Are you branded -- the right way?

There's a lot of talk in business these days about the value and importance of brands. Marketers look enviously at the world's great brands and dream of growing their own brands into world powers.

06/01/1998


There's a lot of talk in business these days about the value and importance of brands. Marketers look enviously at the world's great brands and dream of growing their own brands into world powers. Some brands are so well established that they are mistakenly used to name all similar products. People are more likely to say, "Hand me a Kleenex," than they are to say, "Hand me a facial tissue." You get the idea.

Don E. Schultz, a marketing consultant and professor, says that brands are the personification of the relationship between the marketer and the customer. Brands are what customers buy, he says, what they relate to, and what they believe in.

That's pretty powerful stuff.

We on Plant Engineering magazine know the value of our brand, and we work hard to make sure it's a name that you relate to and believe in. Our corporate parent, Cahners Business Information, is working to improve its brand recognition, too, as you can read about on p 12 in this issue.

While we recognize and readily accept the concept of branding in relation to companies and products, we don't normally attach branding concepts to people or organizations.

Even so, you are a brand, or perhaps more accurately, have been branded. We all have been, by virtue of what we do or where we work. I've been branded as an editor, for better or worse.

My questions are: How are you branded? And what are you doing to strengthen your brand? Schultz advises that brands are built with well-planned, well-designed, well-executed programs that focus on customer value and relationships. Successful brands in the marketplace don't just happen. They are created, nurtured, and promoted. Your computer doesn't have an "Intel Inside" sticker on it because the manufacturer thinks it looks nice. It's there because the Intel brand means something to the customer.

How are you working to position yourself or function in the plant as a recognized and respected brand? What comes to your internal customers' minds when they hear "plant engineer" or "maintenance department?" Are you customer focused and value oriented? Do they see you as contributing to profits or as a necessary, undesirable cost? Are you a valuable resource or a pain in the you-know-what? Are you an essential team member or a candidate for outsourcing?

A good brand is a valuable asset. And I'll bet yours, like mine, could be strengthened.





Top Plant
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2017 Top Plant.
Product of the Year
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
System Integrator of the Year
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
May 2018
Electrical standards, robots and Lean manufacturing, and how an aluminum packaging plant is helping community growth.
April 2018
2017 Product of the Year winners, retrofitting a press, IMTS and Hannover Messe preview, natural refrigerants, testing steam traps
March 2018
SCCR, 2018 Maintenance study, and VFDs in a washdown environment.
April 2018
ROVs, rigs, and the real time; wellsite valve manifolds; AI on a chip; analytics use for pipelines
February 2018
Focus on power systems, process safety, electrical and power systems, edge computing in the oil & gas industry
December 2017
Product of the Year winners, Pattern recognition, Engineering analytics, Revitalize older pump installations
Spring 2018
Burners for heat-treating furnaces, CHP, dryers, gas humidification, and more
April 2018
Implementing a DCS, stepper motors, intelligent motion control, remote monitoring of irrigation systems
February 2018
Setting internal automation standards

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

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