Friday, May 25, 2007

The Greatest Stories Never Told

North American manufacturing is a lost cause, right?

At least that’s what I was expecting to find during a major research project we conducted for a client recently on the state of the industry. But it turns out that the dark and dreary picture painted in most media isn’t all that accurate. There are, in fact, many North American manufacturers who are doing well.

They’re employing the latest in equipment and technologies and using Lean manufacturing to control costs. They’re diversifying with new offers such as product design and project management for overseas sourcing. At the same time, they’re developing market niches ranging from product specialization (miniaturization, high tolerance) to market specialization (medical, packaging). These differentiating moves exponentially increase their value to customers.

So why aren’t we all aware of this good news? Because most manufacturers—even those who are enjoying success—aren’t telling their story. There’s some truth to the old adage, “If you don’t tell your story, no one else will.” Perhaps more accurate is, “If you don’t tell your story, no one else will tell it the way you want it told.”

If you’re a manufacturer, what’s the story being told about you? Have you identified your value proposition? And are you communicating it? Brand-based marketing communications can help you tell the story of what your business does better than the rest. Time after time, you have to tell it to employees. To customers and prospects. To the media. Don’t miss the opportunity to exploit your value proposition … and to dispel the myth that North American manufacturing is on its way out.

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