(These tips were manufactured in the USA.)
We work with a lot of manufacturers on a daily basis. What's one of their biggest complaints? Customers leaving them for offshore manufacturers.
We know the statistics. We know the benefits of onshoring, and the awful costs of offshoring. Your problem is that your customers don't know this stuff. So, you have to tell them.
Here's what happens. Your customers see massively discounted foreign manufacturing costs. They do some simple math, and decide the increased lead and shipping times are worth it.
But the up-front costs are the only thing they see. They don't see the intellectual property risks, the communication issues, the shipping disasters, the constantly checking every part for quality.
That's where you come in.
Here's how to shut down the offshoring conversation before it starts, and retain your hard-earned clients.
Marketing Your American Manufacturing Company
1. Push reshoring. Hard.
What are the benefits of American-made goods? Why are American manufacturers actually more cost-effective in the long term?
What are the hidden costs of offshoring? What are they risking by taking their product overseas? What haven't they considered in this major business decision?
9 times out of 10, American manufacturing is the best choice for an American-based company. Explain why. Be persuasive. Back up your claims with hard facts and research.
2. Your base price is higher than an offshore manufacturer. Why?
There's a reason your services cost more than a foreign manufacturer's. You provide superior customer service, free maintenance, higher quality products, faster shipping - whatever your "extras" may be, they're worth the cost.
Assume your audience is dumb as bricks. Make it very obvious why your higher cost is worth it. Put this information in multiple places on your website, write blog posts, create a pricing guide. Tell them explicitly what they're getting for your price.
3. Figure out who's interested in American-made goods and where they're hiding.
There's a decent segment of the population that believes in the quality of American manufacturing. These people are willing to pay more for American-made goods for a number of reasons:
- Higher quality products
- Protecting American jobs
- Stimulating local economies
- Fighting poor treatment of foreign workers
- Supporting local businesses
And much more. Find out who these people are and how you can speak to them. They could be end users, influencers, or investors. You'll have a lot more influence with these people on your side.
4. Partner with other made-in-the-USA manufacturers.
Who said marketing had to be a solo endeavor? Manufacturers can collaborate to build their businesses online. You can help each other build inbound links, promote your products, and get eyes on your website. Connect with them on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social platforms to build your networks.
You don't have to collaborate with your competitors, either. Build partnerships with your own vendors, other links in a customer's supply chain, and other local manufacturers.
5. Find non-manufacturing organizations dedicated to reshoring and onshoring.
Reshore Now is a nonprofit initiative working to bring manufacturing jobs back to the States. They love seeing manufacturers bring attention to reshoring issues.
Connecting with these entities is a win-win for everybody.
Never Stop Preaching
Remember these five points when promoting your American manufacturing services:
- The benefits of reshoring are not a given. Provide information that helps your audience see past the shallow savings of offshoring.
- Tell your prospects and customers exactly why they should pay your higher prices.
- Target people who are already invested in American manufacturing.
- Team up with peers to educate customers.
- Work with non-manufacturers who are interested in reshoring.
The battle between onshoring and offshoring is constant. You have to get in front of current customers and prospects. Educate them about the major benefits of onshoring. Show them what can happen when an offshore deal goes sideways.
The facts are there - you just need to use them to your advantage.