How hyper-specialized additive manufacturing brands can compete
In our last article, educate, inspire, reassure, we covered the three distinct functions your marketing and sales efforts need to perform and the ideal touchpoints to accomplish each function. For our seventh installment in our series on sales and marketing alignment for B2B 3D printer brands, we'll explore how hyper-specialized additive manufacturing brands can take market share from the big players in the space.
Taking on the big players
When it comes to building brands for innovative 3D printing companies, there often exists a David and Goliath-type situation. While the big players are positioned to be all things to all people, you've built your reputation on doing one thing better than anyone else. You face a daunting opponent — their snack budget might be bigger than your entire marketing budget. However, you have a unique opportunity to pull some customers out of their orbit.
Their budget for snacks might be bigger than your budget for marketing.
Davetech vs. Goliacorp
In this hypothetical scenario, we'll call the hyper-specialized 3D printer brand Davetech, and we'll call the big guys Goliacorp.
Davetech has been quietly carving out their niche in the space. They're revenue-positive and have grown steadily. They have a tight group of customers who love them almost unconditionally. They've achieved a certain level of success despite having no concerted sales, marketing or branding strategy in place.
Davetech's brand identity is not an accurate reflection of their values or where they are headed as a company. As a result, Davetech doesn't look or sound as good as they truly are. Their brand identity has not yet held them back in a way they can measure, but it's not going to help them get where they want to go.
Davetech stands at a precipice. If they can't adapt their positioning to effectively reach a broader audience and pick off some of Goilacorp's customers, they won't achieve the growth they need to fuel the innovation they need to stay competitive.
Davetech has been quietly kicking ass for years. Now it's time to make some noise.
Goliacorp: threats and opportunities
Goliacorp is the dominant player in the space. They do everything. They've grown by acquiring smaller specialized companies and expanding into new markets. Their reach is broad and deep, with well-established sales channels. They can do a lot of things, but they can't be an expert at everything. Goliacorp's positioning of being all things to all people exposes potential points of failure that can be exploited by a smaller, more agile brand.
You will not beat Goliacorp through brute force. You're not going to outspend them on marketing. You're going to beat them with an agile, hyper-targeted approach to marketing. Mapping your buyer's journey, meeting potential customers where they are and owning your expert position in the space will all help exploit Goliacorp's weaknesses and pull some of their customers into your orbit.
Build brand love
As an agile and hyper-targeted company, you're able to make emotional connections with customers in ways the big guys simply can't. Focus less on talking tech and more on fostering love for your brand. Brands are warm, while tech is cold. Brands are loved, while tech is utilized. Build your positioning around what those who love you love about you. Make a realistic and emotionally compelling brand promise and back it up with real data, dependable tech and the kind of personal attention the big guys can't provide.
Next up: Sales & marketing touchpoints, the tip of the pyramid
Sales and marketing touchpoints are all the ways your potential customers interact with your brand positioning: web identity, social media presence, sales presentations, conversations, brochures and service calls — to name just a few. Many companies create touchpoints without first assessing their brand and developing a brand strategy. When sales and marketing efforts are not aligned, this is often one of the prime culprits. Next up we'll dive into the fun stuff, the tip of the brand engineering pyramid.
Other articles in this series:
Part 6: Educate, inspire, reassure
Part 5: The power of positioning
Part 3: Mapping the buyer journey
About Toolbox Creative:
Toolbox Creative is a B2B Brand Engineering firm, helping the 3D Printing, Ag Tech and Clean Tech industries change the world. We distill complex technologies into powerful identity systems, websites and marketing tactics that align sales and marketing efforts, create lasting impact and build brand love.