Corporate Identity and why Branding is Important for Engineering Businesses

Many businesses we meet and talk to still do not understand the importance of corporate identity and branding.  They perceive branding to be what big consumer brands like MacDonald’s, Vodaphone, Next or Gap.  They don’t see the relevance for their business.  Especially so with engineering businesses– they see the investment that professional branding needs, and believe that money is better spent on a new machine or plant.

Effective branding and brand development does not need to cost the millions invested by the household names, nor does it have to be as full-on as you would find with a company such as Nike.  But understanding the basic principles of branding will give greater power to your business development activities.  It will positively impact your sales, price positioning and profitability.  Its all about creating a recognisable differentiation from your competition in the market – and this is important for businesses of all sizes and types.

At EngMark we break down brand development into 3 key steps:

What are you actually offering?

Most businesses actually find this difficult to express.  But its important to define what it is a business does, and where it’s heading.  Your brand will need to be flexible enough to absorb future growth areas and expansion.

Many businesses we talk to find it hard to distinguish between what it is that they do and what it is that their customers actually get from them. Its not the same!  An engineering business might perceived that they are experts in complex fabrication, but fabrication that is not what will keep their customers awake at night – it will be something else – price, delivery schedules, strength over time – the fabrication part is a given! We wrote a very useful guest blog that explores the importance of proper positioning and defining the business you are in.  This makes it easier to have instant relevance with the target market, or to appeal to a totally new type of customer.

Who are you really targeting?

If we got a tenner for every time we ask this question and we get the answer “everyone, who needs … fabrication, automated MIG welding, folding and forming, manual welding, yada, yada …”, we’d be driving around in Ferraris.

Many businesses, especially small businesses, believe that by making the target market as broad as possible, they’ll sell more stuff. It’s a huge mistake.  It’s rare for a business not to have some specialisation (even if it’s a preference for a particular area), by way of a service or skill-set, that cannot provide crucial competitive differentiation.  The narrower a business’s niche is defined, the greater the level of pre-qualification for target prospects. A brand becomes stronger the more you narrow the focus. Unless you are generalist like Amazon – but remember, they started as the place you could buy any book. Then CDs.  The rest is history!

Your brand can be crafted to appeal to this perfect customer, be it an individual, groups or sector, but only by satisfying their specific needs.

What’s in it for them?

How does your target customer benefit from your offering?  It is here that we can tease out the value proposition, based on what the motivations are to buy.   So what’s really in it for your customer?  Why should they be interested in your and not your competitor?  These purchase motivations need be at the core of your marketing communications.

Creating the best brand for your business

With these 3 key elements sorted,  Engmark now have the building blocks to define the brand character of your business and to create a unique corporate identity, including but not limited to, your logo.

Just because you’re not Vodaphone spending multi-millions, does not mean you cannot enjoy a professional branding and corporate identity in your business.  EngMark’s 3 step process will ensure your marketing punches above its weight and more effective and cost efficient.  This will help you compete on value and not price, and to grow a position in the market based on the things you excel at.

By going through this process of profiling the ideal customer (or groups) around your niche, you will be able to speak with total relevance to your ideal customer’s needs, demonstrating benefit and value.

Professional branding and a strong corporate identity, consistently applied and relentlessly controlled,  will capture that proposition visually and make your business instantly recognisable to your prospects and customers.



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