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You are Your Brand in Industrial Marketing | Manufacturing Marketing

You are Your Brand in Industrial Marketing

Your b2b branding reflects who you are.

Your branding carries both what you say about your company and how you’re perceived. Is the reflection accurate?

Branding is at the heart of industrial b2b marketing. Many, if not most, industrial manufacturers have been in business for decades. The company logo truly represents the products, their makers and their consumers. Company stability, consistent quality and delivering on the product promise will result in positive feelings for all involved when seeing the company logo and marketing materials.

Negative experiences which affect any of these attributes will become part of the overall impression given as well.

There is often a disconnect between what a company believes their market personae is and how their customers feel. Without understanding how your target market perceives your products and company, marketing messages will be off-base. For example, claiming to be high quality when you’re generally viewed as a low-cost substitute will result in poor, possibly negative results.

So, where do you start?

1. Review existing branding and marketing efforts. Is there a central story? If so, is it valid? Outdated or unfounded claims harm your effort, short and long term. The worst case scenario is when your claims are generally viewed as false. Your branding will continually reinforce negative impressions.

2. Determine your target market. Where are your best opportunities? Who within your market benefits through the use of your products? How do they use your product? Are there novel uses? Is your market high volume / low margin or vice versa? Create a detailed description of the people involved with your product, from buyers to users and ultimately, decision makers.

3. Research your target market to verify assumptions. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Survey your current, past and potential customers. Find out what they like, and just as importantly, don’t like about your products and your company. You can’t address perceptions if you’re unaware of them.

This should be uncomfortable. If it isn’t, you’re not asking the right questions or pushing hard enough for real answers. Brutal honesty is required if you really want to know what your market thinks. Make the effort worthwhile and ask tough questions.

4. Research your competitors. Where are your opportunities and threats? Understanding how your company and your competitors fit within your chosen market should lead to a clear positioning which rings true. If this true position is not sustainable or profitable, no amount of marketing will succeed. Companies which are honest about their market position rework what they produce to the point their position is strong and worth promoting.

5. Create a strategy. Give life to your brand through high-quality visuals and text. Trumpet your market advantages. Determine how to reach your target and use the tools available to make it happen.

Be proud of who you are and what you do. Embrace your reflection.

photo credit: mark sebastian via photopin cc

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