When Cookie Cutter Won't Cut It: Why Manufacturing Companies Need Unique Websites
If I were to ask you why your manufacturing company is in business, what would you say? I think I have an idea. I would expect to hear a snippet of how your business offers a solution that is differentiated from your competitors. You would tell me why your company is the go to choice in your industry and how your unique position offers customers more value compared to your competition.
And that is great! I love that because that means your company has nailed down its positioning strategy in your industry. It means you know who you are and your top executives have formulated a brand strategy to make sure that unique selling proposition reaches and resonates with customers about your competitive advantages. Your business is different and your brand proves that. I think Steve Forbes nailed it when he said, “ Your brand is the single most important investment you can make in your business.”
But one thing doesn’t make sense to me. I have seen so many manufacturing companies establish their web identity with a template based website. A brand establishes itself strategically in the mind of potential consumers that is different then competitors. So why would a template based website fit into that strategy? We like to call these cookie cutter websites because they are the same across many different companies. A website needs to support your brand strategy. It needs to be custom. Lets take a look at why a custom and unique based website is essential for manufacturing companies.
A relatively new buzzword in marketing is brand authenticity. What does this mean exactly? Brand authenticity is about practicing what you preach. It is about being totally clear about who you are and what you do best. Being an authentic brand is crucial to building relationships with the customers. Building a website using a template based layout is restricting. If forces you to establish a brand authenticity by using pre defined boxes. The template dictates it.
A custom based website allows so much more flexibility. Done correctly, a website is built around how you want your brand to be perceived. The brand dictates the look of the website, not predefined boxes.
Avoid the Hassle
Obviously, custom websites are more expensive and require more time then a template based website. But if you want to stand out in a specialized industry, it is a very good investment. It can save you a lot of headaches in the future as well. Attempting to fit content in a template based website frequently results in last minute redesigns, frustrated hacking, and a user experience that is more about you then your customers. An investment in a more engaging customer experience is rarely a bad idea. Custom websites give you that ability to craft a website with your visitors in the center. Customizing the layout, nav, and features ensures a website your audience will love.
We have already talked about the importance of creating a website that has the customer experience as the central mindset. But we need to get visitors to that website first. A custom website is more search friendly then a template based website. A good website developer can assure that your site is structured for search engine optimization purposes. You can rank higher in the SERPs and create an engaging meeting with your visitor with your site that is completely accustomed for them.
Easier to adjust
The Content Marketing Institute released a B2B Manufacturing marketing report for the end of 2014. In the report, the CMI reported that 46% of manufacturing marketers plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months. Custom websites are built for expansion so it will be a lot easier to adjust your site. This can get difficult with a template site.
A strong digital presence is crucial in today’s world. A lot of times, the website is the first interaction you will have with your customer. It needs to make the right first impression. A custom based website will ensure the customer is engaged and can find what they are looking for.