Branding and Marketing Tips for Small Manufacturers
Building and marketing your brand is integral to establishing your small manufacturing or machining business. We asked Todd Hockenberry, president of Top Line Results, for tips and insights on how to get started.
Building and marketing your brand is integral to building your small manufacturing or machining business. We asked Todd Hockenberry, president of Top Line Results, for tips and insights on how to get started.
What’s the difference between branding and marketing?
Todd: Branding is what others think and feel about your company, people, and products or services. Marketing is how you create demand and facilitate the customer journey and customer experience.
What's a common mistake small manufacturers and machinists should avoid when building a brand?
They focus on sales and getting revenue to the exclusion of building a marketing system that builds momentum for the company. Once they get some decent side orders they focus on production and delivery and do not build a discipline of daily marketing. Discover 7 ad tactics you might not have considered
What are two things small manufacturers and machinists should do first when building their brand and marketing strategy?
- Nothing will help branding and marketing faster and in a more lasting way than knowing your ideal company and the persons in that company that you help the most. Market to them how and where they want to find information about what you do. Tactics follow strategy. Get your ideal company and persona right and then determine the best tactics to reach them. See why you and your shop should be on LinkedIn.
- A good website is a must. If it looks like it was thrown together at the last minute, you lose credibility. Invest in your website and look modern, professional, and create or curate content about your ideal buyer and what matters in their world. Learn how to make your website work harder for you.
What else should shop owners know about brand building and marketing?
Your brand is your reputation. Be excellent at creating a customer experience that people love so much that they have to share it. Every person, process, and interaction matters, so think like your customer and give them the experience they want. If you're looking for a good place to start when thinking about building your ideal brand experience, consider these four key factors:
- Quality - Both in the parts you deliver, your workmanship, and the customer's overall experience with your business.
- On-Time Delivery - Parts delivered on time or even early are an easy way to delight a customer and build a positive reputation.
- Communication - How you communicate with your customer and how often can say a lot about the value you place on your customers and their time.
- Engagement - Look for ways to engage with customers outside of price and parts. Following them on social media is a great way to engage in common interests or send them some branded swag, like a t-shirt or hat, as a quick way to delight the customer and build brand awareness.