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April 18, 2016
Manufacturers Benefit When They Market What’s Meaningful™

From food ingredients companies to building products and technology businesses, too many manufacturers forgo marketing and allow their products to be perceived as commodities. When a product competes on price alone—the classic commodity scenario—the only race is to the bottom. That’s bad news for the company and its stakeholders.
Getting out of the commodity rut takes marketing. And I can’t think of a company that wouldn’t benefit from a little marketing savvy applied to strategic business objectives.

At CBD, we Market What’s Meaningful, which calls out those characteristics or attributes that are most important to our clients’ customers. Below are some examples of marketing initiatives that can lift a company out of the commodity basement and set it on a path to improved profitability and increased sales.

Consider rebranding.

For companies who have fallen into the commodity bucket, it may be time to consider a rebranding and messaging initiative to determine what (besides price) can set the company apart from the competition. Done right, a rebranding and messaging engagement includes a deep dive into category data, insights into the competitive set, customer and stakeholder interviews, and research. It’s a lot like looking in the mirror in order to update and refresh your image. Companies like Firestone Building Products and Blue Diamond Almonds have been successful in rebranding by placing greater emphasis on their leadership positioning and service offerings while maintaining high standards for their products.

Differentiate your brand with creative campaigns.

How many ads from manufacturers have you seen that follow the same formula: photo of the product + list of features + a call to action? Boring and easy to ignore. Use your creative campaigns to differentiate yourself. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience to figure out what is important to them and present it in a unique way. Take this Kohler ad for example. To loyalists of the brand, Kohler doesn’t just make faucets and toilets, they make possessions that are meant to be cherished.

Build a social media presence using content and videos.

Social media can offer companies cost-effective platforms to build their brand presence in meaningful ways, engage with their customers and disseminate relevant content. Videos are far and away the most impactful content in terms of views, interactions and the resulting SEO advantages. Google just about any product or company name and—if there are tagged videos posted online—the videos will show up high on the organic postings. Consider posting videos on YouTube to share training and installation tips. LinkedIn is a great tool for companies looking to emphasize thought leadership. Videos can be posted there as well as on Twitter and Facebook, providing outlets for customers to interact with your brand.

To learn about other ways manufacturing companies are leveraging marketing, please visit or contact us today.