The most common marketing challenge faced by manufacturers is relying too much on the product. Even if it’s a wonderfully unique product, it won’t sell itself. And relying on referrals and word-of-mouth is not a marketing strategy. The good news: There is a process, backed by research, proven to overcome this challenge. Here are useful insights and practical steps manufacturers can take to create a successful, effective branding strategy.

People won’t know until you tell them

Marketing expert Dr. Jeffery Lant formulated the “Rule of 7,” meaning a prospective buyer needs to be contacted a minimum of seven times within an 18-month period to make an impact. While a great rule of thumb, the reality varies based on the level of commitment required with the purchase. Lower price points presented by a trusted vendor, such as impulse buys located near the cash register at your favorite retail store, don’t require much of a commitment. Higher price points, along with higher levels of commitment and higher consequences, require additional touch points. In other words, brands that require a higher level of commitment need to work harder to build familiarity, trust and a positive association with their products and services. This helps lower the risk associated with making the decision.

Word of mouth is awesome, but it’s not a strategy

Dubbed “the original social media platform,” word of mouth is great when it works. According to a Neilson survey, the vast majority of consumers believe recommendations from family and friends over any form of advertising. But relying heavily on word of mouth is the Shangri-la of marketing tactics.  There’s no doubt it would benefit your business, however only six percent of marketing executives say they have mastered word of mouth marketing (and we think they are bluffing).

Instead, a real strategy is needed. The goal should be reaching your audience with consistent messages a minimum of seven times during the next 18 months. But with more tactics available than any time in history, where do you even start?

All great marketing strategies start with the brand

Without question, all great marketing strategies start by creating a strong brand. Once a strong brand is established, your marketing strategy will be not only be more effective, your marketing tactics will be easier to implement.

Consistency is key, and a strong brand plays a huge role in presenting reliable, uniform messages. Building a strong brand is building a strong foundation for the sale, and with each message reinforcing the structure. It takes clear direction, discipline and teamwork. And while you may feel like you’re repeating yourself, in fact you may just be establishing the foundation with your audience. But given time and repetition, your customers will associate the positive characteristics you are communicating with your brand.

The same disciplined philosophy should be applied to both images and text associated with your brand and any subsequent marketing campaigns. Establishing the brand’s color palate, fonts and key messages and adhering to those brand standards will not only make your marketing machine more efficient, it will yield positive results for years to come.

Are you ready to begin the process of creating a successful, effective branding strategy? Call us to schedule your free one-hour consult, shoot us an email or schedule a lunch with us. We’d love to get to know you, show you how we can help you overcome your marketing challenges and set the foundation for success for years to come.