness. According to the Content Marketing Institute’s report, 2017 Manufacturing Content Marketing-Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends-North America, 82% of goals for content marketing over the next 12 months were focused on brand awareness.

    It’s easy to understand this focus when you examine the benefits brand awareness achieves. When your are successful at driving brand awareness, you gain:

    Trust: Effective brand marketing for industrial manufacturers lets customers know the company is worthy of their trust. You are viewed as an established, legitimate company with consistent products and services.

    Accelerated sales cycle: From the first touch point to closing the deal, a sales cycle could last several weeks. According to research by Salesforce, B2B sales cycles average 102 days. Why wait weeks while potential customers research and weigh their options? You can close this loop by providing a brand that customers already know and trust. When this is the case, multiple interactions to draw customers into the business are not needed. The customer is ready to make their purchase more quickly. They don’t hesitate to do business with the familiar brand.

    Easier prospect entry: Imagine never making another cold call. Strong brand awareness turns every cold prospect into a warm lead. Before you make any effort to do business with the customer, they are already aware of your company and have some familiarity with your offerings. Your branding awareness has broken the ice.

    Reduced perceived risk: A customer’s reasons for choosing a company typically go beyond price and product availability. Customers want to do business with someone that won’t let them down. When your company is well branded, your customers feel a sense of security. They view you as an established industry brand that will serve them well. In this low-risk environment, they feel safe to move forward with their purchase.

    3. There are 5 key elements of a winning brand marketing strategy.

    Of course, not every marketing effort can achieve this level of brand awareness. The strategy must be intentional and focused. It should include:

    Clear positioning: A potential customer needs to know immediately if they have come to the right place to meet their needs. The longer they have to linger and try to figure out what you can do for them, the less likely they are to stick around. Effective brand marketing conveys a precise message about your offerings. No one wonders what industry you serve, what products you offer or what projects you complete. Your marketing efforts have clearly communicated to your target audience what you bring to the table and what they will walk away with if they do business with you.

    Differentiation: Do you stand out from the competition? Bland, generic messages have no place in an effective brand marketing strategy. Marketing efforts must differentiate your business from everyone else in your sector. Your company’s logo, mission, personality and campaigns must be distinct from other brands. Potential customers must know who you are and what you do. Your marketing strategy must communicate why you are different and why you are the clear choice.

    Customer-centric approach: Deloitte reports that customer-centric brands are 60% more profitable than those which are not. According to a Gallup study, B2B companies that have high customer engagement achieve 50% higher revenue than their competition. A customer-centric approach that involves listening to your audience and offering a proactive approach to their needs is a core tenet of a winning brand marketing strategy. Marketing must consider your customer’s goals, frustrations and motivations. It moves beyond simply discussing your company and talks about what matters most to the customer.

    Improvement analytics: What works and what doesn’t? A winning brand marketing strategy successfully analyzes efforts to answer this question. This data should shape ongoing marketing and operations efforts and drive improvement in both areas. Repeated analysis will uncover what matters most to your audience and what can push them further along the sales cycle. Appropriate use of analytics shapes the brand identity, further increases brand awareness and leads to business growth.

    Consistency: One-off efforts won’t cut it. Brand marketing must be consistent. All facets of your marketing efforts must be aligned. Web pages, social media ads, print, sales materials and all other marketing efforts must echo the same messaging, in the same style. Your message also must be repetitive and easy to understand and remember. These simple, recurring communications will brand your company into the minds of customers.

    Brand Marketing: Foundation for Success

    Branding is much more than a marketing effort – A well-crafted brand marketing strategy is one of your most effective tools for leveraging business growth.

    To build your winning strategy, partner with the marketing experts at RH Blake. We offer three decades of experience in brand marketing for industrial manufacturers. Our full-scope marketing efforts consistently result in enhanced brand awareness and business growth.

    Are you ready to start a conversation with the leading marketing agency for industrial manufacturers? We’d love to discuss how we can build your brand into an industry leader. Contact RH Blake today at 216-595-2400 or info@rhblake.com.