Brand strategy reflects the business strategy
Tradeshows are where content and people come together, both are hard to manage, train and measure their success. Dale Carnegie, Sandler Sales System and Business Networking International (BNI) can help your employees focus on your message. Tradeshow booth design should be treated like an internet landing page, it needs to encourage interaction with your people.
Each brand message needs a champion in the company. A person that is a leader in the industrial associations, contributor to professional publications and a mentor to new employees. Industrial marketing is unique in the high level of personal attention given each customer.
Industrial brands are about products and services. The engineers, technicians, assistants, administrators, safety personal, executives and salespersons play an important part in caring for the performance of the offering but cannot magically fix a technical problem. They can forsee problems, communicate with customers, juggle logistics and many things machines cannot. It's by understanding nature and politics that your industrial brand can successfully grow and evolve.
Industrial brand strategy starts with the company business strategy. It starts at the top. The reason the company exists and how it plans to continue to exist in the business climate. The brand strategy only communicates the company's offering to the customers, if the industrial brand has a personality; it's the personality of the stakeholders, the officers and the owner.
Gilman produces some of the most accurate slides and spindles for creating machine tools. Every machinist in the plant contributes to that accuracy and everyone involved supports it.
A brand is something you will pay more for. No industrial brand is cheap.
Branding isn't asking, "What do you want to be known for?" It isn't in contrast to how you are perceived in the industry. Your equipment's quality, its durability, its resale value can't be changed by changing your message. If you have a serious problem with existing equipment in the field, you will have to fix that first before you worry about trying to distract the public. You can't do it. The machines aren't going away unless you buy them back. It won't be the first time.
Your brand starts with your history. Everyone in your company needs to know it and know how it has evolved to serve your customer's needs. It's a wonderful story, a human-interest story; it's your story. The illustration above shows the 10-year history of the Missouri Gateway Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council Chapter.
If you have a problem with your visual brand marketing communications, the first thing is to inventory your resources, determine the variations you will put up with and recycle the rest. Focus on correcting the most public marks first. Be careful to remember all those nameplates you have out there. The public expects and will embrace the evolution of a brand. Typically the time to do it is the same time major technological advances are transforming the industry. A secondary reason is change of ownership, like this Cook Screen ad. It was a nice touch that they offered a "new" guarantee for on-time shipment. A true brand promise being corrected.
Katana signed by Masamune with an inscription (城和泉守所持) in gold inlay, Kamakura period, 14th century, blade length: 70.6 cm, thanks to Wikipedia.
The worst case of branding hell comes from the purchase of many smaller companies, creating a much larger company that requires an appropriate global brand to compete. It will take ten years for you to slowly lessen the miscellaneous marks, nameplates, customer's memories and old phone numbers. In some cases you can't and shouldn't give up the legacy brand. Especially in the case of a famous, overwhelming market penetration. U.S. brands are now reaching their 200th Anniversary, at least we don't have the problem of thousand year brands like Japanese samurai swords but then again they correspond to a time when craftsman started signing their work. The beginning of industrial branding.
if you liked this blog post, you may also like "Manufacturing Industrial Brand Marketing, part 1."