If you hear someone saying, "Our biggest problem is awareness," they're addressing the wrong thing. Marketing expert Seth Godin recently pointed this out in a great blog post. It goes directly to the heart of why many companies are failing to grow or at least wasting lots of time and money on marketing.
Electronics companies, whether selling components or end-products, can fall prey to this mistake. Seth advises that if you're only focused on more hype, driving more web traffic, and generating more publicity and only fixated on promotional tactics, it won't bring desired business results. Attracting attention and creating customers are two very different activities. Yes, one may lead to the next. However, promotional investment won't win by itself.
The business solution, as Seth wisely explains, is re-organizing a company's systems, in re-creating its products or services so that they become worth talking about. Driving interest, demand, and sales needs to be built in, not by slapping promotions on stuff that's merely at or below parity with competitors.
I've written often about company story telling and the need to clarify and emphasize the brand's competitive difference. Communicating that difference is the strategic basis for great PR and marketing communications campaigns. Those campaigns amplify the value to customers that competitors don't have and can't deliver. They don't just make noise and attract attention, aiming at simply boosting awareness.
The brand's difference doesn't have to be only in a product. For any organization serving the supply chain, this is an important truth. Brand difference can be in a range of values to customers, including where it's made, how it's made, how it looks, how long it's been made, its ingredients, its packaging, how it's distributed, or customer purchasing terms. There are even more possibilities for differentiating a brand. Which ones can your brand apply to the solution?
When you're offering something that's valuably different, your customers will help you get better noticed. Further citing Seth, "When you produce something remarkable, more use leads to more conversation which leads to more use."
Let us know about the ways that your company is differentiating itself as part of the electronics supply chain. Are you doing anything that's remarkable? Are you doing anything that makes your customers talk about your brand?