Relaunching Your Manufacturing Brand
By Chathri Ali
Apple, Google, and Tesla have shown that branding matters, even for the world of high tech. It extends beyond the consumer market; in a world where global sourcing and manufacturing partnerships define the final outcome of a tech product, branding is about establishing trust on a macro level.
For many manufacturing companies, this represents a paradigm shift when it comes to marketing. The notion of being active across all media--from traditional to new to social--may represent a new way of thinking, especially if a brand has been dormant from any sort of public outreach. However, re-launching or evolving a brand can be done in a successful and streamlined fashion, as long as it’s executed in a cohesive and forward-thinking way.
Clearly defined goals and positioning
Before you can move forward, two key items must be clearly defined. First, your business objectives--what is the purpose of all of this? Are you expanding facilities and capacity? Offering a new product line or service option? Entering into a new era of partnership or leadership? Or, maybe, all of the above? Those objectives create the goal for your campaign, ensuring that team members stay focused on a common finish line.
The second item that must be established is the state of your brand. Does it seem outdated or does it merely need repositioning to attract a different audience? How is it viewed within the industry, outside of and tangential to the industry, online and on social media? How does the competition position itself--and is there anything to be learned from that?
Harness the power of your homepage
Once those are clearly defined, you can begin mapping a path towards communicating your brand launch (or relaunch), starting with an overhauled website. In today's marketing, your company website is the heart of everything. It becomes your go-to brochure and catalog, news and press release ticker, public relations hub, and social media home, all in one place. Your web presence should follow the latest modern design and functionality standards, with clear navigation, functional multimedia, embedded social media feeds, and Content Management System-powered news updates, white papers, and articles. In addition, video content can have long legs thanks to embedding solutions and search engine indexing.
For the manufacturing industry in particular, case studies and testimonials should have their own dedicated space highly visible to potential customers. Call to action is key, and pages should be appropriately linked to direct contact information.
All of this should be designed with a clean layout that works to reinforce your brand aesthetic (logo, color scheme, font choices) for a seamless experience. That layout should also be compatible with mobile devices--in fact, many Content Management System engines have options for separate streamlined mobile-only layouts.
Networking online and offline
Once the centerpiece of your marketing campaign is up and running, it's time to turn to outreach. Email newsletters are still statistically the most successful form of business communication, with numbers trumping conversion rates of social media. Management tools such as Mailchimp and Constant Contact make the process easy while providing analytics to give you an inside look at who's clicking and why. Social media itself shouldn't be overlooked, and everything from Facebook to LinkedIn now has a status feed. Social media also is weighed heavily by Google's search engine spiders, so staying active expands your online footprint.
Even in the age of online branding and social media, there’s still something to be said for in-person networking. Utilizing organizations such as the local Chamber of Commerce, alumni associations, trade groups, and government organizations can open the doors to new customers and partners while providing valuable brand exposure.
Finally, it’s critical to understand that these are all pieces to a puzzle. As marketing and branding are dynamic initiatives, a campaign involving web content, social media buzz, and in-person networking should be cohesively planned. When it all comes together, the result will be a stronger, more unified brand, one that emphasizes your value proposition while delivering your company’s message in a bigger and better way.
Published Date : 2/20/2014