The contract manufacturing marketplace is crowded. To build a strong brand and stand out from the competition, you must create effective brand messaging that connects with your ideal customers.
One of contract manufacturers' most significant challenges is failing to attract and engage right-fit customers. This often results in an unpredictable pipeline and disappointing revenue growth.
One reason is they fail to communicate in a relatable way. Their messaging focuses too much on their services and not enough on the customer.
Developing a strong brand will make it easier to build trust and distinguish you from competitors. But only if you ensure your brand messaging is customer-focused, not you-focused.
What is brand messaging and why is it important?
Brand messaging is about determining what you want to communicate to your customers. It covers things like your positioning statement, your value proposition, and your taglines.
Brand messaging is a critical component of any marketing strategy, as it helps to engage your ideal customers and build awareness and trust in your brand.
By communicating a consistent message that speaks directly to your customers' needs and pain points, you can build lasting relationships with OEMs and increase sales over time. Whether you’re looking to attract new customers or retain existing ones, brand messaging is essential for success.
How to create a strong brand message
You’re not the hero - your customer is
It happens in every industry, not just manufacturing - businesses focus their messaging on themselves. They talk about what they do, their products and services, and why they’re great.
You’d be forgiven for wondering what’s wrong with that.
But it’s not about you. It’s about your customers. Your ideal customers are not seeking another story or a hero; they are looking for a guide.
They don’t care about what you do. What they want to know is if you can solve their problems.
Every piece of content and messaging you create should flow from this perspective. So, how can you help them with their problem and guide them towards a solution?
Determine the problems you can help customers solve
Think about it this way. You could talk about the equipment you have in your factory. Maybe you want to talk about your 3D printers and your collaborative robots.
But what you should be focusing on is what makes that equipment a benefit to your customer. Does it lead to faster turnaround times? Does it deliver greater accuracy?
The key is to talk about what would make your customer care about your equipment - how it can help to solve their problems.
Develop comprehensive buyer personas
Do you know what problems your ideal customers are trying to solve when looking for a solution like yours?
Developing buyer persona profiles will help you understand everything you need about the customers you want to attract to your business. You’ll understand their problems and the transformation they are seeking. This awareness provides an opportunity to empathise and establish your authority to help them.
You’ll likely need more than one persona. From the CEO to the Operations Director to those in procurement and quality assurance, plenty of people across the business may be involved in the buying process. You’ll want to ensure your content directly addresses each individual's specific needs and priorities.
Establish your core proposition
Once you understand the pain your customers are experiencing, you can define your core proposition - how your company can help relieve their pain and help them achieve their goals.
What is the value you deliver for your customers? What is the core of your competitive advantage? What makes customers work with you instead of someone else? What’s truly “in it” for your customers if they choose to do business with you?
Here's an example.
Contract manufacturing company Flex states, “Our purpose is to make great products for our customers that create value and improve people’s lives. We help a diverse customer base design and build the products that make the world a better place.”
Notice how they don’t mention anything about their products or services? They focus only on how they help solve the customer’s problems.
Develop your brand story
Drawing on the insight from your buyer personas and your core proposition, you can create a brand story that will resonate with your customers.
Your brand story should:
- Identify the principal problem your customers face, how they feel about it, and why it matters to them
- Empathise with them and establish your authority as a solution provider
- Identify how you can help them and what they will gain
- Evoke jeopardy (the stakes) and qualify the merits of implementing a solution.
Your prospects are real people with emotions and personalities. When you empathise, you connect with them on a deeper level, and they're more minded to enter the story.
Only then can you establish your authority to provide a solution. Before finally calling them to action by describing the stakes involved and the benefits of implementing your plan.
Create content for every stage of the buyer’s journey
Understanding the buyer's journey lets you create content that will resonate with your buyer personas and nurture them as they move through each stage.
- At the Awareness stage, they have become aware of a need, expressed a potential problem or opportunity, and started looking for information to help them understand it.
- At the Consideration stage, they have defined their problem or opportunity and start reviewing their options, assessing which may best meet their needs and eliminating those that don’t.
- At the Decision stage, they have narrowed down the field, defined a solution and are ready to make a decision.
Every piece of content you create should flow from the customer's perspective and address their needs at a specific stage in the buying journey.
To attract and retain right-fit OEMs, you must focus on creating brand messaging that puts them, not you, at the heart of the story. By following the steps in this post, you can create marketing content that truly speaks to what matters most to your customers, which can help you stand out from the competition. No more losing out on opportunities and missing revenue targets.