Manufacturers… What’s Your Brand Strategy?
11 Jan 2018
While manufacturing in the United States has adopted new technologies to streamline operations, logistics, increase capabilities, and provide better products, industry growth is still slow due to overseas competition.  Though manufacturers are consistently innovating, 2017 growth in the industry has only increased by 1.6% [1]. What is the brand strategy?

Manufacturers often rely on their sales teams to develop and solidify relationships.  However, with such a competitive environment, it is short-sighted to not only focus on sales. Even a B2B industry should have a brand strategy in place.

First, every business should have a unique selling proposition to convince prospects to work with your company as well as to increase loyalty among current customers.  It makes the sales teams’ jobs easier by providing key differentiators in an industry where prospects and customers may see many manufacturers as all the same. This provides additional value for the brand beyond cost.

Second, it is pertinent to understand your customer wants and needs and determine if your company meets them. Plus, there should be a strong understanding of why prospects work with your competitors vs. you.  Other than price, what is that key trigger point that would convince them to switch manufacturers?  Often this can be done using market research with methodologies such as focus groups and surveys. For example, you can learn about what is unique about your brand vs. the competition, as well as possible emotional triggers you would not normally associate with a manufacturing company.

Also, it is pertinent to determine what marketing channels not only reach your customers, but can best communicate your brand’s story.

Even if your competitive advantage is not the most advanced or the cheapest, a market strategy is a way to tell a compelling story that helps your customer understand your brand in a simple and digestible manner.

As you can tell, there are many moving parts to a marketing strategy.  Provoke Insights can help assist with a marketing or branding strategy and research needs.

Read our blogs about why primary and secondary research is so important when launching a successful brand.

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[1]  “Over-the-year employment changes and tests of significance, seasonally adjusted. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dec. 2017.

The 3 Most Popular Blogs of 2017
03 Jan 2018

We are looking back on 2017’s most popular blog posts on Provoke Insights to determine what people want to read about regarding brand strategy, advertising research, and brand research.

Interestingly, the number one spot is Tech Companies… What’s Your Brand Strategy? This is one of our oldest blogs. We wrote this way back in September 2015 but it just goes to show, first of all, that nothing is ever lost on the internet! And secondly, this blog becomes more relevant everyday as the tech industry continues to grow at a rapid rate. With more and more technology based brands launching, there is a need to have a consistent marketing strategy based on research and insights. Often we see tech companies who start with tactics first and result in a flimsy advertising plan. Having worked with several technology companies this year, we have learned that each brand has a diverse and unique need. We also see that more and more tech firms are making sure that they have the right brand strategy in place.

Next up, Millennials, Fine Jewelry, and the Luxury Category – this blog again is an oldie but a goodie. The piece was written in December 2016 but gained traction for what I can only assume to be the need to understand this generation’s uncommon spending habits within the luxury category. The media talks endlessly about how millennials behave, how to reach them, and what they’re buying. This blog’s popularity may have stemmed from the need to better understand this generation that has caused such a stir. We were so interested in the topic because we did a four-part research project with Jewelers of America in 2017. It included qualitative research among suppliers and retailers, as well as a segmentation that highlighted millennials as a primary target for a national jewelry campaign. You can read more about that here.

The third most popular blog was written at the beginning of 2017 – 7 New Trends in Market Research in 2017. In this blog we ran down a list of new technology and innovative ideas to revitalize a market research strategy. We  are happy to say our predictions were right and we used almost all of these trends in 2017 and plan to use more of them in 2018. From what we know, these trends are going to continue into 2018 with the added rise of smartphone-based research. Applications on smartphones have the ability to track users locations, gender, age, purchasing habits, and app usage. All of this data can be sold to whoever wants it – there’s a possibility that market research firms will take advantage of the data. Until there is a framework in place to regulate this – all of the data is fair game.

We would like to wish you all a Happy New Year from the Provoke Insights Team. We are launching our updated advertising research study at the end of January. Keep an eye out for new blog posts with original information from the research study about advertisers, in-house marketers, the pitch process, stress levels in the workplace, media and advertising budgets, and much more. You can also sign up here to be the first to receive the newsletter about it.