Branding carries so much importance these days. Unfortunately, branding is commonly misinterpreted as just a name, a logo, a website design, and a color scheme. It is so much more than that! Your brand encompasses your reputation and recognition to everyone. It is what people think and say about your business when they see these images or hear its name. Successful branding is when people that don’t even use your products or services still recognize it and have a positive opinion about it. This doesn’t just occur by happenstance and luck. Building a successful and effective brand takes strategic communications and an evolving marketing strategy that is well structured, planned and executed. The manufacturing industry is a competitive one and it is important to stay on top of the game so your brand recognition is high and the referrals come pouring in. Your website is one of the key gateways for communication with your company and potential business. The content on your website and other advertisements matters. Let’s discuss 3 signs that it’s time to update your manufacturing company’s strategic messaging.
There is an “update” in the industry
Consistency is key in any marketing plan. However, things change and evolve on a regular basis within every industry. That means your plan needs to leave room for updates and changes. Don’t allow the drive to be consistent to overshadow changes in the manufacturing industry. As the industry changes and updates with new processes and trends, your message strategy needs to remain updated with it. It is possible to maintain consistency while allowing for the necessary changes. It just requires a little flexibility. This means your overall marketing plan can still be planned out and implemented, but it may require some strategic messaging adjustments that make room for specific updates. Take a look at your current branding and advertising efforts. Do they scream relic and dated? Do they line up with current trends, processes, and other aspects? Taking these types of questions into account will help to perform a healthy analysis and determine if an update to your brand messaging is warranted. It is crucial to stay current in today’s market.
This impacts your website most directly. The content on your site needs to be updated on a regular and routine basis. It needs to have messaging that clearly reflects that your company is a valued and current source of manufacturing services. Potential clients and site visitors need to be made aware of industry changes and new trends directly. The updates then need to be reflected across all other marketing mediums to maintain that brand consistency. This builds trust and confidence in your business and its services.
Your revenue is shrinking
This one is sure to strike home and is pretty obvious. If your revenue is dropping you have a number of things to consider in your business. However, companies often overlook their branding and strategic messaging as possible reasons behind the revenue drop. If your messaging isn’t current, you likely won’t be drawing in current business. A drop in revenue impacts your bottom line, employees, and the overall health and reliability of your business. It is important to stay ahead of the game and stay up-to-date.
This may mean further investments in your marketing plan. Marketing tends to be one of the first places business owners cut funding when revenue drops. This is completely counterproductive. What is usually needed is an adjustment, a little more investment, and some time. Results are not commonly immediate. By the time you notice a drop in business and a need to update your strategic messaging, it has likely been needed for a while and you are a little behind. That means you need to give it some time to resonate before you can expect to see results. This further enforces why your manufacturing company needs to keep its brand messaging current. This way you won’t fall behind the curve.
One way to see if your strategic messaging needs adjusting is to look at data from your website traffic. If revenue loss trends similarly to website traffic, that is a good indicator something needs to change. Your online presence and website are likely one of your company’s top methods of advertising, communication, and prospecting for new business. If traffic falls, you could be due an update. Likewise, if traffic is increasing and business revenue is dropping, there could be an issue with content and messaging itself as opposed to online exposure. Use these tools as a means of analyzing the health of your manufacturing business so adjustments can be made before they turn into issues.
Your value concept is not clear enough
Clarity is key in any marketing plan. Your strategic messaging should clearly answer the questions of “who, what, and why” in terms of the value and services you offer. People should not be left with a puzzled look on their face and wondering what you are trying to say. This requires some planning. Your website is a chance to make this all clear and show value added.
Know your target audience. Does your manufacturing focus lend itself only to niche markets? If so, make that clear and target those markets. Are you able to keep up with the demand of the clients you want to do business with? Don’t make promises you can’t keep or be misleading. Establish a definitive audience and make sure your message strategy focuses on this audience. This will clearly answer the “who” question. It may eliminate some people, but that’s what you want. You don’t need to waste resources on chasing audiences you are unable to actually serve.
Make sure audiences know what you offer without having to dig. Your capabilities and services should clearly be noted. This doesn’t just help your target audience, it helps to keep your time in check. It weeds out those that don’t actually need your services or those whose needs you are not able to meet. People appreciate the upfront communication and it further enforces the trustworthiness and respect of your brand. Your website should include your capacity and honest capabilities as a manufacturer.
Lastly, your messaging strategy should answer the “why” question. Why should they choose your manufacturing services over another? What differentiates you from the crowd? Over time, your brand recognition will build and people will know the answers to these questions without much explanation. This is a good chance to be creative and showcase the value you provide.
It isn’t always easy to recognize when your marketing plan and brand need some changes. Not to mention, putting together an effective marketing plan with the strategic messaging needed can seem like a daunting task for someone that doesn’t do this on a regular basis. Building a brand takes time and it encompasses everything from the name and logo to the attitude of the workers in your company. It is easy to lose sight and not recognize when a change is needed in strategic communications. David Taylor Digitals is a full-service web design firm that can help to create and execute the branding and message strategies you need. Contact us today for a customized consultation.