Introduction to industrial branding
In 2008, Deloitte Belgium gave hundreds of new hires Mini Coopers. If Lohre & Associates gave cars away, they would be Edison2s. "Edison2 pursues efficiency through the absolute virtues of low weight and low aerodynamic drag. Although for the X Prize we anticipated developing a hybrid or electric vehicle – hence our name, Edison2 – our studies on efficiency led us away from the significant added weight of batteries needed for an electric or hybrid drive to a one-cylinder, 250cc internal combustion engine fueled by E85. Since then we have also created an electric VLC, which at 350 MPGe set a new standard for 4 passenger electric car efficiency."
Your brand aligns purpose, action and results. For an industrial manufacturer, that includes every part or machine ever sold and how the company plans to create the next generation of product or service.
In this series of blog posts we'll review industrial brand marketing with the purpose of outlining a set of scalable guidelines for any manufacturer to follow. This series will help you create a brand unique to your business and for every touch point including visual, verbal, aural, tactile and taste communications, all five senses.
Clear and Consistent Communication of Trust
The major jet engine manufacturers are perfect examples of industrial brand marketing. Even though their products and markets are some of the most complex, their communcations are perfectly appropriate for their purposes, just like their engines. Photo credit.
The greatest power of branding the entire organization is that the sum is greater than the parts.
For industrial manufacturers, their brands aren't "the standard of excellence." They can only be "a standard of excellence." Manufacturers make machines, machines are never perfect and people aren't either. Engineers have a broad spectrum of reference standards to follow and maybe create anew. It's the knowledge of the industry standards, the education of their employees and customers that makes a great industrial brand. It's a promise to the customer, not spiritual, not artistic; it's physics. At least as far as we know the physics ;-)
Through a clear and consistent communication of trust a manufacturer can improve its hiring, training, customer relations, vendor relations, community relations, engineering and every other part of the manufacturing process. Even for the banking industry, shareholders, mergers and risk mitigation can benefit from a consistent brand promise.
This aircraft marked a significant evolution in the manufacturer's brand. In 1970 a new aeronautical engineer was brought on board to advance the company's offering away from wooden gliders to fiberglass construction. The designers name is so important that it is included in the model of the aircraft. This is an ASW 15 for Alexander Schleicher and Gerhard Waibel. You can just imagine the ripples throughout the company, customers, vendors and community when changing from wood to fiberglass. It also doubled the performance.
From "Designing B2B Brands: Lessons from Deloitte and 195,000 Brand Managers," "Whereas business-to-consumer brand purchases are often made on impulse, business-to-business decisions are driven by myriad factors and can span many months. So for B2Bs, think "best to build": brand embedding requires significant investment, spread over numerous touch-points, over an expanse of time." Hubspot, internet branding software, advises companies to have their brand evolve, test and repeat. This is especially true for manufacturers because you must deal with the product you have in the field. Spare parts sales can account for the majority of a company's revenue.
In the next blog in the series we'll get to work assigning meaning to the many elements that make up industrial marketing communications, advertising, photography, technical illustration, technical editing and (even) engineering.
If you enjoyed this post you may also like, "Technical Illustration Guide for Marketing Communications."