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A manufacturer’s most valuable asset: You can feel it, but you can’t touch it

The manufacturing industry centers on creating tangible things, however the ultimate success of a manufacturer lies in the strength of their most valuable intangible asset: their brand. While intangible, a successful brand is designed to elicit strong, positive feelings about the business and its product. And even though you can’t physically touch a brand, the impact is very real.

Creating a strong brand identity is critical to the success of a new business, a new subsidiary or a new product line. Basically, before a manufacturer starts any new venture, creating a strong brand early in the process is a “must have” for that venture’s path to success.

What makes a strong brand

The two major building blocks of a strong brand are the messaging and visual elements. The messaging clearly establishes what to say when employees, volunteers, stakeholders and the community talks about your offering. The messages should clearly define the purpose, features, benefits and the emotional connection of the brand to its audience. The messages also need to be easy to say and easy to remember—not written in formal, flowery language—so your employees and other brand ambassadors feel comfortable saying them.

The visual component of the brand is also incredibly important, as it will provide cohesion across all mediums. From the website and sales materials through packaging and invoicing, the design needs to be flexible enough to work on different mediums and materials. If the new brand is a sub-brand within a larger family of brands, it needs to be visually consistent with the primary brand.

Introducing a new brand

Keep in mind, the new brand has no momentum at inception. A substantial marketing force is required to generate speed, create traction and give the new brand a significant trajectory into the marketplace. A typical marketing campaign designed to launch a brand spans across digital platforms, including Ad Words and social media paid promotion, in addition to traditional marketing materials and media buys in trade and/or mainstream publications.

Why it’s worth it

There’s absolutely no doubt, the brand is a manufacturer’s most valuable intangible business asset. Brands provide orientation for customers and strengthen differentiation against competitors. A strong brand will drive demand, sales and price premium, and will prevent your product from becoming a commodity.

Not only do strong brands grow market share and the bottom line, brands also attract talent and motivate staff. It’s no coincidence that popular brands are also ranked amongst the most sought-after employers. Everyone wants to take pride in their employment and likes having a well-known brand name on their resume. Strong brands also build shareholder value and reassure financial markets.

In other words, manufacturers can’t afford a weak brand. The return on investment is tangible and measurable. It’s time to build trust, increase visibility, engagement and impact. It’s time to create a strong, recognizable brand that justifies buyers’ decision to purchase.

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